Stanley Kubrick’s Shining Assistant Thinks Room 237 Is ‘Pure Gibberish’

"IT'S NOT EVEN A MINOTAUR, MAN!" Photo: Warner Bros

Enough people read so deeply into The Shining that a documentary/full-length conspiracy theory has reason to exist in the form of Room 237. But Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick's personal assistant during the making of the 1980 film, doesn't believe there's so much there there. "I was falling about laughing most of the time," he tells the Times of his experience watching Room 237. "There are ideas espoused in the movie that I know to be total balderdash." The 64-year-old Vitali goes on to call the doc "pure gibberish" and opine that while Kubrick was happy for various theories to sprout, "I’m certain that he wouldn’t have wanted to listen to about 70, or maybe 80 percent" or Room 237.  But ... what about the Minotaur poster? That means something, surely? "That astonished me," Vitali says. "I stood staring at all that stuff for weeks while we were shooting in that room. It’s a downhill skier. It’s a downhill skier. It’s not a Minotaur." Ah. But there are Holocaust references in there, right? The German-made Adler typewriter, for instance? "That was Stanley’s typewriter. A lot of decisions made on the set were about pragmatism: ‘This looks good. It sits on the oak table pretty perfectly.’ Not to mention, it’s a great typewriter. I used that typewriter for 10 years, actually." Oh, just forget it.

Most Watched on Vulture

Latest News from Vulture

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon Are Terrible Accidental Secret Agents in The Spy Who Dumped Me Trailer

Extremely hello to Sam Heughan.

YouTube Orders New Movie Vulture Club With Susan Sarandon, Which We Had Nothing to Do With We Swear

Starring Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, and Matt Bomer.

Unpacking the Akira Kurosawa References in Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson pays homage to everything from Stray Dog to Seven Samurai in his latest film.

Pacific Rim Uprising Might Be the Most China-Bait Studio Release Yet

And that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Britain’s New Guard in Hip-Hop Is Ready to Take Over

London artists blended Afro-pop, rap, R&B, dancehall, and grime in one of the most vibrant, high-energy shows at SXSW.

Springsteen’s Having a Such Nice Time on Broadway He’s Just Gonna Stick Around Until December

What started as an eight-week stint is now running for over a year.

RuPaul Says He’s Not to Blame for Shangela’s Shut Out

His name is (Ru)Paul, and Shangela’s Drag Race All Stars loss is between y’all.

Court Rules That ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit Wasn’t Actually That Blurry

But T.I. managed to escape with his fortune intact.

Why Isn’t Rosie Perez’s Character in Charge on Rise?

Miss Wolfe had an idea for Grease!

Snoop Dogg’s New Gospel Album, Bible of Love, Is Surprisingly Great

It’s a warm, wise survey of gospel music’s past, present, and possible future that works better than it should.