Sundance 2012 Review: Room 237

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I love horror movies. You all pretty much know that already or else you wouldn’t even be on this blog. And many of you know that one of my all time favorite movies from any genre is The Shining. To me there’s almost nothing bettter than Kubrick’s masterpiece. But lately right now I’m obsessed with documentaries. I’m watching them constantly. While most recent studio movies are leaving me feeling blah, documentaries are filling that void with riveting and interesting ideas. So imagine how excited I was when I read about Room 237, a documentary about The Shining!! It’s like I’ve died and gone to my own personal heaven.

Knowing where I’m coming from, it’s almost preconceived that I was going to love this movie, and SHOCKER I did, insanely. Room 237 is all about Kubrick and his masterpiece, but not in a typical way. It’s a deep study about the meanings, metaphors, parables, and even conspiracy theories that Kubrick uses and/or hides in his film. Talking to different voices ranging from scholars, professors, and just obsessors, Kubrick’s masterpiece is picked apart more fiercely than road kill by coyotes. And it’s an absolute fascinating journey.

Using the fair use copyright law, the entire film is shown in pieces and picked apart showcasing these many theories in detailed ways that honestly make you watch every single piece of the puzzle differently. Everything from the usage of a specific kind of canned baking powder in the background of certain shots to how the dissolves actually were made to dissolve in a certain way to cause an overlapping image that says something else, no stone is left unturned. It’s absolutely fascinating.

Now, even though I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that was presented, like one theorist’s “connection” to Kubrick’s involvement in faking the moon landing and his apparent “admission” in using certain images in the Shining (I’m serious), that’s not the point here. You’re not supposed to agree with everything that’s being said. It’s merely all here as a showcase to reveal that Kubrick, a man with a 200 IQ level had a purpose for everything. It’s meant to show that while no one may fully understand his work, one thing everyone can agree on, he was making more than simple movies. He was making art. And art never has one simple explanation.

If you’re a Shining or Kubrick fan at all, it is an absolute requirement to watch this movie.

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