Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

Review of Room 237

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

this entry brought to you by massive attack, "pray for rain"

Room 237 is a documentary about six different people's wildly diverging theories about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, and, as such, I wouldn't recommend watching it if you've never seen it-- and if you haven't, by the way, watch it. Once you have, you should return and watch Room 237.

If you know anything about Kubrick or have seen any of his movies to completion, you quickly come away with a few observations: the man was meticulous, and everything is on purpose. What's interesting is that on paper, several of the fan theories explored here-- with narration by the various fans, but with no footage of their interviews, allowing only their theories to speak for them; you can't judge them and say well look at that nerd, of course their theory is so strange and obsessive-- are what would be described as eccentric at best or absolutely insane at worst. But within the context of The Shining, none of it seems particularly far-fetched.

A woman theorizes that a poster in the background isn't a skier as it first appears, but a minotaur, which is absurd. Except that the myth of the minotaur chasing its victims throughout a labyrinth seems awfully corollary with the movie's famous climax, and the labyrinth is found neither in the book, nor at the hotel whose exterior was used. A man theorizes that the government hired Kubrick to fake the moon landing, and the director is using the film as a way to subtly relieve his guilt. Which is crazy, of course. Except that little Danny Torrence is seen wearing an Apollo 11 t-shirt in one of the movie's most pivotal, horrifying moments. What's more, it appears to be hand-knitted instead of store bought, so it would appear Kubrick really wanted this to be seen.

Room 237 is as much a dedication to Kubrick himself, his genius perfectionism, and his penchant for myriad metaphors, hidden imagery-- one need only see 2001: A Space Odyssey for proof of that-- as it is to the imagination inspired by art in general. Yes, the people who the movie focuses on are probably obsessive kooks (that the movie does not judge, going far to prove just how plausible these theories are), and we can roll our eyes if we like, but isn't this sort of imagination exactly what art is supposed to inspire?

with love from CRS @ 12:33 PM 


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