Room 237

room 237 What is truth - ★★★½

What is truth – ★★★½

With one seemingly unbelievable theory after another, Room 237 presents the numerous interpretations people have compiled over the thirty plus years since The Shining’s release. While some are certainly coincidence or bad continuity you can’t help but wonder, given the genius of Stanley Kubrick, if there isn’t more to this than first appears.

Rodney Ascher has painstakingly compiled a conspirator’s handbook for The Shining ranging from the credible to the down right insane. We look at the symbolism of the holocaust, the genocide of the native American population, Greek mythology and even have time for the 1969 moon landing. What sets Ascher’s documentary apart from most is the total lack of talking heads. He uses scenes from the film inter-cut with other Kubrick classics to tell the story, enabling him to pause, highlight and contrast the points the voice-overs are making. Some might see this as a dangerous move but it’s quite clever as without the talking heads we can focus on the core issue of the film, without having to constantly cut back and forth to whoever is setting out their argument. Many of the reasons for talking heads is to grandstand about who you were able to get for your documentary. With this work the contributors are largely unknown and by not seeing them we are unable to dismiss them as mere cranks or crazies.

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