12) Room 237 [5.5]

Many movies lend themselves to dramatic interpretations, but none as rich and far ranging as Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”. We hear from people who have developed far-reaching theories and believe they have decoded the hidden symbols and messages buried in the late director’s film. (2013)

(Considering that Room 237 is comprised entirely of footage from Stanley Kubrick’s films, I’ve pulled the still above from The Shining).

Authorial intent rubs up against conspiracy theories in Room 237. Having been an English Lit major, I sat in far too many classes where students would make arguments about a text without using any context whatsoever. In Room 237, the theorists–only presented in voiceover format–go to some pretty outlandish places with their interpretations, and only in a few instances does it sound like outright lunacy. The cheesy organ music has a kooky quality to it that underscores the occasional craziness. The director doesn’t seem to pass too much judgement, with the exception of a well placed use of Jack Torrance’s line, “Anything you say, Lloyd. Anything you say”.

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