The documentary, Room 237, is something I think I might like to eventually own. I love how the filmmakers give their five witnesses just enough rope to hang themselves on, but still make such an intoxicating film that has such a notable creepy seductive power.
Watching, you want to believe that these witnesses might just have the key that will finally open you up to all the really dark scary things our lives contain.
It is a wholesome attempt, but falls just short, in the end. These folks, witnesses, ultimately begin to seem "oh, my friends/and, oh, my foes" more than a bit silly.
Many of the things they talk about are patently ludicrous and "made up" by a slavish devotion to the notion that Kubrick would never have a continuity error in The Shining. It must be a conscious choice! They give entirely too much credit to Kubrick, practically resting supine in the glow of Kubrick's aura.
But, the film is so objective, and earnest, in such a good-natured way, that you start to believe that there might just be applications like these for other films, or other types of art. One of the witnesses insists that even if Kubrick did not honestly intend for all those messages to be conveyed through The Shining, that some or many of the secret messages that he has divined from the film are very likely the result of Kubrick's subconscious instead. Nice way to cover your behind.
I am a big Intentional Fallacy kind of guy, anyway. And a sucker sometimes for conspiracy theories, if only to challenge existing views critically, break them down, and then destroy them for my own personal security blanket reasons.
I read all those subliminal advertising paperbacks back in the day. And, I used to be heavily in to Astrology as a child, and still enjoy it in a lighthearted fun sort of way today.
These witnesses might enrich my experience of watching The Shining again. But, I have seen it so many times, and, strangely enough after watching Room 237, I was more eager to watch other Kubrick films, i.e. Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, 2001, and Barry Lyndon, that I might be more apt in the near future to want to watch the criticism (Room 237) more than the text (The Shining).
David Thomson in his "review" of Room 237 seems to suggest skipping Room 237 altogether and simply watch The Shining again.
I can not say I agree with his sentiments, at all.
Anyhoo, Room 237 comes highly recommended by me, especially if you are a serious devotee of the film, The Shining, or Kubrick, in general.