09 November 2009

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut: Last night I watched this movie for the first time in ten years. I remember admiring at the time it was released director Stanley Kubrick’s artistry in creating a garish dream story (not coincidentally set during the Christian holy-day season) exploring our physical and psychological bondage to the flesh and the flimsiness of our relationships. But I also felt the plot backdrop--the rituals and long reach of human rulers of darkness--was too heavy-handed and left the film, which has moments of wry black humor, feeling less than the sum of its parts, as they say.

Well, the film plays much better ten years later, with the global elites looting the last pennies of the poor, and distracting the sheeple with *terrorism.* Today, watching Eyes Wide Shut’s orgiastic black mass, one can easily imagine Ben Bernanke, Lloyd Blankfein, Timothy Geithner and all the string-pullers of the American Enterprise Institute, the Foreign Policy Initiative and AIPAC behind the demonic masks.

What seemed ten years ago as a very good-but-curiously-flawed last work from the great Kubrick now appears as a fitting capstone to his career, and must be regarded as a creepy masterpiece that was a decade ahead of its time.

Nicole Kidman has never looked or acted better. . .
Tom Cruise was effective as the sexually befuddled, successful-but-conventional High Society doctor who gets in a game way over his head. . .and there remains in his performace a painful honesty in the scene in which his character is taunted as a faggot by a gang of drunken frat boys.

Visually dazzling. . .beautifully framed. . .with a great menacing score. . .now, ten years later, I regard this as one of the twenty greatest films of all-time.


  1. This was a bit of a sleeper fave for me. This flick had an unbelievable effect on me and a relationship. The concepts of forever, and how Cruise's character can't seem to accept his wife's disposable outlook per love and devotion, cut so deeply I despised this movie.

    The truth hurts, eh?

    A most disturbing part is where Kidman recalls how she saw a Navy officer and fantasized about him and told Cruise she was willing to chuck her marriage, her kid, everything for one night of sexual congress with a Navy officer.

    It's incredible. I watched this flick in 1999 and later in 2002. By '02 I'd begun to not hate this film. I saw it again earlier this year on Netflix instant and I believe it is a classic. It's pretty amazing stuff.

    Isaak's Bad Bad Thing will forever be this movie to me. In fact, Bad Bad Thing comes from one of my favorite cd's of all time, Forever Blue, and I haven't considered Bad Bad Thing a part of Forever Blue since 1999.

    It's a powerful movie.

  2. Yes, that scene where Kidman's character talks about the Navy officer is very powerful. . .there's a lot of stuff going on with her character. . .she's fed up with Cruise's character's limited understanding of human nature, his taking her for granted, etc., and so she tells him about the Navy officer, and takes a cruel pleasure in doing it.

    You know, Cruise has always seemed like such a faggot, it's hard not to view EWS as being an accurate representation of Cruise and Kidman's marriage. . .at the end of the movie, Kidman has to tell Cruise they need to fuck. . .

    And then Cruise goes for Katie Holmes. . .kind of like if he banged the Costume Rental guy's daughter, no?

  3. I wonder if this flick messed up their marriage?

    Cruise is a better actor than the conventional wisdom cares to recognize. He breaks the Nicholson Rule of over-exposure. Cruise really should not have been so accessible to the press and done all that promoting. He's a dipshit. I remember when he was banging Cruz and he showed up somewhere on his motorcycle and whipped off his helmet and asked the paparazzi, "how'd you guys know I'd be here?" to which one of the guys said, "your publicist told us." Ha ha ha!

    But look at some of his flicks. Born on the Fourth of July, EWS, Minority Report, The Color of Money and Magnolia. These were mustard movies where he turned in mustard performances.

    Did he do Cocktail and Jerry McWhatever? Yeah. But remember, this is a guy who also later admitted to regretting doing Top Gun because it glorified military violence.

    He's wacky dumb little midget, sure, but most actors turn in poorer performances. As far as Katie Holmes, man, I figured he was holding her hostage or something. But she truly looks happy nowadays.

    Gag, the first thing I saw Kidman in was Days of Thunder with that lame ass accent and early 90's hair. Younger than Cruise, she looked like an older sis to Tom then. I never got her and always figured her for a bit of a Hollywood climber and glommed onto Cruise to hit the big time. She succeeded.