Room 237 An Interesting Tribute to Kubrick’s Genius

Courtesy:  MPI Home Video/IFC Films

Courtesy: MPI Home Video/IFC Films

Strange.  Twisted.  Bizarre.  Odd.  Any and every one of these terms are perfectly fitting for the new documentary Room 237.  The documentary, which focuses on director Stanley Kubrick’s vision of author Stephen King’s novel by the same name, has been met with relatively mixed reviews.  Most of those reviews have been anything but positive.  It’s easy to see just why the reactions to Room 237 would be so negative.  Those that share their thoughts throughout the near two hour documentary echo the idea that Kubrick’s idea not just with The Shining but with the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey was to make audiences think.  And just as those movies make audiences think, so does this latest release from IFC Films Midnight.  Yes, the ideas presented here are about as out there as those presented on History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, but in the bigger picture of things, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, as out there as they might be, they really help to illustrate Kubrick’s brilliance.

Those that are familiar with Stephen King’s books (and the movies based on his books) know just how much distaste King had for Kubrick’s take on his book.  But in Kubrick’s defense, his adaptation of King’s book stood quite well on its own two feet even as its own work.  It stood so well that some three decades plus after its debut, conspiracy theories continue to abound over its imagery.  That is where Room 237 comes into play.  Fair warning to those that take the time to sit down and watch this documentary, the conspiracy theories that are bandied about throughout this program are pretty out there to say the least.  There are theories about the imagery in The Shining hiding secret holding meaning about the genocide of different groups.  There are crackpot theories centered on mythology, numerology and somehow even the supposed faking of the moon landing.  Yes, somehow, someone even found time to link The Shining to the conspiracy theory about whether or not the moon landing even happened.  These people obviously had far too much time on their hands.  But that’s beside the point.  In defense of the faceless conspiracy theorists, they do manage to defend their arguments, as wild as they may be.  That much can be said of them even if their theories are completely out there.

The theories thrown around throughout the course of Room 237 are definitely as out there as conspiracy theories can be.  This is the case even for theories brought about from a movie.  But the very fact that so many theories have been dreamed up makes an even bolder statement that audiences should consider.  It makes the statement that Stanley Kubrick really was the genius that everyone said he was behind the camera.  Even though he is no longer with us, it shows why he is still the respected individual today that he was today.  Not many directors have an eye like he did for details.  For that matter, few directors could generate so much discussion to this day.  Did Kubrick really intend for people to find everything that they have found?  Did he really have some hidden agenda in moving a chair or a sticker of one of the seven dwarves?  And really, did he intend to send a message about Jack being sexually confused?  What?  It’s all in Room 237.  Regardless of what one believes, the fact that Kubrick could lead so many people to come up with such wild ideas makes this a documentary entirely worth watching at least once.  It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from MPI Home Video and IFC Films.  It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Room-237-Blu-ray-Bill-Blakemore/dp/B00D6I7CSQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1380408584&sr=1-3&keywords=room+237.

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IFC Films To Release New Documentary On Kubrick’s Adaptation Of The Shining

Courtesy:  IFC FIlms

Courtesy: IFC FIlms

IFC Films releases the next documentary in its IFC Films Midnight series next month.  Room 237 will be released on double-disc DVD and Blu-ray on September 24th,  the same day that Doctor Sleep will be released.  Doctor Sleep is the long-awaited follow-up to author Stephen King’s hugely popular horror novel, The Shining.  The upcoming novel follows a now grown up Danny Torrance as he uses his “shining” as he works with elderly patients at a nursing home.

Most people know that The Shining was adapted for the big screen with famed director Stanley Kubrick at the helm.  What some might not know is King’s opinion of Kubrick’s take on his novel.  For those that don’t, King was never pleased by the treatment, thus leading him to helming an adaptation of his own for the small screen.  Now thanks to IFC Films, audiences will get a deeper look at Kubrick’s adaptation of King’s novel, and the hotel that would be the inspiration for the hotel in the movie.

Directed by Rodney Ascher, Room 237 attempts to decode the hidden meanings, symbols, and theories that viewers believe are strewn throughout the movie through first-hand interviews with a variety of figures.  The alleged meanings, symbols and theories were developed by audiences, scholars, and critics alike and have lived on since the movie’s original debut over three decades ago.  The new documentary was named an Official Selection at the 2012 Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto film festivals.  It took home the Best Director Prize at the Fantastic Fest.  Its upcoming double-disc DVD and Blu-ray presentation comes with a handful of special features, listed below.

* “The mastermind Speaks: Commentary with Kevin McLeod.” McLeod is a key figure in the online examination of Kubrick’s film.

* “Secrets of The Shining,” an hour-long panel discussion from the first Stanley Film Festival, an event at Colorado’s historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired one-time guest Stephen King to write his novel.

* 11 Deleted Scenes

* The Making of the Music Featurette

* Mondo Poster Design Discussion with Artist Aled Lewis

* Trailers

Room 237 will be available on double-disc DVD and Blu-ray September 24th for an MSRP of $27.98 and $29.98 respectively. More information on Room 237 and other releases from IFC Films is available online at http://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial and http://www.IFCFilms.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.