FILM CLASSICS | TEN YEARS LATER | POPCORNREEL.COM
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.
tenth anniversary of the U.S. release of Stanley Kubrick's final
film is July 16
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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
"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.
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Part One - "Eyes Wide Shut" -