Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick. Article by Martin Cid

Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick. Article by Martin Cid

Eyes Wide Shut is the last film of the great Stanley Kubrick

Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick

Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick

I love Stanley Kubrick. He is controversial, of course, but, overall, he is always Stanley Kubrick. Yesterday I was writing about Life of Pi, the last film of Ang Lee and I remembered a film, Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, a fantastic film about sex and… well, it’s difficult to define the plot in a Kubrick’s film because it’s always a strange, bizarre and fantastic.

Kubrick’s last film is, of course, a film about Human condition, about characters, about how to make a good movie and about a silent thing we can never explain that can fascinate and scare us at the same time. Kubrick’s film is about sex, fear and marriage but there’s something more you cannot explain. The plot is about a couple who lives in Manhattan. They have a nice life but their marriage is in crisis. Why? We don’t know and the point in the film might be the discovering of this problem. But it isn’t… or maybe it is after all. We don’t know. She told him a story about another man who likes her… we can see Tom Cruise’s eyes… and the tragedy is here. We don’t know what happened but something terrible has happened. Then, the dream, and the nightmare, begins.

Eye Wide Shot is a path to find the fake truth. Like a character says, this is a charade, a fake lie to avoid to find the truth. What’s the truth inside a dream? What is the truth inside a film? The truth might be precisely we are living a dream and this dream was created for us, spectators and actors. Nicole Kidman looks at the camera and she doesn’t need to say anymore: you, spectator, are here with us and you know what I mean, just you among others. Do you want to participate? Yes, it’s an invitation to sin and to love, but it’s also an invitation to live and to die. Sex, the forbidden territory where everything begins and ends. Sex, that forbidden path we always fall. Sex, that beautiful and scaring last point. Sex, always… the origin of the couple and, at the same time, the origin of every problem we have.

But the problem is even deeper. How can we be watching a film and participating in it? Is it really possible? We are inside a dance, a bizarre party of sex, cuts and pieces of a lost dream. Are we the subject or the dream? How can we be here? The circular proposal by Kubrick is finally a riddle with no solution because when we try to find a path we always find the question: where is the riddle? No, there’s no riddle in Eyes Wide Shut but, after all, there’s no riddle in life: absurd, great, brilliant sometimes, always bizarre, sometimes stupid. Is it still a movie?

Eyes Wide Shut is a film about life and death, about cinema, attraction and fear. I don’t know if it is the best film of Kubrick but I can feel it’s one of the most disturbing, bizarre and beautiful films I’ve seen. Don’t miss it!

View Comments (3)
  • yes, kubrick’s work is always tantalizing and full of questions without answers and answers without questions – this film all of the above and more – and as usual, the cinematography superb!

    • martincid

      Thanks for the comment, Jenean. Kubrick is my favorite filmmaker. As I said, he is bizarre, strange and magical. There’s something fascinating in his films. It’s a real pity he died so soon. Ah, he was a great chess player. When he hasn’t money he played chess championships. He lived in a castle after Clockwork Orange. There are many anecdotes about the relationship between Cruise and Kubrick when they were making the movie.
      Thanks for coming, Jenean!

  • hmmm…i think i need to read more of kubrick – yes, always something magical with his work – a castle? – interesting – but especially anecdotes of his relationship w/cruise during the filming about which i’ve heard nothing – so time to delve a bit deeper – 😉

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