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Room 237 [DVD]

Rodney Ascher    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: 9.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Room 237 [DVD] + The Shining [DVD] [1980]
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Product details

  • Directors: Rodney Ascher
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Metrodome Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: 1 April 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009WQR7UO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,115 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

An exploration into the numerous theories regarding the subtexts within Stanley Kubrick's phenomenal horror THE SHINING. The original film may be over 30 years old, but it continues to inspire debate, speculation and mystery.

A celebration of Kubrick, The Shining and the thrill of watching, analyzing and loving film ***** - Empire
Rodney Ascher's hugely enjoyable docu-collage of Shining theories embraces ambiguity but proves Kubrick's deep chiller is worth the revisits **** - Total Film
Room 237 is a hilarious, terrifying and exhausting journey into the minds of people who think they've decoded Kubrick's The Shining **** - Q Magazine
**** - Little White Lies

Neither this film, nor any view or opinion expressed in it, nor the context in which film footage and images are used, is approved or endorsed by, or is any way associated with, the Kubrick 1981 Trust, Stanley Kubrick's family, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., or anyone else connected with the making of the motion picture The Shining ('The Shining Filmmakers'). The views and opinions expressed in this documentary film are solely those of the commentators in it and do not reflect the views of Stanley Kubrick or The Shining Filmmakers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The breaking point of literary interpretation 31 Oct 2012
When it comes to literary interpretation, where is the breaking point? This is the question wordlessly posed by Rodney Ascher in his Room 237, a documentary examining some of the more vivid figurative interpretations you'll see of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining.

Whatever your view of Stanley Kubrick, this film wildly divides opinion: The Shining's author Stephen King himself famously hated it; on release it met with widespread public disappointment, but it does seem to be a "grower": Kubrick's obsession with the visual over plot or conventional narrative ensures that it will repay repeated viewing. Just how sizeable that dividend might be is a moot point; the five repeat viewers that Ascher has found here - harvested from the blogosphere, I daresay - would seek the kingdom of heaven amongst the tin cans arranged on a shelf behind Jack Nicholson's head. What another person might see as a coincidence they would construe deeply: for these people, there's no such thing as a continuity error.

We are invited to accompany the five as they explain their theories across nine aspects of the film. You won't be surprised to hear that, between them, their views are entirely incompatible. Yet neither are they brought together to debate the respective merits - getting at the "truth" is hardly the point. Instead the documentary proceeds as if accompanied by five interposed soundtracks, with no interrelation between them except the editor's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batsh*t crazy! 29 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most mental films I have ever seen - I cant make out of the participants are serious or just seriously nutso!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It's fair to say people will find the premise of this documentary alluring. The viewer is baited with the promise of meanings behind Kubrick's creative decisions. In practice, it doesn't quite work. Check those rave reviews on the front of the box - It doesn't live up to expectations and I was surprised Empire gave it 5/5. However, the film does manage to be interesting.

The documentary features sourced footage from The Shining and other films. The footage is overdubbed with interviews conducted with fans of The Shining. They explain how they interpret the film's subtexts. We hear all manner of conspiracy theories and wild speculations. Some are remarkable whilst others are simply wrong. One fan claims he can see Kubrick's face in clouds and men's willies in paper trays - He is the sort of paranoid person who combs through Disney cartoons for phallic symbolism. Another fan mistakenly interprets continuity errors as intentional clues to hidden meanings.

There are a few things that provide enlightenment along the way - The story about the red Volkswagon is genuinely interesting and there is an effective experiment where two versions of the film are played at the same time - one forwards and one backwards. It's bonkers to suggest Kubrick intended this sort of thing to happen, but it creates some pleasing results.

As an insight into Kubrick, this film doesn't have enough substance. The links between the holocaust and The Shining are often very tenuous. Fans can rattle on about Kubrick's alleged involvement with the moon landings all they want, but without hard evidence their theories resonate much the same as someone seeing Jesus on a piece of toast.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but rather amateurish at times. 17 Mar 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The film has interesting theories about Kubrick's film The Shining, however many of the theories can be found easily online while some of the theories posed in this documentary are wildly outlandish and ridiculous that it seems implausible and begs the question of why it was even included in the final documentary.

It's just isn't well made to say the least, in fact some of the interviews are particularly bad not just in terms of content but in terms of quality. There is parts where you can hear children crying in an interview or general noise in the background. It's like the filmmakers did a Skype call to interview these people and didn't even bother to interview them again to get rid of the problems. I highly suspect this as most of the footage is not of the people talking but just their audio with other film footage or evidence around their argument.
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By Little Cat Voom TOP 500 REVIEWER
I must admit that I did enjoy watching this documentary of nine very contrasting interpretations of Kubrick`s 1980 film. It is also fair to say that my wife hated it very much. I enjoy analysis of films and texts, and to buy into this very quirky film, you probably need to believe that something can be about something other than that intended by the creator - and a passing interest in historicism or the very essence of "meaning" will help.

I don`t think it`s fair to judge as a failure or success based on whether you agree with the viewpoints of the contributors - disguised in the film is "proof" that Kubrick filmed the moon landings, that The Shining was about the slaughter of the Native Americans, or completely about the Holocaust, for example - that`s far too subjective; is it a good documentary is a fairer thing to judge. I really enjoyed the first hour; it was entertaining and thought-provoking. But I think it loses it`s way a bit, and tends to be repetitive and a firmer editor could have produced a solid one hour documentary...but if Room 237 is about anything, it is about getting an idea and absolutely flogging the life out of it. Until you`ve driven a lot of people away!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch The Shining instead....
This isn't an informed dissection of Kubrick's film, but simply the tenuous and inane ramblings of several people intent on seeing meaning where there is none.
Published 19 days ago by qd50
2.0 out of 5 stars Far too long
Far too long and often boring interview subjects talking utter rubbish. Some interesting behind the scenes elements, but otherwise a bit dull
Published 1 month ago by jon gibbon
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't even be bothered to yawn
What can I say - are these people for real? One of the most tedious and pointless things I've ever watched - I managed to watch about half of it before deciding that life is too... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alan Pottinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Often Misunderstood
The number of customer/amateur reviews rubbishing this film on Amazon and the IMDb is quite surprising. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Desperate
Clutching at invisible straws. The funniest conspiracy theory is that The Shining is all about the Holocaust.. Read more
Published 1 month ago by miss k anderson
1.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive fandom given unnecessary airtime
Total waste of time. The interviewees here have no perspective or grip on reality, their opinions estranged from any relevance to the film.
Published 1 month ago by EljM
4.0 out of 5 stars JUNK FOOD FOR THOUGHT
While watching Disc One of ROOM 237 I kept hearing Paul "Butch Cassidy" Newman's refrain of a question to Bob Redford's "Sundance Kid" as they are being chased by nameless and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Masloski
5.0 out of 5 stars Good purchase process. Thank you.
Excellent documentary about cinema. Through this analysis, we can penetrate the aesthetic and psychological universe present in "The Shining" the Stanley Kubrick.
Published 3 months ago by Armando Pereira
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic
The arguments put forward in this film are inarticulate, unintelligent, inconclusive and, being based on the thinnest, weakest possible evidence, not just unpersuasive but... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Discordia!
1.0 out of 5 stars If this film is about obsessive behaviours, its succeeded. As a...
`Room 237' is a documentary by Rodney Ascher, a curious film based on Stanley Kubrick's classic horror film `The Shining'. Read more
Published 5 months ago by dipesh parmar
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