Room 237Original Title: Room 237
Director: Rodney Ascher
USA | English
| Colour and B&W
Has a film ever enthralled your heart, soul and imagination to the point of obsession? In 1980, director Stanley Kubrick released his classic horror film, The Shining
. More than 30 years later, viewers are still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. Loved and hated by equal numbers, the film is considered a genre standard by many loyalists, while other viewers
dismiss it as the lazy result of a legendary auteur working far below his talent level. In between these two poles, however, live the theories of ardent fans who are convinced they have decoded The Shining
’s secret messages regarding genocide, government conspiracy and the nightmare we call history.
Working in a horror movie-influenced visual style, with an appropriate soundtrack, and brimming
with well-chosen clips, Rodney Ascher’s Room 237
fuses fact and fiction through interviews
with the fans and scholars who espouse these wild theories. Five devotees of the film – a journalist, a professor, a musician, an artist and an ‘erudite conspiracy hunter’ – with extremely different ideas about its true meaning are braided together in a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of the horror classic.
Ascher says, “I’m not sure that we’ve definitely solved the mysteries of The Shining
(if such a thing is possible in less than two hours), but hopefully we’ve shed a little light on the way people interact with powerful works of art, whether a film by one of the few masters of the form, a painting such as The Last Supper
, or Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’
– Alissa Simon