Room 237

Being An Inquiry Into The Shining in 9 Parts

DVD - 2013
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Room 237
In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Over 30 years later we're still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. Rodney Ascher's wry and provocative documentary fuses fact and fiction through interviews with both fanatics and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick's still-controversial classic.

Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : IFC Films : Distributed by MPI Media Group, [2013]
Edition: Two-disc special edition widescreen version
ISBN: 0788617125
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.430233 ROOM
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (approximately 102 minutes) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in


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Mar 25, 2015
  • rudyone rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Wow! Reading these comments shows me that film art is hightly unappreciated. Please see "Last year in marienbad" so that you experience Alain Resnais' masterpiece that is studied in film schools. "Last year..." had similar devices, such as clothes suddenly changing from white to black from one seen to the next. The whole point to film art is to move the audience with cinematic style so as to feel uneasy, fear, sadness etc., and move the story along visually. The artist can embed symbolic elements as homage to others, or whatever his own idiosycratic interests are. That's art. Look at the Mona Lisa painting. What's wrong with it? Why do You keep looking at it? Perhaps the background plays tricks on your perception of her smile/frown? What makes that painting so famous. This is the fun of studying art and the pleasure of discovery. You, the viewer, constructs this outer world. The "interviewees" in this documentary are seeing and creating what the left hemisphere in we humans does -- create meaning through pattern detection. Have fun with their crazy constructions. There's no real meaning here. The artist's creation is and should be ambiguous enough so we create our own personal meaning.

Mar 06, 2015
  • chichico rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Inspired by the folks who brought you the "Paul is Dead" proof.

Dec 13, 2014
  • akirakato rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a 2012 documentary directed by Rodney Ascher about perceived meanings in Stanley Kubrick's film: "The Shining."
The film includes footage from "The Shining" as well as "2001: A Space Odyssey" along with discussions by a number of Kubrick enthusiasts.
It has nine segments, each segment focusing on different elements within the film which may reveal hidden clues and hint at a bigger thematic oeuvre.
When I watched "The Shining" for the first time, I thought I wasted my time and money.
I didn't like it at all nor could I understand what it tried to tell the audience.
This documentary helped me understand "The Shining" to a certain extent.
For example, "The Shining" has something to do with the Holocaust and it is related to "2001: A Space Odyssey."
However, Kubrick didn’t tell the audience what to think or how to think.
If everyone came out thinking something differently, Kubrick might've thought that it was fine with him because "The Shining" was a product of his personal experiences.
In a nutshell, I think, "The Shining" is pure gibberish to an ordinary person.

Nov 16, 2014
  • Bazooka_Joe rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

In 2013 Leon Vitali (who served as a personal assistant to director Stanley Kubrick during the filming of 1980's "The Shining") was asked to give his candid opinion regarding Rodney Ascher's documentary called "Room 237".

This film, which came out 32 years after The Shining's original release, features five faceless people who offer their own personal interpretations of The Shining, a movie which they all adamantly claim holds all sorts of truly fascinating and mind-boggling "hidden" messages and meanings in its imagery and its storyline.

Well - To make a long story short - In just 3 small words Vitali quickly summed up Room 237 in a literal nutshell - (And I quote) - "It's pure gibberish!" - (End of quote).

And, you know what? - If that's how Vitali views Room 237, then, hey, that's good enough for me, as well.

Now, I don't want to get too carried away here with my criticism of Room 237, but I do want to say that this is the sort of documentary that (if you're insane) will make perfect sense to you. It places you right inside that kind of illogical mentality.

Room 237 works solely on the assumption that director Stanley Kubrick (just like "God") worked in mysterious ways - And, with that, he made The Shining not as horror-movie entertainment but as a seemingly endless barrage of metaphors (for this and for that and for just about everything under the sun).


Sep 22, 2014
  • VRMurphy rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

It's worth watching if you're a bit of a film geek, and I do love the ideas of hidden symbolism and that an author's intent is not always essential to a viewer's interpretation of a work of art. That being said - wow, some people have a lot of time to develop these theories. I agree with reviewer Bewlay that the panel discussion in the extra features was a hoot (example - someone goes on & on re the symbolism in a chair being present in one shot and not in another; Kubrick crew member says flatly, nope, just a continuity issue). Folks, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sep 08, 2014

I think the best part of this film is the panel discussion DVD extra where Kubrick's crew member slams the entire premise of this film.

Aug 25, 2014
  • cinecita rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

a horrible, horrible, horrible waste of time.

i was excited to see this movie. i'm not the biggest fan of kubrick. for me, save for a few of his first movies, he's too self indulgent, too cold, to cerebral, and hellishly boring. so, i thought, the idea of a movie about people like me, who adore constructing theories about movies, might be the thing to make me reconsider kubrick. instead i was subjected to 2 hours of the most absurd film theories i've ever heard.

this is how *not to* construct a film theory 101.

these people were concocting theories about anything and everything. a can of noodle soup in one scene? great, the movie is about cooking. wtf, people? look: if you're going to construct a theory about a film the main guide has to be consistency. does your theory hold true for the whole film? are there things that might refute your theory in the film? does the symbolism you apply really build on other symbols? they never bother to ask these basic questions, so the result is a waste of time.

the worst is the one about how the building interior could not have existed irl. seriously? it's called editing. considering that you could say the same about 98% of movie interiors AND exteriors, why is this in the film? have they never seen a chase sequence in a film? they are always geographically jumbled. this made me think, does she--- or the film makers--- even understand the way films work?

the only thing that is more incomprehensible than this film is why anybody would make or even want to watch this film more than once.

Feb 12, 2014

An unnecessary film.

Feb 10, 2014

It's not often you get to watch a movie about a movie, and this one is very compelling. We learn how detailed Kubrick is with his movie making, his love for structural patterns in particular. I'll have to re-watch The Shining now.

Feb 01, 2014
  • bears1985 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ok first I was expecting a horror movie not the history, theories, etc about a horror movie! I was hoping for a nice scary movie, that said it was interesting to see all the theories and people with way much time on there hands to come up with this stuff like overlaying the film with one going forward and the other starting at the end going backward and seeing how it all lines up oh well it comes down to this it's a movie about a movie pretty well done so if you are into that this is for you

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