My brain is twisted like a pretzel...and I sort of love it. Room 237 presents hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, The Shining. Was the eccentric filmmaker commenting on the genocide of Native Americans or Nazi Germany? Perhaps he was admitting his involvement in the alleged faking of the moon landing? Yes, this is what this film explores, and it only makes me want to dig more.
This documentary isn't like any I've seen before. A disclaimer at the beginning says that the thoughts and views expressed in the documentary have nothing to do with the people who made The Shining blah blah blah. The people who explain their theories (some feel like conspiracy theories) are never seen, and it makes it even creepier. One theory breaks down the structure of the Overlook Hotel in order to discuss how young Danny explores his new surroundings. It's very interesting to see how Kubrick makes us view the large hotel through the eyes of this young character.
I do not want to say much about the content of the movie, because I want everyone to find it for themselves. Besides all the theories being thrown around, another contributor tells us that, while working at a movie house, he is always looking for new ways of viewing movies. He decided to play the movie on top of itself, but the second copy play backwards. It reveals some pretty awesome imagery. Surely, Kubrick didn't do this on purpose (or did he...), but it's a cool exercise.
Other issues are brough up, such as possible continuity errors in the film. Kubrick was a perfectionist (he demanded on seeing every single costume for Barry Lyndon and many actor have stated that he demands many takes of the same scene), so I find it hard to believe there were slight little flaws lurking around his movie.
You might watch Room 237 and think it's total hooey. You may laugh at all the theories and think I am crazy for recommending it. I will guarantee one thing, though. You will think about this movie after you've seen it, and you will debate about what you think is intentional and what is fake. I have never seen a documentary like this, and it deserves to be seen. For those Pittsburghers out there, it is playing at the Harris Theatre downtown through Thursday, May 16th (you would also be supporting Pittsburgh Filmmakers who own the Harris, Regent Square and Melwood Screening Room). A friend told me it was also featured on On Demand currently.
Now if you excuse me, I have to watch The Shining again...