Film Festival Today

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Sundance Doc Unlocks Stanley Kubrick Mystery

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 6th, 2012

One of the more intriguing documentaries to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the enigmatic ROOM 237, which looks at an abundance of theories that have surrounded the Stanley Kubrick horror classic THE SHINING since its release in 1980. While the film, which starred Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, was one of Kubrick’s biggest box office hits, Kubrick crazies have always insisted that the film was more than just an adaptation of the Stephen King novella, and had many mysterious clues in it to things far more diabolical and strange. First time feature director Rodney Ascher, clearly a Kubrick geek, explores the hidden clues and meanings that are all intriguing, of somewhat far-fetched. For example, a fervent fan believes that Kubrick, the director of the landmark sci-fi epic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, helped the U.S. government stage the Apollo 11 moon landing, then planted clues about the conspiracy into the subtext of THE SHINING. Other theorists speculate the film is an allegory for white pioneers stealing the Native American land and plundering the native culture. ROOM 237 is named after the hotel room in the film that the movie’s psychic little boy is warned to avoid. Director Ascher explores the conspiracy theories and other symbols that have rocked the blogosphere since the invention of the internet. To speculate on the hidden messages in a film that came out over 30 years ago is a tribute to the continued fascination with Kubrick and his insular brand of filmmaking that may have contained many secrets yet to be revealed.

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