Tom Cruise as Bill Harford during the centerpiece ceremony scene in Stanley Kubrick's final film "Eyes Wide Shut", which has its tenth anniversary in July.
            (Photo: Warner Brothers)

      The tenth anniversary of the U.S. release of Stanley Kubrick's final film is July 16

        By Omar P.L. Moore/    SHARE
        Wednesday, March 4, 2009                              

    Stanley Kubrick saved the best until very last, and with the tenth anniversary of his passing this month it is difficult to acknowledge his body of film
        work without looking back at his final film "Eyes Wide Shut", which was released in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, July 16, 1999.  A number of tragic    
        occurrences surrounded the film's North America theatrical release.  In March of that year the film had finally completed and edited following a film
        shoot that lasted more than two years.  On March 7, 1999 Mr. Kubrick died at age 70 of a heart attack while he slept, four days after screening the
        final cut of the film for family and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at his home near Hertfordshire in England, just outside Northwest London.  On the
        day of the July 16 release of the film in the U.S. and Canada came the news of the passing of John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn and her sister.
        Mr. Kennedy had been flying a small Piper plane and lost the equilibrium of the altitude through poor visibility and spatial disorientation in the night  
        sky, prompting the plane to crash dive into the Atlantic Ocean.

        Shot in Hertfordshire at Pinewood Film Studios, "Eyes Wide Shut" was written by Mr. Kubrick and Fredric Raphael, based on Arthur Schnitzler's
        book Traumnovelle ("Dream Story") about a man in what could be a waking dream, confronted by adulterous yearnings and opportunities,
        triggered by his wife's revelation about her desire to cheat on him.  Mr. Cruise plays Bill Harford, a doctor whose every attempt to "get even" with
        his wife is constantly sabotaged by last-second interventions.  Alice Harford (Ms. Kidman) is the spouse at home, taking care of their daughter. 
        Mr. Kubrick's film is a tense, dreamy, spellbinding riddle full of color, drama and psychological impact.

        "Eyes Wide Shut" is a beautiful and haunting painting, a film that has new, additional meanings each time it is viewed.  As one watches it one can be  
        forgiven for asking the following: from whose perspective is the film being told?  Is the "dream" Alice's, Bill's or someone else's?  The clue may be
        provided in the very first frame of the film, when Ms. Kidman undresses as Shostakovich plays over the opening.  (Click here for part one of an
        analysis and interpretation of Mr. Kubrick's final film.)

        "Eyes Wide Shut" is set in contemporary New York City but shot in Hertfordshire, England.  The film also stars Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson,
        Rade Sherbedgia, Leelee Sobieski, Thomas Gibson, Vinessa Shaw, Abigail Good, Julienne Davis, Madison Eginton, Alan Cumming and Stewart
        Thorndike.  Featuring the music of Gyorgy Ligeti, Shostakovich and the intricate, unsettling music of Jocelyn Pook.

        The film's running time is two hours and 39 minutes and is rated R in the U.S.  "Eyes Wide Shut" was finally released on DVD unrated and unaltered
        in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

        Copyright The Popcorn Reel.  2009.  All Rights Reserved.

        Part One - "Eyes Wide Shut" - an interpretation

   Spiritual Cinema Circle            


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