Eyes Wide Shut
15 October 1999
I just want to say that Carlo's analysis of "Eyes Wide Shut" was remarkable. Though I have not yet seen the film, I just had to peek after reading so mych hype about it. Now I want to see it more than ever. He clearly expressed what I personally thought the film's intended message was going to try to deliver.
12 April 2000
At last, an American review of EWS that doesn't miss the point. Since Kubrick's beginnings in the fifties, movie critics have made an habit of shaming themselves, describing how god awful his new movie was (hi, Pauline !) and how it couldn't measure to the one before, it's almost a miracle that they still did in 1999.
It's been known for a fact that SK's movies should be "handled with care" when coming anew because of their avant-garde value, but still, each time, the same people are goofing around. In EWS, they cleverly notice how the old man had lost contact with the reality of modern times (when he was younger, they were just saying that he didn't know people altogether). Looking at their critics, it seems like modern times aren't so different for the old ones, in the end. Like when watching the movies themselves, I can't decide if I should cry, laugh or be scared. Anyway, your review was really worth reading and showed the same hindsight as can be found in the best french movie magazines (Positif and Les Cahiers du Cinema to be clear).
Like its title shows, EWS is really an awaken dream experience, full of hidden truth, of mixed fear, grotesque and apparent nonsense. Unlike dream scenes in many movies, it's never clear wether what's shown is real or not, and that maybe because the reality of the situations is not relevant to their meaning. Like all the best Kubrick's movies, EWS touches to the mistery of human species. Whether it's a great Kubrick movie or the greatest, we should wisely wait a few years before we decide.
Thank you for your e-mail. It's always nice to have your opinion validated. I don't think, however, that I'm the ONLY American to have understood and loved Eyes Wide Shut. I know for a fact there's two or three of us. ;-)
You make an excellent point... many of Kubrick's films fell flat with the critics and were recognized as classics only in hindsight. Certainly this happened with A Clockwork Orange, which was received much like Fight Club was received, later in 1999. The only Kubrick film I can remember opening to solid critical acclaim was Full Metal Jacket. We'll just have to see what history says about Eyes Wide Shut. I know I'm looking forward to another viewing to see if I still feel the same way about the movie.
I like your concept of a "waking dream," and wish I had used those exact words in my review. Of course, the title itself suggests that Dr. Harford is experiencing a waking dream, and if one adopts the view that some of it–or even all of it–is not real, then one can forgive the seeming disconnectedness of the various episodes in the film.... because that's how dreams are. It's also interesting how Dr. Harford's waking dream seems to parallel his wife's dream. In any event, as you point out, whether what he experiences is real is irrelevant.
I just ordered a Region 2 (European) DVD of Eyes Wide Shut. I managed to get my hands on a player that will play DVDs from any Region (I think–Eyes Wide Shut will be the test). It will be nice to see Kubrick's original vision rather than the puritanically altered U.S. version. The ridiculous attitude toward sex, combined with the fascination with violence (though I admit I like many violent movies), in the United States is a source of continuing irritation to me, but that's another story. I will say this: it seems to me the sexual repression and violent expression are inextricably linked.
Anyway, I hope you continue to visit our site, and let us hear from you again
1 August 2000
Thank you. I've read about twenty-five reviews of Eyes Wide Shut in some wild attempt to decide if it was a "cinematic masterpiece" or a stylized piece of trash. You come the closest of even understanding the significance of the film. I really appreciate your comments and will read all your reviews in the future.
09 August 2000
Thanks for your compliment. Obviously not all my reviews are so detailed, but some films are worth it. I do hope you continue to visit AboutFilm.Com. Let me know if you would like to be on our update notification email list.
4 September 2000
I just have a quick comment about one scene in the film. When Tom Cruise's character is talking to Domino's "roommate" in the kitchen, and they are both standing up, there is an odd rainbow in the lower left hand corner of the screen, almost as if it was a reflection of a camera filming through glass. It disappears when they sit down to talk. I wonder if it is a glitch or something else...
I didn't notice it. Sounds like a glitch to me, although nothing the late Stanley did would surprise me. –Carlo
14 October 2000
The biggest piece of crap I've ever seen! I only wish I could get that 2.5 hrs of my life back!
So, I'm guessing you didn't like my review, then. –Carlo
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