Rodney Ascher’s documentary Room 237 premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival and has since then made its way to various film festivals. If you are unfamiliar with the title, Room 237 is a documentary that attempts to unravel hidden meanings and secrets of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. A new teaser for Room 237 has made its way online. If you’re a fan of The Shining, you’ll immediately notice that the trailer is a direct homage to the haunting original teaser from 1980. It’s simplistic, creative, and will certainly make any Kubrick enthusiast anticipate the film even more.
After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.
IFC picked up the distribution rights and will release it as part of its IFC Midnight label. Room 237 opens on March 29th at the IFC Center in New York City followed by an expansion. If it doesn’t make it to a theater near you, don’t worry. The film will be available on Cable Video-On-Demand, iTunes, and other digital streaming outlets.