ROOM 237


Have you heard of Room 237? It’s a documentary/deconstruction of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film, The Shining. Actually, it’s a deconstruction of the significance of what might be insignificant and/or unintentional aspects of the film, as dreamed up (and believed) by fans in the 30+ years since its release. I’m a little late to the game in almost every way as I just watched The Shining (in full) last year and the documentary is already available on iTunes and (among others), but I was reading Frank Bruni’s NY-Times editorial on “slow tv” today and Tony Bartolone’s HuffPo review on Sunday and that’s two-too many signs. I must see it. Here’s how Bruni describes it:

“It’s a testament, hilarious at times, to the human genius for overanalysis. One “Shining” fan points to a German-made typewriter in the movie to support his theory that it’s a Holocaust parable; another cites the feathered-headdress logo on baking-powder cans in a few scenes for his belief that “The Shining” is about the massacre of American Indians. A desktop paper tray is determined to be a metaphoric erection, and so on. The abstruseness of some of “The Shining” is arguably a flaw, but “Room 237” reminds you that only an artistic work that resists tidy explanation can accommodate such enjoyable flights of interpretive fancy.”


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