Archive of films Room 237 / Room 237
2012, 104 min
Section: Out of the Past
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining stands proudly among cinematic cult offerings. But not even his most diehard fans would imagine how many hidden meanings, symbols, and metaphors it conceals. Premiered at Sundance, the documentary analyzes the popular film down to the last detail.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is undeniably one of the cult films of world cinema. But not even its most die-hard fans are aware how many hidden meanings, symbols and metaphors lie buried deep inside the movie. American documentarist Rodney Ascher has been obsessed by the film since his childhood. He thus decided, with the assistance of five Kubrickologists, to subject it to a thorough analysis. Creating the kind of creepy atmosphere which pervades The Shining, the director uses excerpts from the film and bold hypotheses to present interesting theories about its connections with the work of celebrated communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, or its references to the tragic fate of the Native Indians, the Second World War, the Holocaust, or Jung’s concept of synchronicity. It would be difficult to say which of the above-mentioned theories would have appealed to the filmmaker himself, but he would certainly have been amused to know that, 32 years on, The Shining was still generating so many fierce debates.
About the director
Rodney Ascher directed the film The S From Hell (2010) which, like the documentary Room 237, premiered at Sundance and then travelled the world festival circuit. Archer is known for his genre-blurring work and has made countless short films, as well as commercials for such clients as EA Games, Capitol Records and VH1. His work has also been presented in the San Francisco Museum and the George Eastman House. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.