mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

December 23, 2012

Episode 94: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Special Guest: Alison Castle
Guest Co-Host: Alexis Borelli

The year wraps up with Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the final film from director Stanley Kubrick starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

We're joined this week by Lex of the "Love & Sex with Lex" podcast as we talk about this tale of frustration and deception.

Buy The Stanley Kubrick Archives
Buy Alison Castle's Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made
Buy Eyes Wide Shut from Boulevard Movies
Read An Oral History of an Orgy Staging that scene from Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick’s divisive final film By Bilge Ebiri
Visit Eyes Wide Cut

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  1. I always see Dr. Bill's night journey about a trip through temptation. If he wanted it for free he could've gotten it. He is not used to being unfaithful.

  2. Dr. Bill wants to be unfaithful but can not do it. He is driven by spite. The only woman he might cheat with is the one he has a connection with.

  3. When Dr. Bill goes to the masked party he goes into a symbolic world.

  4. All I got to say is masque on the pillow WTF?

  5. Now I gotta watch the movie again because i am resistant where the mask scene comes in. Not like I ever mis-remembered a movie before!

  6. Another perspective to a very good review.

    Just as in 2001, the Shining (Room 237 hinted at it) there exists something behind the veil of storytelling. With the exception of a handful of very talented (Lynch, Anderson, Kurosawa, Welles, etc.) I think most directors should keep it simple.

    Behind this veil exists abundant Scientology references and symbology, but you don't need to know this to enjoy the movie--Kubrick's genius. But, I think, that fact gives the film its unique atmosphere. Kubrick's daughter was involved with the group as was Kidman at that time. Most importantly, the marriage between Cruise and Kidman was disintegrating. I can imagine Kubrick exploiting this for the film.

    That Kubrick died after shooting strikes me as eerie in a group full of strange deaths.

    The phrase "where the rainbow ends" was in reference to the phrase "over the rainbow". This a slang phrase referring to the international headquarters in Hemet, CA. Kidman in the mirror references Alice in Wonderland--this book used in training drills that everyone does.

    The management and most dedicated of the group, called the Sea Org, wear naval-like uniforms. On and on

    The references abound, eventually Cruise gets outed in a huge mansion where the orgy takes place. This was in reference to the Fifield Manor (huge mansion, complex) in Hollywood where all the Scientology celebrities and wealthy congregate and do whatever they do (not orgies).

    From the start we see a social surface bright and shiny but as you penetrate gets darker and progressively dangerous. Cruse gets seduced into this world and finds himself in over his head.

    Scientology acts as a storytelling mcguffin (can't think of another word), lurking behind the veil: never mentioned and obtusely implied. In exists plain sight, hence the title Eyes Wide Shut.

  7. There is NO MASK!!

  8. I enjoyed the podcast, although I didn't understand why you had issues with certain plot elements while acknowledging the dream logic at the same time. Here is a great essay on EWS: http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0096.html