Room 237

(DVD - 2013)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Room 237
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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.
Statement of Responsibility: IFC Midnight & Highland Park Classics present ; executive producers P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes ; produced by Tim Kirk ; directed by Rodney Ascher
Title: Room 237
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : IFC Films : Distributed by MPI Media Group, 2013
Edition: Two-disc special edition
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (approximately 102 minutes) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
4 3/4 in., rda
digital, optical, surround, rda
laser optical, NTSC, rda
video file, DVD video, Region 1, rda
Content Type: two-dimensional moving image
Media Type: video
Carrier Type: videodisc
Notes: Originally produced as a documentary film in 2012
"Neither this film, nor any view or opinion expressed in it, nor the context in which film footage and images are used, is approved of endorsed by, or is in any way associated with, they Kubrick 1981 Trust, Stanley Kubrick's family, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., or anyone else connected with the making of the motion picture 'The Shining' ("'The Shining' Filmmakers"). The views and opinions expressed in this documentary film are solely those of the commentators in it and do not reflect the views of Stanley Kubrick or 'The Shining' filmmakers."--Container
Special features: The mstrmnd speaks: commentary with Kevin McLeod; Secrets of 'The Shining': Panel discussion from the First Annual Stanley Film Festival; 11 deleted scenes; The making of the music featurette; Mondo poster design discussion with artist Aled Lewis; Trailer; Alternate trailers
Credits: Music, Jonathan Snipes & William Hutson and the Caretaker.
Performers: Interviews with: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner.
Summary: 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.
Audience: Not rated
System Details: DVD, NTSC region 1, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) presentation; Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Language: In English; Spanish subtitles; English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH)
Subject Headings: Kubrick, Stanley Shining (Motion picture) Horror films History and criticism Horror films Interviews
Genre/Form: Documentary films
Nonfiction films
Filmed interviews
Video recordings for the hearing impaired
Topical Term: Horror films
Horror films
Publisher No: IFC9879
ISBN: 0788617125
Branch Call Number: DVD 792.981 R
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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.

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.

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

Jan 19, 2014
  • pronto1961 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I had no idea the shining had this kind of following. truly.

Dec 24, 2013
  • Glencoe_Mike rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyable as a tribute to Kubrick, as a look at people's obsessions and as a tweak at film scholars. Great soundtrack too. A lot of fun.

Dec 10, 2013
  • Ryan Akler-Bishop rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I can tell you right now, that “Room 237” is going to be a lot of fun to review due to the fact that the film itself is merely “fun” and not much more. The film consists of several people obsessed with Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic, “The Shining”. These conspiracy theorists begin to express their opinions on subtle moments in the film and what the film truly means. It’s a genuine marvel observing these people claim that “Room 237” is a metaphor for the American Indian genocide, for the the holocaust and even a statement on how Kubrick actually was the one to fake the moon landing. The theories go on and on, and I must say, there wasn’t a single moment I wished it would end.

Is there any truth to what these people are saying? In my opinion, I think it’s complete nonsense. I believe that Stanley Kubrick simply wanted to make a more interesting film that his previous film (“Barry Lyndon”). I am not a huge fan of “The Shining”, and I admit, I am one of the few people who cannot see why it is considered a masterpiece. Nonetheless, my lack of respect for the film did not diminish the quality of “Room 237”.

I take with me from “Room 237” even more evidence that people will look for meaning where there very likely, is none. People are so obsessed with complete understanding of the world that they will invent utterly ridiculous theories. I think that’s the subconscious intent embed into the film director, Rodney Ascher. I highly doubt this message was a reason for making this film, but it most certainly is there. Perhaps there’s truly nothing to analyze in both “The Shining” and “Room 237”, but people will always have an obsession to find a hidden message, because we can never accept the act of not knowing.

One could praise “Room 237” for being able to create a decent film with such a low quality, but personally, it created a distracting sensation that occasionally tested my patience. For example, during one of the audio narrations by the one of the conspiracists, he gets up and starts getting his cat/dog/baby to shut up. I truly cannot see anything this would add to the film, and I bet that it’s probably in there for some kind of joke, but I was simply frustrated by it and nothing more. That said, the film’s low budget is very clear throughout, in fact, the only footage used in the film is that of Kubrick’s films and footage of the Overlook Hotel. One could claim that this adds to it’s focus on “The Shining”, but to me, it felt restricting. I cannot blame the film for having a small budget, but I felt as though I was expected to excuse the film for all of it’s budget related flaws.

I’ve done enough criticizing of “Room 237” because I don’t want to give the idea that I did not enjoy the film, because I quite liked it. The greatest genius that has emerged from this film is how well it knows it’s audience. The clear target audience is the cinema lovers with will suck anything Kubrick related up, especially in depth analyses. Again, not being a fan of “The Shining” will make me the outsider on this one, but you can clearly tell how well Rodney Ascher has rolled the dice to ensure respect from the audience.

Overall, “Room 237” is a fun film for any film lover. I’m the living proof that you don’t even really need to enjoy “The Shining” to enjoy this film. The movie is witty and clever, however, it’s certainly flawed.

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Aug 08, 2013
  • libguy_1 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Room 237 trailer

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app08 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49