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Eyes wide shut 
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Post Re: Eyes wide shut
A masterpiece. Not his best - for me, that is unequivocally 2001 - but high up there. In fact, can we rank them? Here goes:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Dr. Strangelove
3. Eyes Wide Shut
4. The Shining
5. Paths of Glory
6. Barry Lyndon (still have only seen this film once, and it definitely needs to be rewatched to be fully appreciated)
7. The Killing
8. Lolita
9. A Clockwork Orange
10. Spartacus
11. Killer's Kiss
12. Full Metal Jacket


Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:32 pm
Post Re: Eyes wide shut
From Welshgaz:

Quote:
I am slightly curious as to why some people have such negative opinions on the film, but not neccesarily others from Kubricks ouvere.


I really think a lot of the negative impressions come from the sky-high expectations at the time since it was not only his first film in 12 years, but Tom Cruise was drawing a lot of star power (and tabloid attention) to the project as well. I know when I saw the movie, I was thinking there was going to be a lot more involvement between Cruise and Kidman than there were.

(As an aside, I'm curious as to you mentioning "The Shining" was misunderstood as a haunted hotel story. What did you think it was really about?)

From ADayintheLife1979:

Quote:
Finally, I would be very interested to see how Kubrick would have ended A.I.


Me too! While IMO the movie would have ended perfectly (SPOILER??)
[Reveal] Spoiler:
underwater with the blue fairy
and Spielberg is consistently terrible with ending his movies, I actually think Kubrick would have ended the movie the same way Spielberg did. The ending of 2001 shows Kubrick would have been more than willing to throw such a curveball at the audience at that point.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:36 pm
Post Re: Eyes wide shut
kwiatal wrote:
Spielberg is consistently terrible with ending his movies, I actually think Kubrick would have ended the movie the same way Spielberg did. The ending of 2001 shows Kubrick would have been more than willing to throw such a curveball at the audience at that point.

The only thing that Spielberg changed from Kubrick's approved treatment is the addition of the flesh fair (and, less importantly, the removal of some sex scenes with Gigolo Joe). Everything else was penned by the master.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:47 am
Post Re: Eyes wide shut
I always have this off-hand way evaluation of the artistic worth of a film--if i'm still noodling on it several days later, I think it accomplished something.

EWS stuck in my mind for a long time, and the process repeats every time I see it. When I watch it, I feel like I can pick it apart--it's not even close to my favorite Kubrick film, and I think it has a ton of serious flaws.

But there's just something about it.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:32 am
Post Re: Eyes wide shut
Hi everyone

For me, Kubrick may be the finest director who ever lived and I include Kurosawa, Lean, Hitchcock, Ford, Michael Bay and Ed Wood in this list. I use the word may versus is carefully because I'm not yet sure.

When we talk about minor Kubrick it's a film that most directors would kill to have made. I own several books on Kubrick and have seen every film he made, watched documentaries and even attended a film in his presence (FMJ).

I don't think many Kubrick fans believe hat Eyes Wide Shut was prime Kubrick. It's a great movie for sure, but in comparison with what he considered to be his masterworks, it's not quite there.

There is no film by Kubrick that I do not now love. Strangely I hated 2001 upon first viewing as I did with Strangelove. I was underwhelmed by Paths of Glory and bored to death by Barry Lyndon. I remember falling asleep at the late night show when I was the projectionist! I persevered.

I am now so biased that when I first saw Eyes Wide Shut i was in a state of giddy excitement. After all, it was the first Kubrick film for years and it turned out to be his last. I was fascinated that he had cast Tom & Nicole.

I have discussed Kubrick with friends and fellow film lovers for 30 years and the general concensus is that your viewpoint changes over your years. It did for me. The following is a generalization that will be different for individuals but is recognized to be generally true:

2001, Paths of Glory, Lolita and Barry Lyndon are hard to love upon first viewing
Whereas Clockwork Orange, Spartacus, The Shining, Killers Kiss and Full Metal Jacket are easier
Stangelove is a love or hate for most people - if they are honest

The conventional view from what I have read is that his easier films have simpler narrative structures and a more linear exposition. I believe that in the case of Barry Lyndon you just need patience :-)

In a way, the problem with classic movies is that unlike Transformers they are harder to instantly like. They challenge us and make us think more before we really love them. However, once we are in bed with them the feeling is - well- rather nice!

Rob


Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:24 am
Post Re: Eyes wide shut
Robert Holloway wrote:

In a way, the problem with classic movies is that unlike Transformers they are harder to instantly like. They challenge us and make us think more before we really love them. However, once we are in bed with them the feeling is - well- rather nice!

Rob


That's true enough. However, for me, there are many different axes to consider when contemplating the greatness of a film--it isn't a matter of choosing between 'Eyes Wide Shut' or 'Transformers'. It's more like choosing between 'Eyes Wide Shut' or 'Wall-E.'

Which even then presupposes that one has to choose at all. That said, my own bias is that I prefer characters over ideas. I don't want to be preached at--I want to empathize with someone I hadn't expected to empathize with. I generally don't like 'idea' films at all. It's a testament to the greatness of Kubrick's films that I like any of them (er, okay, that sounds incredibly egotistical--I don't mean it that way; it's just that his films don't play to my artistic interests).

To put it plainly (and you might just dismiss me out of hand upon reading this)--I'd much rather sit through a Kieslowski (or Milos Forman, or Peter Weir, or even Woody Allen; heck, even the Pixar films) retrospective than I would a Stanley Kubrick retrospective.

Looking back a few years ago, it's why I was so disappointed when 'Crash' won Best Picture. I didn't think 'Brokeback Mountain' deserved it either, although that was a fine film. I thought 'Capote' was the best film that year because the characters were so vividly, and humanely, portrayed. I was far more moved by that film than any other of the other 'great' films that year.

In fact, that's what makes 'Eyes Wide Shut' so hard for me to pin down. I like 2001 because it's darned near perfect, even if it doesn't play to my tastes. I like 'A Clockwork Orange' because it takes someone downright evil and makes him sympathetic. I didn't think 'The Shining' was that good. Nor 'Full Metal Jacket.' That's my own personal take, and it might be that I just missed the point. I'm NOT arguing that devotes of Kubrick are wrong to be devotes--I'm just not one, at least not of all his films.

And yet . . . there's 'Eyes Wide Shut.' I think it is deeply flawed; moreso, even, than 'Full Metal Jacket,' which leaves me cold. EWS gets into my psyche; the obvious symbolism (the lights, the colors, the relative levels of authority, all the obvious things) turn out to be not so obvious, at least to me. It twists upon itself. It's sort of like trying to reconcile all the contradictions in the Bible--whatever you do, it doesn't all add up, but it sure can be compelling.

I still can't quite figure out what he was getting at--and maybe it's as simple as that. But I personally think EWS was the most compelling Kubrick film since 'A Clockwork Orange,' even if it wasn't nearly as good.

Fwiw . . .


Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:22 am
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