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'Room 237' examines possible hidden meanings in 'The Shining'

The theories set forth by 'Shining' fans seem like gobbledygook, but the movie draws you in.

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'Room 237' director Rodney Ascher examines 'Shining' fan's theories about the film.

Joseph Cultice/IFC Midnight

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Have you ever watched a movie and thought the filmmaker was sending you surreptitious signals? More to the point, do you think Stanley Kubrick’s deeply creepy 1980 classic “The Shining” is actually a cinematic skeleton key of embedded references to the Holocaust, the genocide of native Americans, and the “faked” NASA moon landings?

For his maddeningly watchable documentary “Room 237,” Rodney Ascher interviewed many such true believers, some of them with bona fide cultural credentials, all of them in varying degrees loopy. Their imaginings are not far removed from the deconstuctionist gobbledygook that has hammerlocked academic film and literary scholarship. But here at least the gobbledygook is entertaining. Grade: B+ (Unrated.)


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