Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 Stephen King adaptation “The Shining” endures for many reasons — from its supremely horrific mood to the technical feats used to create it. However, the lively voices in “Room 237” take that admiration to an entirely new plane of awareness. A search for deeper meanings in Kubrick’s movie, Rodney Ascher’s film is a brilliant collage of interviews with academics and other experts in the art of textual analysis.
Jazzing up a process usually reserved for scholarly pursuits, Ascher combines reasonable interpretations of “The Shining” with hilariously extreme conclusions — but in every case, the narrator’s authority over their own ideas makes even the battiest theories sound credible. The takeaway isn’t just that “The Shining” is a rich text, but that its richness is a paragon of the magically subjective experience that all great cinema provides. Criticwire grade: A [Eric Kohn]