Monday, March 4, 2013

Room 237 Preview The New "The Shining" Doc

Room 237 , a documentary on The Shining, one of the most discussed films on the net and over coffee with friends, has held my interest over the last few months. A film based on the work of Stephen King and the LACMA exhibit of a director, Stanley Kubrick has been part of the pop culture and film fandom for years. Now a new film captures the opinions of five disembodied voices strung together from the director of "The S from Hell".

Room 237 captures that the The Shining, one of the most well crafted horror movies of all time, still leads to people thinking, conversing and coming up with their own opinions about what happened. It's a great example of what a perfect film can drive people to care about including the smallest details. To search for deeper meanings and to find links to symbolism and certain themes the film looks to five extreme fans of the work.  The Shining's greatest achievement is laid out in this doc by it still being discussed today with such passion. This doc will further lead people to form their own opinions and have conversations with others, not on whose in it or the cost, but what did it all mean? What scared you? There might be nothing better to a director than their film capturing others to pursue it's true meaning years after it's been made and The Shining is a perfect film to draw you in and also leave you horrified.

You might be scared by how techncial it can get on some scenes. Not all of it is the fun theory, but actual walk throughs on how the Overlook Hotel, the hotel in The Shining, doesn't properly exist. I've read about it online before, how the Hotel can't be real by how people move throughout it and rooms couldn't exist that close to each other. You get detailed analysis as to how the structure couldn't work in reality, lending it to be somewhat of a dream or nightmare place. Perhaps, I read about it from one of the interviewees who are such fans of the work they've created their own web-sites, maps, and films about the film.

The film was not what I expected of the usual documentary format. Five different voices spread out their thoughts about the true meaning of the film and fun hidden little treats about inaccuracies with the hotel and shots, the dream like state of the film and some off-the-wall ideas make this film up. Many of the theories of what the film meant including: America killing off Indians, the Holocaust, and the moon landing being faked were fun steps in the dark that are rationally explained by people who adamantly believe there opinions. You will laugh at some of their theories and never look at the same scene again without thinking about a penis joke. There's another great moment that might haunt you where Stephen King is told to go F himself, but this is just one man's opinion of what a car accident in the film meant.

Format wise you hardly get much more than a clip show of the film and spliced up work from Kubrick's films. It wasn't too unnerving, but a friend got annoyed to have no faces to connect each disembodied voice to. The voices different opinions  are also sliced up, so you'll be switching from one person's opinion to the next with very little details on whose still talking. The format is fine, but I thought there would be more of central character/narrator to get behind or walk with or maybe even just someone who reveals themselves. Possibly someone popping up at one of the hotels where The Shining is film would be nice. You do connect with each voice, by a great introduction of how each of them first saw the film and the each have their own theories, but maybe seeing them or even having just a piece of clip art to represent them would have helped.

A great moment to me was seeing this splicing of The Shining being played forwards and backwards at the same time and overlayed on top of each other creating some rather amazing visuals. Red-nosed, bleeding- eyed Jack Torrance might become an Internet meme. What other place would you see that?

Room 237, referring to the room where Jack gets it on with the nasty corpse woman, is a film for film buffs, those who love docs, or those who want to find out about where the penis joke in The Shining is. Watch it!

The films is due in theaters March 29 and On Demand same day.

The pictures used in this article aren't even in the film, it's from recent art based on The Shining, but multiple artist who still take delight on the the great style of the film.

Don't forget to check out the Stanley Kubrick retrospective at LACMA , there's a great section on The Shining as part of the exhibit. Ends June 30, 2013