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Room 237 2013

UNRATED CC

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, 43 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 (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon 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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...in arguing with the theories laid out here. The point is how obsessive these fans are and on that level its a fascinating experience. I always admired the technical brilliance of Kubrick's film along with Shelley Duvall's performance though not much else, but Room 237 sent me back to it with a different attitude and a better appreciation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I guess I am reviewing the movie more than the product. LOL.

Just have a open mind when watching...

I love Documentary styled movies and This is one of those ones that takes an idea and expands upon it from 3 or 4 different persons point-of-views. There are essentially 4 different people interviewed about how they interpret "hidden" meanings within Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". I will not go into detail about who they are and will just briefly touch upon here what the put forward on the DVD. The 1st person interviewed leans toward the idea that there are a lot of hidden meanings within the film about the Genocide of the American Indian. The 2nd person is a women who puts forth the amount of references there are to mazes and the minotaur as a mythical being within the content of the film. The 3rd person puts forth the idea that he is touching upon WWII and the extermination of the Jews. Finally, the 4th person puts forth the notion that the film is about how Stanley Kubrick faked all the pictures and screen footage we ever saw about the Apollo Missions and the Moon Landings. He does state that he believes we have went to the Moon just that none of the footage we've ever seen is real footage from there.

I can say after watching NONE of there opinions swayed me to their ideas per say but it is interesting to watch. Go into it without biased and you will not be disappointed.
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