Thursday, April 25, 2013

ROOM 237 (2012) movie review

Room 237
d. Ascher, Rodney (USA)

Listening and observing devotees point out quirky details and idiosyncrasies within Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining is an intriguing prospect unto itself. Unfortunately, it’s when they start ascribing these details to flimsy conspiracy theories regarding hidden messages the notoriously measured director was supposedly inserting into the film that things get really hokey.

I loved having The Overlook’s bizarre, “impossible” geography pointed out to me, and the notion that Kubrick was involved in faking the footage for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing is intriguing to say the least, but I don’t think the onscreen clues add up to a very convincing argument for any of the half dozen hypotheses laid out as to what he was “really trying to say.” Likewise, Ascher’s insistence on including dozens of unrelated visual references to Kubrick’s other films (as well as some real head scratchers like Lamberto Bava’s Demons) feels like grasping for conclusions and connections that aren’t really there.  Genuinely puzzled at the pervasive critical love for this one - another conspiracy, perhaps?

1 comment:

  1. I'll be seeing this for myself in a couple of weeks -- and I'm happy to report that the cinema on campus is also screening the original film, so I'll finally be able to see it on the big screen as Kubrick intended.