Room 237Feature Film |
Get lost in this fascinating documentary on Kubrick's horror masterpiece.
Rodney Ascher's documentary Room 237 is a thoroughly obsessive and fascinating trip down the rabbit hole of the many outlandish theories that have grown up around Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic, The Shining. The film's nine segments cleverly weave together voice-over narration, 3-D models, and clips from a host of movies (nearly every one of Kubrick's works is represented) to deconstruct the film's hidden messages about everything from the inescapable pull of history to secret government conspiracies. Equal parts rapturous and rambling, Room 237 is a graduate school film course on acid, and a labor of love tribute to the late director's methodical genius.
The creative heart of the films lies in the five fans (among them a longtime journalist, a playwright, and a college professor specializing in German history) who are never shown on-screen. It's a deliberate move on Ascher's part that gives each idiosyncratic voice an equal weight, and helps keep the focus on the inventive theories instead of the personalities behind them. The moody, vintage-synth soundtrack, in part the work of electronic explorer The Caretaker, provides another layer of mysterious beauty. Though some of the segments, such as a frame-by-frame comparison of the film run backwards and forwards, feel more tedious than others, the overall effect is thrilling. Whether or not you agree that The Shining is an allegory of the Native American experience is almost besides the point; what Room 237 celebrates above of all else is the elastic blueprint of Kubrick's work, and the joy of discovering what it, and other works of art, mean for yourself.
|Room 237 Trailer|