Sunday, February 23, 2014

Room 237 (2012)

Director: Rodney Ascher

A documentary showing several people's interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film 'The Shining'.

The interpretations include the Indian genocide on which the modern America is built, Jewish Genocide by the Nazis and the fake moon landing. The overlook hotel was built on an Indian burial ground and there are plenty of Indian artifacts and clues given in the film film to say for sure that it is a theme tackled by Kubrick in this film. He apparently had a team sent to the original hotel who stayed there for three months and took several photographs and did a  great deal of research on Colorado's history. The Jewish genocide theory is built mainly due to the repeated appearance of number 42 in the film. The film shows the lengths to which these people go to interpret 'The Shining'. One guy is said to have screened the film backwards and forwards to see how the image superimpose over each other and interpret what Stanley is offering. That just is too much and I don't think even Kubrick would have gone that far too give clues. The third moon landing theory is based on the Apollo 11 T-shirt worn by Daney and the popular conspiracy theory that Kubrick shot the fake moon landing footage and he is trying to convey this secret through this film. Also the manager of hotel has a resemblance to JFK. Out of the three theories the last one is the most crackpot one.

It doesn't matter whether the director consciously intended any of these stuff in his film. We as audience are free to interpret it anyways we want especially when the film is coming from a man with an IQ of 200. I liked the part where they show how Stanley Kubrick deviated from Stephen King's source material and have a yellow VW instead of red one and later on the film a red VW is shown wrecked, a big 'Fuck You' from Kubrick to King.

'The Shining' is an interesting film to compare Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. Kubrick was inspired by Lynch's debut feature 'Eraserhead' while making this film. Also the posters of 'Elephant Man' is shown side by side with that of the Shining in Eyes Wide Shut. David Lynch deals exclusively with what is inside our minds whereas Kubrick shows great interest in dealing with History and Current Affairs at an elevated arty level. I consider them as my favorite two filmmakers but when it comes to surreal I prefer David Lynch's no holds barred approach. Kubrick is just unique, having made masterpieces in almost all the genres.

Rating: 4/5