Stanley Kubrick was one of the most evocative and accomplished directors in history. Even his worst movies were great, and his best movies pushed filmmaking into territory that was previously unthinkable. Even in death, he continues to influence directors and writers, and people still debate what his films mean to this day. He also secretly directed the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The first time this theory surfaced was in 2002 with the documentary “Dark Side of the Moon,” directed by William Karel. It claimed that Richard Nixon’s CIA recruited Kubrick to oversee the creation of fake moon-landing footage.
They were desperate to gain an advantage over the Soviet Union, and, real or not, beating them to the moon was a victory.
The theory cites Kubrick’s Academy Award-winning visual effects used in “2001: A Space Odyssey” as experimentation and development of the techniques used to create the false moon-landing footage.
The idea that Kubrick was involved in the moon landing did not gain traction, though.
Moon-landing conspiracy theories are already on the fringe of popular thought, and adding Kubrick to the mix makes something that was already dubious at best seem absolutely insane.
Other than his production of a space-themed movie in 1968, there is no connection.
At least, that’s how the situation appeared to be until 2011, when Jay Weidner released his documentary “Kubrick’s Odyssey: Secrets Hidden in the Films of Stanley Kubrick.” His claims were no different from those of other theorists — he just had proof.
Proof of the Apollo/Kubrick conspiracy, he said, can be found in Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece “The Shining.”
While the film has been subject to many interpretations — most of which claim that it’s about the destruction of the Native Americans — Weidner believes “The Shining” was Kubrick’s secret confession to being involved in Apollo 11.
He describes his theory further in the 2012 documentary “Room 237,” which brought together several people to give their interpretation of “The Shining.”
His segment of the film uses differences between the original book and the movie — there are many — and other clues to prove his point.
Kubrick was known for perfectionism that came close to insanity, so the documentary’s theorists assume that every detail in his films, including “The Shining,” is intentional and full of meaning.
When Weidner sees Danny Lloyd stand up in an Apollo 11 sweater on top of a carpet pattern that looks like a launchpad, he sees proof enough for his theory. Weidner has “The Shining” act as a metaphor for the turmoil Kubrick went through to fake the moon landing.
He has other clues, too.
The ghostly twins represent the Gemini missions, and the haunted Room 237 exists because there are 237,000 miles between the moon and the earth — even though it’s actually 238,855 miles, but why split hairs?
The evidence is there, and the explanation makes sense.
The truth has been revealed.
Alec Carver is a UF journalism freshman. His column runs on Wednesdays. A version of this column ran on page 7 on 10/23/2013 under the headline "Clues in ‘The Shining’ reveal the moon landing was faked"