Saturday, October 5, 2013

Room 237 (2012)

Director: Rodney Ascher

Writer: Rodney Ascher

Composers: William Huston, Jonathan Snipes

Starring: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner, buffy Visick

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Some movies stay with you forever...and ever...and ever.

Plot: A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within 'Stanley Kubrick (I)' 's Kubrick' 's film The Shining (1980). The film may be over 30 years old but it continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery. Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments. Together they'll draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Wow.  Where to start and finish this up quickly enough so I can move onto something else.  Hmmmm.  The theories espoused in this flick are off the charts.  The subjects that have them are looking waaaaaaay too much into THE SHINING (1980), finding all kinds of off the wall stuff.  One guy sees this as Kubrick's examination of the Holocaust.  Soak that in a little.  One gal sees a poster of a downhill skier as a minotaur instead, helping her assertion that the picture is steeped in Greek mythology (look, I'm making this sound far saner than it really is - there's a lot more to it but you'll need to watch it to find out).  But of all of the crackpot theories, the one that takes the cake is Kubrick included clues in the film to let viewers know his biggest, most explosive secret...that the U.S. government hired him to film the fake moon landing.  I know, right?  There's so much goofball shit in this picture that it's making me dizzy trying to pick out the weirdest shit.  Here's one:

That's right, someone sees the paper tray as an erect penis of the guy to the left of it.  He's not saying it is his dick more than it's suggestive.  While this may sound wildly entertaining (I suggest watching it with friends familiar with THE SHINING and spend the duration of the film picking the theories apart between bouts of laughter), it's not all that good.  Not once do we get to see any of these folks and everything we're getting visually is clips from Kubrick's films, other films, images, etc. that are manipulated to ape what's being said and some of it poorly. It felt like a missed opportunity.  For the first third I thought this was for real, that the documentary is siding with its subjects but after a while I kind of felt that maybe it was just showcasing how far people will go looking for conspiracies and perceived hidden meanings in things where they just don't exist.  If I ever met anyone like these people I would be overjoyed to be able to sit with them and pick their brains.  I'd sit there the entire time with the world's biggest internal grin but it would be an experience.  Maybe I should have watched this one with friends and then cleansed the palette with THE SHINING as Kubrick intended. Great fucking trailer. I had a hard on for this ever since I saw the trailer about a year ago.  Sigh.

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