One film I wasn’t sure would ever see a standard release is Rodney Ascher‘s fascinating documentary Room 237, picking apart Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. I was happily wrong, as IFC Films has picked it up for a release later in 2012 on VOD and in theaters. Even though it uses and alters footage from not only The Shining, but many Kubrick films including Eyes Wide Shut, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Paths of Glory, the documentary falls under the fair use category, not needing clearance from Warner Bros. [Deadline]
The film is broken down into nine segments, each chapter focusing on a different specific element of The Shining that may reveal hidden clues and hint at at a bigger thematic oeuvre. These range from background art decor of Native Americans and symbols referencing Nazi Germany to camera movement and long dissolves creating subliminal illusions with subtle image juxtaposition. It’s the type of thing you would only notice after obsessively re-watching a film scene by scene, moment by moment, for any peculiarities that might jump out. Some examples go even farther, from mapping out the geography of the hotel to carefully dissecting the bike pattern that young Danny follows. For the die hard fans it’s all very fascinating and extremely revelatory to show potential methods Kubrick was using to subtly manipulate the audience.
Room 237 is also said to show at Cannes Film Festival and New Directors/New Film series in New York.
Are you happy you’ll get a chance to see this documentary?