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Documentary 'Room 237' Uncovers Repressed Horror in Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'.

Even people who haven't seen it know that The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the Stephen King novel, is the scarific tale of a stir-crazy caretakerJack Nicholson, no lessdriven mad by the ghosts haunting an isolated, off-season hotel to murder his wife, played by Shelley Duvall, and their small son, who happens to be psychic. But, was this contribution to the horror cycle of the late Carter era also Kubrick's meditation on the Holocaust?

That's one theory advanced in the new essay-film Room 237 by Rodney Ascher, an engaging survey of the various exegeses that have attached themselves to Kubrick's horror film in the 30-odd years since its original release (and especially since the introduction of DVDs and development of the Internet). Other, not necessarily related, takes: The Shining, as revealed by Kubrick's co-scenarist Diane Johnson, literalizes Freud's notion of the unheimlich [uncanny] in making the familiar strange; the movie is a coded admission that, at the behest of the federal government, Kubrick faked the Moon landing photos; The Shining is an updated version of Theseus and the Minotaur, or an exercise in subliminal advertising techniques, or an expose of what film historian David A. Cook termed "the murderous system of economic exploitation which has sustained the country since, like the Overlook Hotel, it was built upon an Indian burial ground."

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Author:Hoberman, J.
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Mar 28, 2013
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