The new documentary Room 237 explores the different interpretations of The Shining conjured up by devoted fans of the film since The Shining’s initial release. Each of the theories is equally compelling and fascinating yet totally whack-a-doodle, often saying as much about our cultural obsessions as Kubrick’s. Kubrick notoriously layered his films with images and visual puzzles, asking audiences to put together the clues. The Shining is Kubrick’s most notorious and elusive riddle.
What have audiences come up with? Let’s take a gander.
1. The film is Stanley Kubrick’s confession that he was involved in:
A. The Watergate Scandal. Stanley Kubrick was the real Deep Throat.
B. The faking of the war in Vietnam. The entire war was a lie used to cover up the U.S. government’s involvement in creating a new human-alien hybrid in South Asia. Where else do you think Kim Jong-Un came from?
C. The Bay of Pigs. Kubrick had a personal vendetta to settle against Castro when he turned e lthe role of the omnipotent starchild in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick thought he would look ravishing covered in celestial womb membrane. Castro impolitely declined. Kubrick began casting the film almost a decade before Arthur C. Clarke even wrote the source material, because Kubrick sees the future.
D. The faked Apollo 11 moon landing. It was all Hurley’s dream.
2. The film is a parable for:
B. Both the Holocaust and the Native American genocides. It’s a twofer!
C. The disintegration of the nuclear family.
D. Kubrick’s own boredom as a filmmaker.