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.
“IT’S NOT EVEN A MINOTAUR, MAN!” Photo: Warner Bros