Room 237 (2012)

Named after the creepy hotel room in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, this quirky indie documentary takes a left-field approach to film analysis. Stitching together footage from Kubrick’s considerable ouvre and recontextualising it to pick apart The Shining, various Kubrickites examine the supposed hidden messages contained in Kubrick’s terrifying tale of madness. It could be a recipe for disaster, but given the great director’s notoriety for poring meticulously over every little detail, it works surprisingly well.

Off-the-wall theories include one guy’s argument that The Shining is an apology from Kubrick for ‘faking’ the Apollo 13 moon landing footage. While that’s undeniably out there, more traditional analysis – like a look at how the director used shapes and fades to create patterns on the screen – are more difficult to rubbish, and provide a greater understanding of just how much thought Kubrick really did put into his celluloid masterpieces.

Despite the frequently outrageous claims offered up, there’s little room for mocking the theorists, and director Rodney Ascher is content to let them recite their hypotheses without judging either way. The result is a rich tapestry of ideas that speaks just as much about our continued obsession with The Shining as it does about film obsessives with too much time on their hands. Kubrick would be proud. And probably a little baffled. 4/5

Via Out In The City

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