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2012 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Rodney Ascher’s Room 237

Gist: From the Sundance catalogue: “In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his classic horror film, The Shining. Loved and hated by equal numbers, the film is considered a genre standard by many loyalists, while other viewers dismiss it as the lazy result of a legendary director working far below his talent level. In between these two poles, however, live the conspiracy theories of ardent fans who are convinced they have decoded The Shining’s secret messages regarding genocide, government conspiracy, and the nightmare that we call history. Rodney Ascher’s documentary, Room 237, fuses fact and fiction through interviews with the fans and scholars who espouse these theories, and reworking the film’s scenes forward and backward.

Prediction: Every year, Cannes Classics selects a small handful of new documentaries (such as Serge Bromberg & Ruxandra Medrea’s Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno) to screen alongside the restorations of classic or forgotten oldies. Having already had its world premiere in Park City last January, Ascher’s extremely well-received dissection of The Shining would be a prime candidate for this sidebar. The producers have expressed a desire to have the film play in Cannes, so this looks like a very likely scenario.

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Blake Williams is an avant-garde filmmaker born in Houston, currently living and working in Toronto. He recently entered the PhD program at University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute, and has screened his video work at TIFF (2011 & '12), Tribeca (2013), Images Festival (2012), Jihlava (2012), and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Blake has contributed to's coverage for film festivals such as Cannes, TIFF, and Hot Docs. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (Rosetta), Haneke (Code Unknown), Hsiao-Hsien (Flight of the Red Balloon), Kar-wai (Happy Together), Kiarostami (Where is the Friend's Home?), Lynch (INLAND EMPIRE), Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs), Van Sant (Last Days), Von Trier (The Idiots)

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