Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Throwing Room 237 out With the Moon-Water

Various differences between the maze in the film The Shining
The reaction to Room 237 has been as surprising to me as the many theories within the film itself. Many people do not want to even remotely have themselves tangentially connected to anything dealing with nutty conspiracy theories so they throw out the entire premise that Kubrick was doing anything at all beyond just making a good old fashioned film. Room 237 is a lot to swallow. The many theories are like the many religions of the world—they can't all be right.

***** I'd like to note here that this is my second review/post on Room 237. You can read the first review below in this blog. I would also like to add that on the Room 237 DVD/Blu-ray, the commentary by Mstrmnd explains brilliantly that what Kubrick was possibly attempting with The Shining was to create a new film language that would spur disparate meanings from one film. Therefore if that is the case it's almost irrelevant to say the different theories are wacky because despite some of their outlandish claims or untruths that may have been exactly what Kubrick was trying to illicit from people. The fact that The Shining is a supernatural horror film and people are coming up with often paranoid conspiracy theories possibly embedded in the film might just be the point of the film. Everybody got that? *****

Many blogs and reviews just dismiss all of Room 237 as utter horseshit. Wackjobs. Paranoids reading into a film well beyond what any rational person should ever attempt. There is simply nothing there. Right? ZERO! Kubrick was just making a film. Many think Kubrick never intended for people to read into The Shining or for it to hit your subconscious at all. According to them it's just a visual adaptation of the novel, and just a film. The continuity errors are not intentional! THEY ARE ERRORS!  Stop digging you idiot! Right?

How can people be entirely incapable of discerning some truth from out of Room 237 and that Kubrick was doing something with subtext, or subliminal and intelligent beyond what is normal in film? I'm not sure. That people are reacting so skeptically, to me, is almost as disturbing as some of the theories in Room 237. People just do not want to be told they were somehow in the dark about something they never considered. Not even a tiny bit. They just hate that idea and they won't budge even a millimeter on that. Maybe they just can't handle it?

Below I'm just going to stick to many of the "continuity errors" that can be actually seen in the film. 

I'm sorry. I know what goofy continuity errors in films look like. I've seen a lot of films. Most people watch sports. I WATCH FILMS! Continuity errors don't occur with consistency. They are normally inconsistent mistakes, not happening with any regularity exactly as cuts happen, or again and again between jump cut edits. 

Here are a few from The Shining and you judge for yourself if these were mistake or intentional. 

I've already made up my mind. They are intentional. Kubrick did this on purpose. If you think they are just mistakes you might be under the effects of the Ludovico Technique :)

Here we see Dick Hallorann open the freezer door to show Wendy and Danny around. Go put the film on. WATCH. He opens the door with his left hand and grabs the door handle on the right side. The edit occurs and we are inside and the door is opened from the opposite way. He is also holding the door with his right hand now. When they exit the freezer they leave from an entirely different room/freezer.

Nothing? You think Kubrick just fucked up? Didn't care? OK. We'll move on.

Here we have 2 shots of the twins overlapped. look at the chairs and the ashtrays. They have moved slightly. This occurs in the film when a shot of Danny is inserted in between these two shots. 

Twins > Danny > Twins. Stuff moves. Even the freaking handle on the foosball game moves a tiny bit. Remember this is film about a supernatural hotel. Right? We can agree on that. I hope. 

Still nothing? 

Here we see Jack when Danny comes to get his firetruck. The art on the wall disappears. Go watch the film. Why would that be allowed to occur? Kubrick was famous for many takes to get things just right. He screwed up again? Even with all his very intentional use of the mirror and the fact that the arts in the mirror and then it's gone, and you are still not convinced this was intentional? OK. Oh well.

This one we know from Room 237. Kubricks assistant said he just moved shit around. Did not care. So the furniture vanishes and comes back and it's just bad editing. Bad continuity. Nothing intended. Forget that this is a haunted hotel. Kubrick was just sloppy. Right?

Here is another one. The furniture and the stuff on the wall is all moved around from different scenes in the film. Some nutty grip must have been moving stuff around. Kubrick was cool with that sort of stuff. 


Forget the moon landing crap. Forget the Holocaust. Forget the crazy minotaur lady. Even forget the American Indians. Forget it all. Even with all that gone, these very intentional inconsistencies are there in the film. There are more too. The carpet. The impossible window. The maze that looks different in different shots. The disappearing sticker on Danny's door. 

If after having all these things pointed out to you, you still don't want to believe they are anything but mistakes, or Kubrick just being sloppy and just taking his best takes over any care for continuity, well, I'm not sure you and I live on the same planet. 

It sucks realizing that you are not as smart as you might have fancied yourself. It might also be hard to say yes to some ideas that are poorly crowded with many nutty ones. I'm sure some of the people that worked with Kubrick might be feeling a wee bit smallish, like say, his assistant perhaps? Kubrick managed to do things that no one picked up on. I myself watched the film countless times and never knew quite what it was in the film that made it so haunting. I was shocked to see this stuff pointed out to me. Obvious and in plain site, right there up on the screen all along. For all I know there is even more that has not been pointed out to me yet. 

Like this one of Dick Hallorann in his room with his cute wall art above his bed. We cut up close and it's gone. Right as he's shining. That was a mistake right? Kubrick's assistant said so. Kubrick was famous for such mistakes. 

Forgive my sarcasm. I feel perhaps there needs to be another film. One on people who throw the baby out with the moon-water.

And that creepy blowjob bear at the end of the film that Wendy sees has nothing to do with the bear she sees on Danny's pillow earlier on while the nurse is examining him after he blacked out. Because your dreams don't operate that way, right? We don't see odd off putting stuff during the day and then dream about it later that night in some awkwardly bizarre disjointed way. That never happens. I'm sure Kubrick was not doing any such nonsense with his supernatural horror film. He was too simple for tricks like that. 

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