Eyes Wide Shut

Regretfully missing out on the widely praised exhibition at the Cinematheque on Stanley Kubrick, I decided to go and see one of the retrospective screenings at the Filmotheque.

It was a Sunday night and quite quiet in town but down a back street, the Filmotheque was buzzing with activity. I was seated in ‘Salle Marilyn’ where everything is red. Everything. Inside made me feel a bit like I was in a Punch and Judy theatre, where dramatic drapes veiled the screen and Warhol style pics of Marilyn popped from red velvet covered walls. The light fixtures were particularly exciting they looked like giant golden daffodils.

I had seen Eyes Wide Shut a couple of years before and it intrigued me. It still does. Cult theories about the Illuminati and extensive gossip about the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman aside, the film raises many questions about the direction Kubrick’s filmmaking was taking.

Many see Eyes Wide Shut, the last film Kubrick made before he died in 1999, as a low point in his career, and after a 12 year period of not releasing any films after Full Metal Jacket, a disappointment.

While I agree in part, there are a few things I love about this film:

  1. The colours. From the moment we are pulled into the ballroom  of the Christmas party we are dazzled by colours and lights. Twinkling fairy lights cover the walls while a soft focus on the pinks of the tree lights warms the scene. This carries on throughout the film. This trailer gives a little bit of that impact.
  2. The soundtrack. The piano hanging on a top note is enough to reignite the built suspense from the previous scenes and  pull the audience out of a comfortable place and back to the chilling darkness of the unknown.
  3. Alan Cumming. Possibly the best thing about this film. Stellar performance. Seriously. Watch it.
  4. Tom Cruise’s frightened face is fantastic and he properly convinces as a rich and unhinged. He could have played Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, (I think people already think he’s a psycho) but Christian Bale is a better actor.
If for no other reason, you should watch this film because it is completely bizarre.
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