Rodney Ascher's superb doc delves into the secrets of the The Shining and the phenomenon of cinematic obsession.
Rodney Ascher (USA, Vanguard)
Thursday, September 13, 6 p.m.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)
Saturday, September 15, 5:45 p.m.
Cineplex Odeon Yonge and Dundas 2 (10 Dundas Street East)
Sunday, September 16, 12:00 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 (350 King Street West)
Presenting a formally ingenious forum for the fascinating theories of five Stanley Kubrick diehards, Room 237 pays tribute to both the enduring mysteries of horror classic The Shining, and to the obsessive strain of cinematic fandom the director’s films are so apt to inspire. Documentarian Rodney Ascher affords each of his interview subjects ample opportunity to stake a claim for their meticulously close readings of Kubrick’s 1980 masterpiece, which range from the plausible (The Shining as allegory for the genocide of the American Indian) to the preposterous (that the film is Kubrick’s coded confession to faking the Apollo moon landings).
And if that all sounds as though Room 237 is geared exclusively toward studiously cerebral cinephiles and tinfoil hat-types, Ascher keeps things accessible with the aid of a brilliant structural conceit: his doc is comprised almost entirely of clips from other films, reconstituted into often hilarious illustrations of, and responses to, each contributor’s elaborate theories and personal anecdotes.