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.

Latest News from Vulture

Game of Thrones Showrunners on Changes From the Books, the Butterfly Effect, and Arya’s Arc

"We pick and choose what's from the books."

The Last Man on Earth Recap: Sophie’s Choice

Last Man finally seems to be rewarding us for sticking around.

The Good Wife Recap: Good-bye, Kalinda

How does the show move on without a character who has anchored it for years?

Silicon Valley Recap: Two and a Half Erlichs

The worst person in America arrives.

Ridiculous Six Drama Rages on With Cell-Phone Video, Vanilla Ice

"It's not Dances With Wolves."

Disney’s Descendants Trailer Will Probably Hurt Your Brain

Featuring the offspring of various fairy-tale villains.

Justin Bieber Crashes a Prom, Makes People’s Heads Explode

Hands up if your name's Justin Bieber.

Amy Winehouse Documentary Is ‘Unbalanced’ and ‘Misleading,’ According to Her Family

Winehouse’s relatives reportedly want to distance themselves from the upcoming film.

Veep Recap: The Expenda-belles

Selina & Co. face the internet.

Game of Thrones Recap: New Identities

Big changes are in store for the Stark children.

Close icon
Outsmart Your Friends
Follow Vulture on Facebook
Close icon
Get the Vulture take on pop culture. Follow us!