Monday, 18 February 2013

Room 237, dir. Rodney Ascher, st. Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner

Room 237, Rodney Ascher's vivisection of Stanley Kubrick's seminal horror film The Shining made quite a splash when it landed at Sundance last year. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign and produced on a shoestring budget of a paltry $5000, the film has various voices - writers, journalists, and enthusiasts - throwing in their two pence worth's and claiming Kubrick's film contains hidden codes and meanings. Whether or not you really believe that The Shining is actually an allegory for the Holocaust or an elaborate confession from Kubrick to his wife that he faked the moon landings, there's much joy to be derived from following the dot-connecting and piecing together the clues. Not all the theories seem to hold water, but for anyone who believes Kubrick was a master of what the frame contained, and that in turn nothing appears in it by accident, Room 237 offers up some seductive suggestions of alternate readings or layers within certain scenes, sets, choreography and props. Using The Shining itself as the documentary's primary on-screen, close-text analytical source, Ascher's film makes for an irresistible and informative companion piece to its subject matter, and it'd be really something to see this packaged alongside Vivian Kubrick's Making The Shining film that accompanies The Shining's DVD release.