The Overlook Hotel. It was a great name for the snowbound setting of Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining,” and it remained an ominous moniker in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation. Now, thanks to Rodney Ascher’s documentary, “Room 237,” it’s a fitting echo of a document defined by an affection for, and scrutiny of, details which have been overlooked in the overall cultural interpretation of the horror classic.
Subtitled “Being an inquiry into The Shining in 9 parts,” Ascher’s film is exactly that. Made up entirely of film clips (most from “The Shining,” some from other Kubrick films, even more from unrelated films like “All the President’s Men” and “Apocalypto”) and audio interviews from those who have become experts of sorts on the subject: ABC correspondent Bill Blakemore, history professor Geoffrey Cocks, playwright Juli Kearns and more.
Depending on the speaker, the film is really about the genocide of Native Americans; for others, it’s clearly about the Holocaust. Or maybe it’s Kubrick slyly demonstrating spite for King’s original novel, or maybe the auteur is actually apologizing to his wife and the world for helping to fake the moon landing, given his experience in sci-fi with “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Some hypotheses are more far-fetched than others, but they all invite a new reading into a slippery study of psychological instability, and Ascher dispatches a welcome sense of humor about overthinking things on occasion to keep matters from getting too “freshman dorm room” for their own good. source: sundance review by William Gross
str**ming of “Room 237” here