Room 237 – documentary, USA, 2012

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‘Some movies stay with you forever… and ever… and ever’

Room 237 is a 2012 American documentary film directed by Rodney Ascher (The Nightmare) about perceived hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining. It was produced by Tim Kirk.

The film was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

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Room 237 includes footage from The Shining, and other Kubrick films, along with discussions by a number of the director’s enthusiasts. There are nine segments, with each segment focusing on different elements within the film which “may reveal hidden clues and hint at a bigger thematic oeuvre.”

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Reviews:

‘The whole thing is nutzoid but is about more than just The Shining. Room 237 captures the true nature of viewing, talking about and dissecting movies to the nth degree and it is infectious. It’s the best movie about a movie we’ve seen in ages.’ Ian Freer, Empire

“What makes Room 237 so powerful is the way it implies that this apophenia (look it up; you’ll be glad you did) is a necessary form of madness, one that critics and viewers should employ as they might a powerful demon, exercising great caution lest they lose themselves in the process.” Sam Adams, IndieWire

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‘The beauty of Room 237 is that it shouldn’t dampen on re-watches. While it’s not a masterwork in filmmaking by any stretch, its topic certainly is, propelling film fans and Kubrick aficionados into a maze of illuminating realizations and ideas that would otherwise never be clear to the untrained eye.’ Ty Landis, Sound on Sight

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Buy: Amazon.com

“The movie’s flaw is that it is sometimes unclear if it really is about The Shining – or merely about cracked and delusional interpreters. But it raises very interesting ideas about how we view a film, about what happens if we take the act of viewing down to a deeper, molecular level, and about how a movie’s significance and effect need not be those intentionally willed by the director.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

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Room 237 includes footage from the following films:

“The Shining” “Lolita” “Spartacus” “Eyes Wide Shut” “Paths of Glory” “Barry Lyndon” “2001: A Space Odyssey” “The Killing” “Fear and Desire” “Killer’s Kiss” “Dr. Strangelove” “A Clockwork Orange” “Full Metal Jacket” “Drums Along the Mohawk” “The Battle of Apache Pass” “The White Buffalo” “Sitting Bull at the Spirit Lake Massacre” “In the Land of War Canoes” “Apocalypto” “Schindler’s List” “The Eagle Has Landed” “The Beast in Heat” “Wolf” “An American Werewolf in London” “Merrie Melodies: Three Little Pigs” “Fellini Satyricon” “Capricorn One” “The Magic Mountain” “The Summer of ’42” “Agency” “The Brain from Planet Arous” “BrainWaves” “Dreamscape” “Spellbound” “Demons” “Demons 2” “All the President’s Men” “My Fair Lady” “Dr. Doolittle” “Faust” “The Legend of Hell House” “The Terror” “Looker” “Jesus Christ Superstar” “Creepshow” “The Thief of Bagdad”

Related:

The Shining

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