Monday, December 09, 2013

Room 237 and Fair Use

While iced in this past weekend in the DFW area, I watched the documentary film Room 237, which is about several different theories about what Kubrick's The Shining is "really" about. As a whole, the film is a testament to Kubrick's artistic aura and the auteur theory. The readings all are grounded in the notion that every single thing we see (or don't see) was a conscious manipulation on the part of Kubrick to convey something deeper than the surface horror story.

I was disappointed that I never got to see any of the faces of the people spinning these yarns. However, I was immediately taken by the film's visual approach, which is overwhelmingly to use clips not just from the Shining, but other Kubrick films, and other films with Jack Nicholson, in conjunction with audio from the interviews.

I was happy to find out that (according to my cursory research) all these clips were claimed (rightfully) as Fair Use. Not surprising, given how astoundingly expensive it would otherwise be to license the material--much as it would have been to license the Beatles and Jay-Z samples for Dangermouse's Grey Album. Considering how much promotion Room 237 got, and how easily available it is on Netflix, this seems to bode well. Here's an article from last September, prior to the film's release.

If I find out they did end up paying licensing fees, I'll (sadly) post that.

Also, I'm still trying to make time to watch Los Angeles Plays Itself, a monumental Fair Use documentary consisting of Hollywood representations of LA that is on YouTube. (below)

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