The Folks that Make Kubrick Look Normal


Title: Room 237

Rating: 3 Stars

The Room 237 in the title refers to the hotel room in The Shining where Jack Nicholson’s character experiences maximum weirdness.

This movies shows the folly of what happens if a number of very smart people have access to a freeze frame video player and a lot of time on their hands. They end up with multiple pretty bizarre theories of what Kubrick was actually making the movie about.

The genocide of the Native Americans

In some ways, this kind of makes sense. After all, one of the characters makes a brief reference to the hotel being built on an Indian burial ground. There are many pieces of Native American art in the hotel.

Where this theory goes off the rails is the fact that in the background of maybe two scenes, are seen multiple containers of Calumet baking powder. Keep in mind that these scenes are set in a kitchen, so it’s not exactly bizarre that there would be baking powder in the background. Calumet is the name of an Native American tribe, so clearly Kubrick was referencing Native American genocide by including images of Calumet baking powder.


The Holocaust

This one goes off the rails pretty much right away. The number 42 appears in several places and in several ways in the movie (for example, with room 237, 2 * 3 * 7 = 42). 1942 was the year that the Nazi final solution was started (I’m guessing that this refers to the Wannsee Conference).

The typewriter that Jack uses is of German manufacture.


Kubrick Faked the Moon Landing!

In case you didn’t know, Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing because NASA couldn’t pull it off and it was under deadline pressure. Later, apparently either overcome with guilt or wanting to explain / apologize to his wife (?!), Kubrick made The Shining and then scattered hints throughout the movie referring to the lie.

The most obvious reference is the Apollo 11 sweater that Danny wears

Miscellaneous Sundry Theories

The movie is about a minotaur. And no, I am not making that up.

The movie is filled with subliminal messages about sex (including one freeze frame moment when one of the character is positioned in such a way that a desk inbox appears to be his erection).

Various meanings are derived from what appear to be simple continuity errors.  People do make mistakes, especially on long shoots.

One person did the rock album thing and played the movie backward. He then overlaid the movie playing backward on top of the movie running forward and pointed out numerous moments of enlightened meaning. Why do I picture a group of shaggy haired men lighting up a bong while doing this?


If anyone needs any further proof that humans are at the point where they have evolved intelligence but have not quite evolved enough to know what to do with said intelligence, this is the movie for you.



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