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Who loves ya, baby?
It's the 20th anniversary of Kubrick's most cryptic and one of the most unnerving films I've ever seen. It took me forever to get round to it and when I eventually did I remember being both sick with dread and unable to look away. It's up there with Repulsion in terms of literally everything about it feeling hostile and threatening, like being in a situation in which every fibre of your being is screaming at you to run.

There are a ton of theories about what's going on, but one of my favourites is that we're actually being shown the same party twice. It's all the same people, the same events, just with the veneer stripped away, through the looking glass.

The glow of the whole thing is brilliant too, there's something about the lighting which gives it this soft, dreamlike quality which Gaspar Noe seems to have ripped off in every film since Irréversible - along with the font and block capitals.

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Who loves ya, baby?
luka's favs obviously have their take on it too:

The Hidden Messages in “Eyes Wide Shut” - https://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesa...sages-in-stanley-kubriks-eyes-wide-shut-pt-i/

“Eyes Wide Shut” was promoted as a steamy, suspenseful movie starring the “It” couple of the day: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. While the actors were prominently featured in the movie, it is everything around them that told the true story of “Eyes Wide Shut”. Stanley Kubrick’s attention to detail and symbolism gave the movie an entire other dimension – one that cannot be seen by those who have their eyes wide shut. This multiple-part series will look at the hidden symbolism of Kubrick’s final film.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Enjoyed that and I agree re: The Shining being a black comedy, there are some genuinely funny moments in it despite the general thrust of the story. Nicholson often seems to do or say something funny then hold an expression just too long or with just too much intensity that it's still funny, but there's an undercurrent that puts you on edge.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i went through something like eyes wide shut once. i have never seen the movie, but every time i tell this story people tell me that is like eyes wide shut
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Take a moment to watch the pool table scene below. FYI, unfortunately I could only find this version of the pool table scene on YouTube. I suggest you ignore his description and watch the scene. Pay close attention to Sydney Pollack's hands. Also, pay close attention to the blue lighting near the end of the scene.

Do you notice that Pollack keeps hitting various objects he holds, the ball for example, twice against the red table? It is almost ritualistic. Do you notice how the light turns blue around the two men men near the end of the scene? This is what I just recently noticed. It had never occurred to me before as I was always so engrossed in the conversation.

Now, here is what struck me. That double-hitting is something I saw earlier in the film. And it also occurred on a red surface. Below is a YouTube video of Red Cloak, the high priest. Watch his stick and as he hits it against the red floor.

At the end of that scene, the two men are enveloped in blue light, just like they are later in the film.

Once you understand that Pollack is Red Cloak, then you come to understand that there was only ever one party - in two forms - on the same night. It is brilliant!

We can speculate as to what this actually means at some length. Was this a fantasy he had of the original party? Was this a fantasy she had of the original party? Was this a damning criticism of religious rituals? We can certainly go on and on. But there is no escaping the conclusion that there is a single party, presented from two different vantage points.

The Christmas party is the ritual party. The host is the same. There are echos too in the Christmas party that the same people attended both. It is the same party, but inverted. The ritual is all that remains, but it too is inverted. The Christmas party is a facade. The attendees are in many ways wearing masks too. While the women are dressed, there are echoes of seduction and sexuality, despite the outward appearance. The inversion is also seen in the saving of both the prostitute and Bill: He saves the prostitute at the Christmas party and she saves him at the masked ball.

And, like at the Christmas party, he never has an affair, although again, this is also inverted. While at the Christmas party he is seduced and declines, during the night and the masked ball, he attempts to have sex, but never succeeds.

I cannot believe it took me this long to realize the connection between the two parties.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
The Christmas party is an elaborate event. A decadent event for the wealthy, but decadent in a socially acceptable way. Such Christmas parties are a social ritual, even for the non-believers and non-Christians. But if you look closely at this party, it is in fact very similar to the masked ball. The drugs, hookers, sex, debauchery, and darker decadence less socially acceptable are all there. They are, however muted. The women/models are dressed beautifully, but they are prostitutes. They lead Bill on either side as we later see men at the masked ball being accompanied.

