Friday, April 5, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: ROOM 237
Filmmaker Rodney Ascher examines the many conspiracy theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick's controversial 1980 horror classic The Shining by speaking with fans of the film, and scholars who claim the director had a hidden agenda in adapting Stephen King's bestselling novel to the big screen. In-depth conversations with Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, and Jay Weidner (Kubrick's Odyssey) reveal a wide spectrum of theories pertaining to Kubrick's film, including speculation that it was a cinematic allegory for the slaughter of Native Americans, the Holocaust, or perhaps a cleverly-constructed confession that he was in fact the filmmaker responsible for faking the 1969 moon landing that placed the U.S. at the cutting-edge of the international space race against the former Soviet Union. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Rodney Ascher
Cast: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, and Jay Weidner
Release Date: Mar 29, 2013
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 1 hr. 42 min.
Room 237 is like a speaking tour into a conspiracy theorist slightly insane mind. Connections are made from the slightest misinterpreted detail and extrapolated into infinity. The funny thing is that after a bit of listening to some of these people it starts making sense until reality seeps in. It’s a fascinating adventure into these people’s minds. At its center is Kubrick’s The Shining. I’m personally a massive Kubrick fanboy who just adores everything the man ever did. His style and attention to detail are something that’s always left an impression on me. His films are just masterworks, at least in my humble opinion. That being said The Shining, as a straight up horror movie, really never did anything for me. It never terrified me or sent me home weeping like The Exorcist did. That not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I still do, but it’s a totally different animal than a standard issue horror flick. Listening to the variety of theories set forth on this documentary kind of speaks to that. Having read the King book, I can tell you the movie bears little relation to the book outside of major plot points. Kubrick’s creation was something more of a cipher leaving the door open to all kind of crackpot theories, some slightly more sensible than others. As a film fan and Kubrick diehard I enjoyed listening to even the craziest connections, Moon landing and Minotaur being my favorite. Rodney Ascher stays as neutral as possible with only a few condescending displays thrown in here or there. We never see any of these people, only stock footage or clips from Kubrick’s catalogue repurposed along with a lot of clips from The Shining, sometimes played backward, in super slow mo and well you get the idea. It’s all great fun for movie lovers and when it starts to drag a tad it wraps up and lets you come back to reality.