Room 237


I usually don’t think much of conspiracy theories or theorists. Conspiracy theories are attractive but like most things that are attractive, they are often dangerous. The internet has provided conspiracy theorists with multiple platforms for which they can shout their ideas at those who choose to believe whatever they’re saying. Just search on YouTube: “Conspiracy”, you’ll come up with thousands of hour long videos in which the truth is twisted, if not dismissed entirely. Even scarier are the comments sections of these videos. It’s these same people who think the X Files is a reality show. As The X Files says: “The Truth Is Out There”, “I Want To Believe”; it’s incredible how easily persuaded we are when our personal opinions or biases are somehow “proved”. A main point of conspiracy theories is instilling paranoia; there is someone, or something, out there that is not like you and I, which is threatening our very existence. Some conspiracy theories are cute and for the most part harmless like the 1969 Moon Landing conspiracy theory or Tupac still being alive and speaking through his posthumous albums, while some conspiracy theories are detrimental to society. Think back to Tarantino’s Django, the scene where Calvin Candy saws open a skull to reveal “scientific proof” that slaves should be slaves, or Germany in the 1930s, where the Nazi Party drew on Medieval “scientific proof” as justification at attempts to exterminate ethnic groups. Conspiracy theorists often point their finger at others who benefit from the conspiracy at hand, but it’s important to think about what the conspiracy theorist, his or herself, has to gain from their claims.

End rant. Sorry.

While interning at a talent management/film finance firm last summer, I stumbled across this documentary. In terms of conspiracies, this piece (which I unfortunately have yet to see) is fascinating. The Shining is one of my favorite movies and Kubrick is one of my favorite directors, so I got very excited when I saw there was a documentary being made about his classic horror piece. Only the poster was available initially, so it was difficult to know what the doc would examine exactly. Then, the reviews, pre and post Sundance Film Festival, revealed how the documentary would follow the many conspiracy theories and theorists that the original film created. Theories range from the film being a symbol of Native American genocide to being Kubrick’s confession of involvement in staging the moon landing. Many of these theories were spurred by Kubrick’s denial to ever comment on the film’s underlying meaning.

CLICK HERE FOR THE NYTIMES REVIEW OF ROOM 237

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5 thoughts on “Room 237

  1. I have to agree with you on your point that conspiracies can sometimes be dangerous. To be honest I have never really put that much thought into conspiracies because I don’t think believe any of them are true. Do you think that these believers are allowing themselves to be fooled because they wish that these conspiracies were real, and this causes them to overlook the obvious facts disprove many of them? (This of course all coming from a viewpoint that many of the well publicized conspiracies are fictional)

  2. I agree with you that some theories can be detrimental to society. Once a large enough group of people begin to take action because of something that is flat out just not true the situation can actually become dangerous. That being said, as I have been reading all of these theories and commenting all I can think about is the old saying “rumors are rooted in the truth.” It begs me to ask for each of these theories, is there any truth to anything they are saying? Who knows…

  3. Conspiracy theories are generated by fear, and fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Now do not misunderstand me, danger is very real. But fear is a choice. And with this choice, conspiracy theorists lay a path of fear into the mainstream media that corrupts the minds of people who didn’t believe that particular fear. People say 9/11 was a government conspiracy, you install fear in many Americans. All these conspiracies are to invoke fear into the minds of those who believe.

  4. First of all, Stanley Kubrick was actually nuts. His methods were beyond questionable, but it was all for making movies, not national events.

    Second of all, if you have the time, watch this clip about the intentionally impossible layout of the hotel in the Shining- it’s totally worth it (even if you haven’t seen the movie).

  5. I am always surprised by how quickly people jump to conclusions. People want to believe something nefarious is going down, because most people don’t want to accept the simple truth. Sometimes there are simply crazy people out there, who do crazy things, but that doesn’t mean everyone and their dog, cat, parakeet, and evil twins are involved. It is much better to wait until you have facts then to act on emotion. Making assumptions is always dangerous, as it makes an ass out of “U” and “mptions”. Thanks for the post.

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