There are flirtations (Ziegler with Bill's wife) and innuendo, seduction (the man Alice is dancing with). There is an overdosed hooker upstairs. There is that same type of security too, minus the passwords. It is all a socially acceptable facade.

The masked ball is a ritual too and also for the wealthy. But this is now the Christmas party laid bare. The beautiful women in their beautiful gowns are now naked or mostly naked. The polite flirtations are now an orgy. While the ritual of a Christmas party is something that goes unnoticed, the masked ball's ritual is its central point. The masked ball lighting is reddish and dark.

The only thing that remains the same across the two parties are the masks. The personas on display at the Christmas party and the actual, material masks of the masked ball. The rest is all inversion or an undressing of the original party.
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Him dying a few days after the first screening is possibly one of the best promotional moves you could ever make for a film about a secret society.

The rumours about there being 20-40min of footage removed by the studio after he died only adds fuel to the fire too.

The whole thing is a mystery, but obviously wants to tell us something. There's a recurring them of rainbows, which is an mk ultra (no longer a conspiracy theory) derived symbol related to being over the rainbow as Dorothy was when unable to process her trauma. The same level of trauma victims of such societies would no doubt be subjected to.

I think Kubrik knew a lot and had no other way to tell us.

What with all the Epstein business going on right now, this stuff is nowhere near as far fetched as it seemed 20 years ago.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Don't leave us hanging.
Yeah, we need to know about the time you went to a weird, aristocratic, masked orgy in a huge mansion outside town. I'm assuming it was that part of the film you experienced, not a boring bit near the start?
Version - have you read the book it was based on? Dunno how much that clears things up cos obviously the film is ultimately Kubrick's vision, but it might be of interest.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I'm assuming it was that part of the film you experienced, not a boring bit near the start?
yyaldrin went to a dinner party then had an argument at home and everyone's losing their minds like "Dude, that's just like Eyes Wide Shut!".

Version - have you read the book it was based on? Dunno how much that clears things up cos obviously the film is ultimately Kubrick's vision, but it might be of interest.
I know of it, but haven't read it. Any good?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
yyaldrin went to a dinner party then had an argument at home and everyone's losing their minds like "Dude, that's just like Eyes Wide Shut!".



I know of it, but haven't read it. Any good?
Er, it's ok I seem to remember, worth reading in its own right I reckon but I don' think you're gonna go "Now I understand the film!" - it's called Dream Story by, er, Schnitzel (that can't be right) I should say.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
I dunno which is more tantalizing, 20-40 mins of "lost" Kubrick footage or Corpsey's lost diatribe.
I'm curious about that too, since I really liked The Shining for basically the same reasons outlined in that tumblr post. I don't know anything about film though so maybe it would be over my head.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It wasn't a diatribe more an expression of doubt.

Basically it comes down to everything Kubrick did being seen as intentional, and genius. For example, was he genuinely unable to depict people realistically, or was he uninterested in doing that, or was that part of his vision? Are the boring bits in 2001 deliberately boring?

It was prompted by a recent viewing of Clockwork Orange, which was full of undeniably iconic imagery, editing, design, etc., but also full of tedious overacting and terribly unfunny comedy. I think there is a school of Kubrick worship which would turn these flaws and blindspots into just another aspect of the chess grandmaster's genius strategy. This is really the entire critical journey of Eyes Wide Shut. Seen as a turkey at the time and then over the years it becomes interpreted into a work of genius.

Don't get me wrong though I think he was a genius. But watching Clockwork Orange I could see what critics like Pauline Kael held against him.

My favourite Kubrick was Barry Lyndon, which I am superstitious about watching again because I fear I won't like it next time around as much as I did. When I watched it last time I thought it was practically the best film I'd ever seen.
 
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