Room 237 2013 UNRATED CC

Amazon Instant Video

(219) IMDb 6.3/10
Available in HD
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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.

Starring:
Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks
Runtime:
1 hour 44 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Room 237

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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

It's amusing to watch for a few minutes but gets boring after about a half hour.
Roger W. Anderson
I'm a fan of Kubrick's but have always had a slightly better than ambivalent view of The Shining, mostly for being a horror film that's not particularly frightening.
Lemo
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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 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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33 of 38 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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87 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I rented this knowing it was a documentary about theories into hidden meanings of the Shining. I didn't realize that so much credibility would be given to such flimsy material.

For example, one theory is that Stanley Kubrick did not make this movie as an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, he made it to let everyone know his part in the faked moon landing footage. Oh boy. One of the pieces of evidence provided is a door hanger that says "ROOM No 237". Please don't fool yourself into thinking that this means the hanger identifies Room Number 237. Oh no. Can't you see it? You can rearrange the capital letters to spell "MOON!" (they don't explain what the leftover R indicates. My theory is that if you add the "R" in the middle, you get "MORON" which is what you have to be if you buy into that nonsense)

I believe that the same conspiracy theorist describes how a shot of clouds has Stanley Kubrick's face superimposed in them. The film freezes this frame and there is no Stanley Kubrick superimposition there.

They hit a lot of the inane things people use to back up their bogus theories. Numerology, come on down! There's a woman who sees a poster of a skier who decides it looks like a minotaur and we go on a five minute ride to crazy town (spoiler alert: the hedge maze is a labyrinth). The contents of a kitchen pantry are important in not one but two different nutball theories.

All that said, the film is well done from a technical perspective and there are some nice moments. One commentator breaks down Danny's three big wheel rides and the movie provides a real time map to show how the pattern that the big wheel takes could represent levels or reality and character perspective.
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