There’s no denying that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a film begging for discussion. A story that seems straightforward on the surface is littered with curious scenes and subliminal suggestions, and wraps up with a final shot that is curiously awesome. Even knowing that, though, you may have no idea how deep the discussions about The Shining can possibly go.
Rodney Ascher‘s brilliant documentary, Room 237, does a fantastic job delving into some of the most fascinating, crazy, and perhaps even true interpretations of the 1980 film. It entertains theories about the relationship of The Shining to Native Americans, the moon landing, super imposition, and oedipal readings. Since premiering at Sundance in 2012, the film has been riding a wave of good buzz and controversy on its way to release on VOD today.
We spoke to the Ascher about that controversy. In addition, our conversation with the director touched on the method of piecing together a the film entirely composted of archival footage, backlash from the Kubrick or Stephen King camps, whether he could do a sequel and much more. Read More »
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One of the better movie posters ever made is the Saul Bass design for Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. The eye-catching yellow sheet with a horrified, pixelated face was one of the strangest things I’d seen in my young life when I first encountered it in a theater before The Shining opened. It remains a landmark of simple, effective design.
So it makes sense that the doc Room 237, from first-timer Rodney Ascher, would get a poster that ehoes the Bass design. Room 237 features five theories that explore what Kubrick really meant to say in his Stephen King adaptation. The first US teaser for the film referenced a teaser for Kubrick’s movie, and now the poster design follows suit. Check it out below, side by side with the Bass original. Read More »
Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick are famously linked through the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which Kubrick conceived in the ’70s, and ultimately passed to Spielberg in the mid ’90s. Spielberg only made A.I. in the wake of Kubrick’s death. While they had some communication on the project, it wasn’t one that could really be called a collaboration.
Now Spielberg is taking on another project originally developed by Kubrick. This one is much closer to the late filmmaker’s heart, but if the current version of it comes to pass, it will be something much different from what Kubrick originally envisioned. (As one might expect.) Spielberg wants to make Napoleon, based on the French leader who was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815.
Working from Kubrick’s original script, with the cooperation of his surviving family, Spielberg is developing Napoleon as a television mini-series rather than a feature film. Read More »
An audience favorite film at Sundance and Fantastic Fest 2012 was Room 237, the documentary from Rodney Ascher that attempts to detail and unpack the various secrets of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. What messages did he code into the movie? (If any?) Is The Shining just a great horror movie, or does it really feature a hidden conversation about the genocide of Native Americans? That notion is just one of the theories in Room 237.
IFC picked up the film and will release it later this year as part of its IFC Midnight label. The first US trailer is out (the one we posted last year has been pulled) and it is an appropriately simple thing. It won’t take you long to figure out where this one is going, especially if you’re familiar with the teaser for The Shining, but that doesn’t make the payoff any less entertaining when it happens. Read More »
Matthew Modine was a young actor when he played a starring role in Stanley Kubrick‘s next-to-last film Full Metal Jacket. I’d expect that working with Kubrick would be a formative experience for anyone, but to have such a role at a young age would be a special, life-altering thing. Modine has extensively documented his experience in the film, and now he’s translated his recollections into a great-looking iPad app.
The 2005 book Full Metal Jacket Diary is now available for the iPad, thanks to a collaboration with Adam Rackoff. Check out a couple videos below, showing off what the app offers. Read More »
Good news, Stanley Kubrick fans. The fantastic and fascinating documentary Room 237 directed by Rodney Ascher will be released by IFC Films on March 29. The film, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, is an incredible look at secrets and theories buried in The Shining. Read our review here and check out the trailer below. Read More »
Here’s a good bit of trivia appropriate for Halloween: as some people may know, Stanley Kubrick did not create the photo seen at the very end of The Shining. Given the general attention to detail lavished by the director upon his projects, one would assume that the photo was crafted expressly for the film. But the photo was, for the most part, actually a picture from 1923, with Jack Nicholson‘s head added.
A page of a photo retouching book published in 1985 now reveals the original image, before Nicholson was comped in, and on the left side of the image above you can see the original, unknown man who became the stand-in for Nicholson’s afterlife image. Read More »
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“Phenomenal…An Absolute Must-See.” That’s a quote taken from my review of the amazing documentary Room 237 and used in its first trailer. Truer words can’t be spoken. Directed by Rodney Ascher, the film dissects Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpiece The Shining to its core, featuring several insane – and not so insane – readings of the 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson. Whether or not you agree with these people or not, you’ll never watch The Shining the same away again.
Room 237 premiered at Sundance and has since been playing on the festival circuit leading up to an IFC release next year. Check out its first minimalist, trailer below. Read More »