Room 237 2013 UNRATED CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(240) IMDb 6.3/10
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Rodney Ascher's wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick's still-controversial classic The Shining.

Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks
1 hour, 44 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Rodney Ascher
Starring Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks
Supporting actors Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner, Stephen Brophy, Ash Brophy, Buddy Black, Buffy Visick, Sam Walton, Scatman Crothers, Tom Cruise, Barry Dennen, Kirk Douglas, Keir Dullea, Shelley Duvall, Christoph Eichhorn, Thomas Gibson, Adolf Hitler, Emil Jannings
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating Unrated
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Stanley Kubrick is a master in film making.
Brad V.
It's just several people who apparently have nothing better to do than watch The Shining over and over and find little things that Kubrick put into the movie.
Jack M. Walter
Other theories regard its a film about the Holocaust, the genocide of the American Indians, or the mythological Minotaur.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Justin on October 4, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Most of the negative reviews here are from people who completely missed the point of this great documentary. This is NOT a documentary about the making of "The Shining." Not at all. In fact, this documentary makes it explicitly clear in the very first minute by putting up a disclaimer completely removing itself from any association of the film or the people who created it. It DOES NOT pretend to take a DEFINITIVE position as to the "actual" meaning of the film. Nor does it pretend to make definitive claims as to what Kubrick "really" meant when making this film. Not at all. The documentary's responsibility is very clear: to present the theories in one place for the viewer to take in themselves; to allow the viewer to entertain these theories the way they see fit.

This film doesn't force you to agree with any of the theories presented here. It's a documentary that simply lets you know that these theories exist--nothing more. You will see that the documentary's main focus is really about how a film can consume a person. This documentary is really about the relationship between film and its viewer. The film "The Shining" is merely a vehicle to tell the bigger story here: a representation of the love of cinema and how people see different things in films. Films are up for interpretation just like poems or books. This documentary celebrates that.

I'm not here to review the legitimacy of the theories but rather the intent of the documentary. The theories presented here may not work but the documentary as a whole most definitely works. I never knew that there were people out there that had studied "The Shining" this intensely. I never noticed the clues and hints that were pointed out.
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Format: Blu-ray
Although the documentary feature "Room 237" has received largely favorable notices from the mainstream media, there seems to be a disconnect with regular movie-goers. I think that this breakdown comes in the form of expectations. "Room 237" is NOT about Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." Not really. If you are looking for a critique about that movie, this is NOT it. Rather this is a study of obsessiveness and the art of amateur film theory. Each of the unseen subjects interviewed for the film have rather outlandish ideas about the hidden context of the 1980 horror endeavor. These aren't meant to be accepted at face value by the viewer. Some are quite preposterous, some are huge stretches, and some merely contradict the facts when necessary. What we see is how closely people relate to certain films and artists. As society has been consumed by the entertainment industry, these commentators all think they know the precise meaning of Kubrick's text regardless of how far-fetched it might appear to the rest of us. I, too, am a Kubrick scholar and have studied his work. But to dissect a movie in minute detail ascribing enormous significance to even the smallest bit of set dressing, it will boggle your mind!

"Room 237," therefore, is about this obsessive act of movie mania and not about the source film itself. "The Shining" just serves as the catalyst to examine this bizarre phenomenon. I didn't learn anything about the movie, but was instead pulled into the compulsive theorizing of the film's participants. There are some interesting individual points, to be sure, and amusing speculation, but I was more amused than enlightened. Was the film a commentary on the Holocaust or to the annihilation of the American Indian or Kubrick's confession to his role in the staged lunar landing?
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Fintan Ryan on September 20, 2013
Format: DVD
No I don't. But it is interesting that negative reviews seem to imagine the film-makers agree with the theories expounded by their theorists or that, if they don't, they should mock those theories or undermine them. The documentary shows you a bunch of things. Like. . . The mind's kind of an interesting place. Smart people can think some weird stuff. Weird stuff can pull you in. You can find yourself going 'Oh my God, yes' when really you should be going 'Oh my God'. There's such a thing as evidential bias. People believe what they want to believe. Why they want to believe it is mysterious. There might be some odd edifices in one's own head that could do with a stern look or a stick of dynamite. Some obsessives make some great things. Others maybe waste their lives. Stanley Kubric made a great movie.
None of these things are upsetting. I thought they made for beautiful documentary.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on October 5, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Room 237 reminded me of being a graduate student in a film studies program, surrounded by theories and ideas that are occasionally profound. This is not a typical film, or even documentary, but more of a visual essay on the possible meanings behind Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Some of the theories given throughout the film are a bit of a stretch, and there are times that the details being pointed out by the theorist aren't even entirely accurate. Part of what makes this film interesting is the variety of possibilities, all so very different.

The unique thing about this film is the fact that there is absolutely no new footage. It is all either footage taken directly from The Shining, or additional film footage from random movies which help to coincide with whatever the various theorists are discussing. There are a variety of main ideas found within The Shining, and each is argued by a veritable authority.

The main theories within Room 237 about The Shining's deeper meaning include discussion of the Holocaust, Native American Indians, the Apollo 11 moon landing, and even the past as a whole. Having the footage from the film play as the experts discuss the film is helpful when there seems to be truth behind their ideas, but it is a double-edged sword for those who are over-thinking and under-watching.

There is one section of the film where one of the supporting characters in the film is discussed and one theorist mentions a point where he sighs when asked to do something, but when the footage is shown, there is no sigh. There are also many issues of continuity discusses within the film, one involving the same actor's clothing in one of the scenes.
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