A popular hit at Sundance, Cannes and this year's London Film Festival, Rodney Ascher's documentary Room 237 explores the myriad of possible hidden meanings tucked away inside Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It's had enough attention to warrant a detailed press release, which for some reason it hasn't received, getting only a single sentence in the one sent to us, followed by the rather banal "a must see for movie buffs of all ages." No shit.
The film deserves more than this, so I'll borrow the BFI Festival Programme synopsis by Michael Hayden (which we've already used once to accompany our interview with director Rodney Asher and producer Tim Kirk, which you can watch here):
In 1980, Stanley Kubrick released The Shining. A horror film adapted from a best-selling Stephen King novel, it divided audiences and critics at the time, though it has latterly been celebrated as one of the director's masterpieces and remains a chilling standard for the genre. In over 30 years since its release, the cult following the film has garnered includes a number who insist that Kubrick was trying to do something other than just make a scary movie, that he implanted ideas about history and the world we live in throughout the film, littering it with codes to decipher. Rodney Ascher assembles footage from the film, astutely used clips from the director's work and other archive material, while allowing five authoritative voices to speculate what Kubrick was trying to tell the world when he made The Shining. The theories are appealingly bizarre at times, and while the ideas are often delivered with conviction, there's plenty of humour evident here. Room 237 is smart and inventive filmmaking that celebrates cinema with wit and originality.
Room 237 will be released on UK DVD on 11th February 2013 by Metrodome Distribution at the RRP of £19.99.