Room 237's Latest Poster Hints At Its Twisting Center
"Have you seen Room 237?" was a common refrain at last year's New York Film Festival. The odd doc that premiered at Sundance earlier in 2012, had leapt to Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, with plenty of other fest appearances in between. By the time it landed in New York, the critic community was abuzz, and couldn't quit comparing notes.
Fittingly, the film is a maze of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror classic The Shining. Director Rodney Asher explored conflicting theories about the film's meaning, and rather than the typical talking heads format docs are accustomed to, he never showed those interviewed. Instead, he illustrated their arguments by stringing together a sprawling montage made up of scenes from Kubrick films and old school B-movies. It not only makes for an engaging doc, but a weird and winding good time. Fittingly, the film's new poster—courtesy of EW—teases its labyrinthine nature.
While there were scads of remarkable movies at NYFF this year, none was as fun to watch in a crowd as Room 237. Leaping from one man's insistence that the whole film is Kubrick's confession for a historical deception, to other devoted fan's claims The Shining is about the Nazis, or the white man's destruction of the Native Americans, it's easy to get entangled in a group titter. Of course, some of these assertions may seem crazy, but the reflexive fun of Room 237 is that every true cinephile has a pet theory their friends have scoffed at, and so in some sense can relate.
At it's core, Room 237 is about the magic of movies, and how once they hit that screen they belong to all of us, to dissect and rearrange to fit our needs as we see fit. The movie is the lock, and our imaginations the key to opening the door to wherever our minds want to wonder.
Room 237 opens in limited release on March 29th.
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