‘Room 237’: Gruber and Kottke vs. Sandwich

Yours truly, on Twitter a few nights ago:

Broke down and watched “Room 237”. It was bad. Really bad. Boring bad. Crazy people.

Just watch “The Shining” again instead.

(Sidenote: I’m thinking “single-tweet movie reviews” is an interesting idea.)

Jason Kottke:

I agree. I watched it earlier this year and disliked the film so much, I didn’t even finish it, which is rare for me. As I hinted at on Twitter, I’m exposed to enough anti-vaccine, anti-evolution, anti-anthropogenic climate change, anti-science, and religious fundamentalist “theories” in my day-to-day reading that are genuinely harmful to humanity that an examination of how the minds of conspiracy theory crackpots take the smallest little details and weave them into fantastical stories that make no sense is not how I want to spend my time.

On the other side, Adam Lisagor:

Now, what I suspect has happened here is that both he and our friend John Gruber, whose tweet spurred Jason’s post, sort of missed the point. Which is that the film’s ambition was not to cast light on the conspiracy theories around their beloved Kubrick film (“The Shining”, in case you’re coming to this late), it was not to document further context around the film or to disclose any of its master filmmaker’s process or intentions, but rather to paint an artful picture — a media collage if you will-of obsession, and mania.

But “Room 237” isn’t about “The Shining” or about Kubrick, it’s about a small assortment of unrelated film scholars(?) who have selected “The Shining” as their thing. It’s about the degree of their obsessions, the intricacies of their fixations.

(Second sidenote: Whole front page of Kottke.org today is a nice birthday tribute to Jason.)

Friday, 27 September 2013

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