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Movie review: 'Room 237' explores odd theories behind 'The Shining'

Published April 11, 2013 2:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Did you know "The Shining" is really a treatise on the brutality against American Indians? Or that it's director Stanley Kubrick's tacit confession to his role in faking the Apollo moon landings? Or that ­— like everything must eventually must be, according to Godwin's Law — it's really about Hitler?

Those are some of the off-the-wall theories put forward by the people interviewed in director Rodney Ascher's loopy documentary "Room 237." It's ridiculous the depths to which these obsessive fans have sought out subtext at the expense of the movie's actual text.

Ascher uses footage from "The Shining" and other Kubrick films (and, for reasons made clear as it goes, recycled clips from films ranging from Hitchcock's "Spellbound" to Spielberg's "Schindler's List") to illustrate these theories, inventing a transfixing examination of movie love taken to extremes.

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'Room 237'

Opens Friday, April 12, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably R for violent images, nudity and sexuality; 102 minutes. (The Tower also will screen "The Shining" at 9:15 p.m. each night this week, except Tuesday.)