It makes sense that a documentary about The Shining would have some completely insane theories about the movie.
True, it’s doubtful Stanley Kubrick meant to put many of them in the movie, but people often project some wild stuff into their favorite films. A good example? Like whatever is in the Pulp Ficiton suitcase.
The documentary is called Room 237, and according to Variety, it just got picked up for distribution by IFC Midnight, with the publication calling it “one of the great movies about movies.”
Room 237 was directed by Rodney Ascher, and some theories that have been thrown around include the film being an analogy for the Holocaust, and the maze is symbolism for the myth of the Minotaur.
As Ascher told the New York Times, The Shining “is a compelling work of art that acts as a kind of mirror, especially for thoughtful people, who see aspects of themselves that are among the most precious things they have experienced.”
Of course, fans of Stephen King know he is famously unhappy with the film, and it didn’t receive good reviews when it first came out, but it’s become a classic of terror since it was first released thirty-two years ago in the summer of 1980.
If it makes you feel old that The Shining, as well as The Empire Strikes Back, came out thirty-two years ago, how about the fact that Jack Nicholson just turned seventy-five years old on April 22. Of course, he celebrated his birthday at a Lakers game, and Moviefone listed its picks for best and worst Nicholson films.
Some consider Nicholson’s performance in The Shining as the first time he did a self-parody on screen, and many will complain in many movies he’s not acting, he’s just being Jack. However, Nicholson certainly has done some remarkable performances over his career, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which Moviefone ranked #1, the noir classic Chinatown, About Schmidt, where he did a great job of not being Jack, Batman, where I forgot he got top billing over Michael Keaton, The Last Detail, where he repeatedly, brilliantly and hilariously used the F word (“I am the motherf*cking shore patrol motherf*cker!”), The King of Marvin Gardens (a very under-appreciated gem), and more.
It’s also interesting to note that Jack did twenty movies before he finally broke through in Easy Rider, and it took a good ten years before that big break came in. It just goes to show that even the most talented among us have trouble getting that first crucial break.
Nicholson was certainly not a traditional actor or leading man, but thankfully he came along at a time when the untraditional actors were becoming more traditional, like Dustin Hoffman, who also turns 75 this year. Nicholson’s classic work continues to stand the test of time, and his work like The Shining has proven ahead of its time, which the New York Times noted gets better, and creepier every year.