Room 237 ★★★★

A fascinating record of the ways a film can live with and speak to people in so many ways, and of the hermeneutic games people play with the objects of their obsessions. Of just how fun it is to bat a movie around, and how the ragged unsettling openness of The Shining makes it such an endlessly compelling movie.

It's not film criticism they're doing. But it's something like that. They're really into their brainstorms, but I think most of the people recognize the silliness of some of the evidence they provide (maybe you don't buy the minotaur poster, for example, but that there's a lot of obvious bull/labyrinth imagery in the film is undeniable). Except for the moon landing guy who is clearly insane.

We've all played with crazy theories about the movies we're into, but there's something about digital technology, DVD and the Internet, that allows certain types to go really far down the rabbit hole (many of the things they highlight in the film can only be spotted digitally, and Internet culture tends to encourage this kind of obsessiveness.)

An interesting thing is that none of these theories forms a complete picture of the film, there's no Total Theory of The Shining presented here, whether that's by Kubrick's design (he meant it to provide multiple, perhaps mutually exclusive commentaries) or a failure of the theorists I'm not sure (can't it be about genocide both Nazi and Indian? Modern repression of our truly murderous past/nature that gets unleashed by isolation absent the civilizing controls of society, or something). Perhaps it's the focus on the minutiae that keeps them from seeing the big picture, from putting the minotaur in with Hitler and the Indians, lost in their own mazes.