Sunday, February 23, 2014

ROOM 237 (2012)

ROOM 237 (2012) (UR) Dir. Rodney Ascher
102 mins.
This documentary examines Stanley Kubrick's The Shining in excruciating detail, oft frame for frame, to highlight the narrations of several Kubrick conspiracy theorists. Background ephemera is pointed out, rug patterns dissected using Freudian theory, dissolves analyzed, continuity errors explained (some of the most interesting material, in my opinion) and the film is even played superimposed over itself forwards and backwards at the same time--and the results are pretty fucking awesome.
The many narrative theories include that Kubrick faked the moon landing, that it is a film about the European slaughter of indigenous tribes, that its Kubrick's cryptic way of discussing the Holocaust, and others. Some of these theories are synchronistic, some unintelligible and others really do you make you think.
This film is as much a psychological study of human observation and its effect on the observed as is actually about The Shining. It does not exploit (well, not too much) its narrative participants, but instead gives them reign to try and prove their theories. Will you think some of them are batshit crazy? Inevitably, but a lot of the ideas expressed do make me see the original film in a new light.
The pacing of the film is bit shaky, and it can be a bit overlong, but if you enjoy speculative and critical theory, and you love the source material, its worth a watch. 6/10
No link, but it's very easy to find.

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