Table of Contents for Analysis of Eyes Wide Shut Introduction Are you one of the league who find Kubrick's cinema fascinating and wonderful but are also confused by seeming peculiarities? Are you certain those often under-the-radar-over-the-head weirdnesses must mean something?
Reprinted from "Film Quarterly" Vol. William "Bill" Harford Critical disappointment with Eyes Wide Shut was almost unanimous, and the complaint was always the same: The national reviewers sounded like a bunch of middle-school kids who'd snuck in to see it and slunk out three hours later feeling horny, frustrated, and ripped off.
Kubrick was old and out of touch with today's jaded sensibilities, they said. The film's sexual mores and taboos, transplanted straight out of Arthur Schnitzler's fin-de-siecle Vienna--jealousy over dreams and fantasies, guilt-ridden visits to prostitutes, a strained discussion of an HIV test that echoes the old social terror of syphilis--seemed quaint and naive by the standards of the sordid year One last time Stanley Kubrick had flouted genre expectations, and once again, as throughout his career, critics could only see what wasn't there.
The backlash against the film is now generally blamed on its cynical, miscalculated ad campaign. But why anyone who'd seen Kubrick's previous films believed the hype and actually expected it to be what Entertainment Weekly breathlessly anticipated as "the sexiest movie ever," is still not clear.
The most erotic scenes he ever filmed were the bomber refueling in Dr. Strangelove and the spaceliner docking in He mocks any prurient suspense in the very fist shot of this movie; without prelude, Nicole Kidman, her back to the camera, shrugs off her dress and kicks it aside, standing matter-of-factly bare-assed before us for a moment before the screen goes black like a peepshow door sliding shut.
You can almost hear the director's Bronx-accented voice: All right, show's over. Can we get serious now? The main title then appears like a rebuke, telling us that we're not really seeing what we're staring at.
In other words, Eyes Wide Shut is not going to be about sex.
The real pornography in this film is in its lingering depiction of the shameless, naked wealth of millennial Manhattan, and of its obscene effect on society and the human soul. National reviewers' myopic focus on sex, and the shallow psychologies of the film's central couple, the Harfords, at the expense of every other element of the film-the trappings of stupendous wealth, its references to fin-de-siecle Europe and other imperial periods, its Christmastime setting, even the sum Dr.
Harford spends on a single night out-says more about the blindness of the elites to their own surroundings than it does about Kubrick's inadequacies as a pornographer. For those with their eyes open, there are plenty of money shots.
There is a moment in Eyes Wide Shut, as Bill Harford is lying to his wife over a cellphone from a prostitute's apartment, when we see a textbook in the foreground titled Introducing Sociology.
Strangelovetelling us that prostitution is the basic, defining transaction of our society. It is also, more importantly, a key to understanding the film, suggesting that we ought to interpret it sociologically--not as most reviewers insisted on doing, psychologically.From the director behind influential masterpieces like The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr.
Strangelove, A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining & Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut marks the final entry in the decades-spanning, unprecedented & extraordinary filmmaking career of Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick is exploring a dark subject matter to be sure in Eyes Wide Shut, and that may have influenced the incessantly shadowy look of the vetconnexx.comunately the visual quality of this p VC Acknowledgements: The seven hundred hours I spent in conversation with Rob Content about this film were invaluable in developing my argument.
Bart Taylor of Giotto Perspectives pointed out some of the Christian imagery in the film to me. V ery big and very small films are likely to dominate headlines in the year , as the recent polarization of the Korean film industry continues.
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Eyes Wide Shut like all Kubrick films is a masterpiece. From the first scene to the great unexpected last scene. Kubrick is perhaps the greatest director in cinema.