Room 237 2012 ***


Rodney Asher’s documentary is a disjointed but still engrossing essay about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and invites a series of theorists to discuss what the 1980 film is really about. Using clips from the film, and some ingeniously spliced in footage from Demons 2, Asher provides a platform for his guests to speculate on whether Kubrick’s film addresses subjects from the possible faming of moon-landings to the genocide of American Indians. The voices of the contributors are heard, but their faces are not seen, which proves problematic when their thesis are jumbled together, but there’s morsels of interest throughout. Some of the interpretations, particularly those involving faces in clouds or the confused geography of the Overlook hotel, are hard to credit, but still worth hearing; it’s clear that all parties can’t believe that Kubrick would just make a straight horror film, and attribute every misplaced chair and costume choice to a greater, more sinister purpose.


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