Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, by Joshua Meyer. Twenty years ago, on the eve of the new millennium, Stanley Kubrick invited moviegoers into a mansion where the rich and powerful donned Venetian masks and black hoods to engage in ritualistic orgies. It was the summer of and Kubrick had passed away months earlier, leaving behind the last entry in his filmography, Eyes Wide Shut , as a posthumous release. The sole sex scene involving one of the main characters was a fantasy sequence, glimpsed only in flashes of monochrome thought.
Eyes Wide Shut Revisited on Its 20th Anniversary – /Film
Alice Dressing To Party. The very first image of the film is a medium long-range shot of the back of Nicole Kidman standing in black high heels and dropping some scrap of black negligee to the floor. She stands tall, slim, and naked with her back to the camera facing a nightime window covered by venetian blinds not fully closed and draped with deep red curtains. Her negligee pools at her feet forming a dark circle which she casually steps out from in her high, pointed heels. Screen goes to black. This is followed by a quick edit to images of night traffic moving on the lighted streets outside. Then we 'pop' back into a matching shot of the back of Tom Cruise formally and fully suited in black standing in front of his own blinded and red draped window with his hands searching his pockets almost identical to the one in the opening shot of Nicole.
Eyes Wide Shut : Ritual Scene (Nicole Kidman / Tom Cruise)
Something curious happened in New York around Christmastime This was a fate no one could have predicted back in July , when it was released to dismissive reviews and disappointing box office, owing in part to a fully revved-up Hollywood hype machine that touted the sex appeal of stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and prepared audiences for a much different film. Eyes Wide Shut was accused of being out of touch at the time, but Kubrick was clearly after something stranger and more captivating. The film stock itself had been pushed two stops and had taken on a grainy, otherworldly look.
The controversy was prudish and ridiculous back in It is not an erotic thriller, as so many reviews suggested. Two decades have passed and it is time to start being honest: Eyes Wide Shut is an excellent film, but it is not erotic, sexy, or even titillating. Counter to its categorization as an erotic thriller, Eyes Wide Shut is really a film about a hypocritical man who self-selects abstinence and voyeurism before duping himself into condemning the dangers of casual sex in favor of upholding the traditional values of monogamy and marriage.