Room 237

Room 237

DVD - 2013
Average Rating:
20
1
Rate this:
In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Over 30 years later we're still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. Rodney Ascher's wry and provocative documentary fuses fact and fiction through interviews with both fanatics and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick's still-controversial classic.
Publisher: [United States] : IFC Films : [distributed by] IFC Midnight, 2013.
ISBN: 9780788617126
0788617125
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (102 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

LPL_MargoM Dec 12, 2017

As much as I'd like to consider myself an avid horror movie fan, I hadn't seen The Shining until a few months ago. I walked in expecting a chilling horror legend and what I found? Well, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. The Shining was a movie that didn't feel quite like horror but at the same time, it didn't feel like anything else I'd ever seen either. The movie baffled me. Room 237, though I don't agree with any of the interpretations about the film, made me feel a bit better about being baffled.

Room 237 is a documentary that highlights the madcap theories of avid fans. Without giving too much away, my favorite theory from Room 237 is that The Shining was a secret symbolic outcry from director Stanley Kubrick who felt guilt about his involvement in faking the moon landing. Now, I don't believe the interpretation, nor do I believe the Apollo 11 landing was a Stanley Kubrick production. Room 237 also showcases darker theories about historical violence, genocide, and subliminal messages. Overall, Room 237 isn't about the theories themselves, it's about how we as viewers can have vastly different interpretations of the same work. Perfect for both the avid film buff and the casual viewer, Room 237 is a descent into madness (and subsequent interpretations of madness) that was a blast to watch.

w
weeksworld
Aug 29, 2016

When I first saw "The Shining" I was excited to see another Kubrick film but in the end I was disappointed. It wasn't even a good horror film. SP Alert-> Only two people die in it ... and one of them is the murderer. But then I saw this documentary and I was floored. According to "Room 237", "The Shining" isn't a horror film but a vehicle for Kubrick to act out a few "tricks" of his and maybe see if the audience catches it. If you believe in more than one of the reviewers, he tries several different ideas. Kudus to Stanley for making them subtle (to me anyways) enough to go unnoticed. It makes one go over all the other Kubrick films and catch any more "Easter Eggs" he may have left. To those who panned this documentary, I have to say you missed the point. Eight reviewers give eight different POVs and they are often a bit incomplete (don't cover their pet theme throughout the entire film) because they have to fit 8 of these in one documentary. Pick one then go see the movie again and see how it plays out. I plan to do the same.

l
lmcordts
Aug 28, 2016

A study of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" with view points from several different experts. It takes a little bit to get into as the first part is about how each first encountered "The Shining". Some of the theories are a little far fetched but considering Kubrick's history there are several that make a lot of sense, especially since it is such a deviation from King's book. Really this film shows me how important the study of films remain for both their face value and hidden meaning. It's worth a watch!

s
snakie_chick
Aug 25, 2016

I couldn't get through this. The far-fetched connections people were trying to make about the film annoyed me. There were a few interesting insights, but mostly tin-foil hat kind of stuff.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Dec 07, 2015

Five people offered very personal comments and interpretations on some scenes and settings of 'The Shining', a film I enjoyed very much. But these are just personal views, which I don't connect with. I think this documentary is way over-rated by the critics. My suggestion: Just watch the film, and skip this - unless you belong to the Conspiracy Theory gang.

r
rudyone
Mar 25, 2015

Wow! Reading these comments shows me that film art is hightly unappreciated. Please see "Last year in marienbad" so that you experience Alain Resnais' masterpiece that is studied in film schools. "Last year..." had similar devices, such as clothes suddenly changing from white to black from one seen to the next. The whole point to film art is to move the audience with cinematic style so as to feel uneasy, fear, sadness etc., and move the story along visually. The artist can embed symbolic elements as homage to others, or whatever his own idiosycratic interests are. That's art. Look at the Mona Lisa painting. What's wrong with it? Why do You keep looking at it? Perhaps the background plays tricks on your perception of her smile/frown? What makes that painting so famous. This is the fun of studying art and the pleasure of discovery. You, the viewer, constructs this outer world. The "interviewees" in this documentary are seeing and creating what the left hemisphere in we humans does -- create meaning through pattern detection. Have fun with their crazy constructions. There's no real meaning here. The artist's creation is and should be ambiguous enough so we create our own personal meaning.

k
KennyBania
Mar 06, 2015

Inspired by the folks who brought you the "Paul is Dead" proof.
:)

a
akirakato
Dec 13, 2014

This is a 2012 documentary directed by Rodney Ascher about perceived meanings in Stanley Kubrick's film: "The Shining."
The film includes footage from "The Shining" as well as "2001: A Space Odyssey" along with discussions by a number of Kubrick enthusiasts.
It has nine segments, each segment focusing on different elements within the film which may reveal hidden clues and hint at a bigger thematic oeuvre.
When I watched "The Shining" for the first time, I thought I wasted my time and money.
I didn't like it at all nor could I understand what it tried to tell the audience.
This documentary helped me understand "The Shining" to a certain extent.
For example, "The Shining" has something to do with the Holocaust and it is related to "2001: A Space Odyssey."
However, Kubrick didn’t tell the audience what to think or how to think.
If everyone came out thinking something differently, Kubrick might've thought that it was fine with him because "The Shining" was a product of his personal experiences.
In a nutshell, I think, "The Shining" is pure gibberish to an ordinary person.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Nov 16, 2014

In 2013 Leon Vitali (who served as a personal assistant to director Stanley Kubrick during the filming of 1980's "The Shining") was asked to give his candid opinion regarding Rodney Ascher's documentary called "Room 237".

This film, which came out 32 years after The Shining's original release, features five faceless people who offer their own personal interpretations of The Shining, a movie which they all adamantly claim holds all sorts of truly fascinating and mind-boggling "hidden" messages and meanings in its imagery and its storyline.

Well - To make a long story short - In just 3 small words Vitali quickly summed up Room 237 in a literal nutshell - (And I quote) - "It's pure gibberish!" - (End of quote).

And, you know what? - If that's how Vitali views Room 237, then, hey, that's good enough for me, as well.

Now, I don't want to get too carried away here with my criticism of Room 237, but I do want to say that this is the sort of documentary that (if you're insane) will make perfect sense to you. It places you right inside that kind of illogical mentality.

Room 237 works solely on the assumption that director Stanley Kubrick (just like "God") worked in mysterious ways - And, with that, he made The Shining not as horror-movie entertainment but as a seemingly endless barrage of metaphors (for this and for that and for just about everything under the sun).

Ho-hum!

v
VRMurphy
Sep 22, 2014

It's worth watching if you're a bit of a film geek, and I do love the ideas of hidden symbolism and that an author's intent is not always essential to a viewer's interpretation of a work of art. That being said - wow, some people have a lot of time to develop these theories. I agree with reviewer Bewlay that the panel discussion in the extra features was a hoot (example - someone goes on & on re the symbolism in a chair being present in one shot and not in another; Kubrick crew member says flatly, nope, just a continuity issue). Folks, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top