WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING is: a) a confession of his participation in the hoaxed Apollo moon mission; b) a treatise on the genocide of the Native Americans; c) a meditation on the holocaust; d) all of the above; e) a frickin’ horror movie.
New favorite word: apophenia.
Rodney Ascher’s ROOM 237 is: a) a cautionary tale about the dangers of overeducation; b) an insufferable exercise in pedantry and pop analysis; c) a boring, lazy excuse for a documentary; d) all of the above; e) … let’s stop there.
ROOM 237 serves up a collection of analyses of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s THE SHINING. What’s its point? Well, the answer to that question is about as elusive as the answers to the various questions raised in Ascher’s film. Among the theories tossed around in this thing:
- THE SHINING is really about the genocide of the Native Americans.
- It’s really about the holocaust.
- It’s really Stanley Kubrick’s way of confessing to having hoaxed the moon landing.
- It’s really a retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
- It’s really a neo-Freudian psychosexual drama.
- It’s really FROZEN. (Actually, this theory wasn’t in the movie, but I just had to include it here.)
WHAT DID WE THINK?
It was okay. As with Ascher’s THE NIGHTMARE, this was just a collection of anecdotes with no attempt to actually synthesize the presented information. There’s no editorial point of view – unless you buy this person’s take. Really, it comes off as lazy and a missed opportunity. Competently produced, but lacking something.
Or it’s a genius meta-commentary on the human mind’s need to find meaning in all things – including this film.
Here are some links for your perusing enjoyment: