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Reprinted from "Film Quarterly" Vol. William "Bill" Harford Critical disappointment with Eyes Wide Shut was almost unanimous, and the complaint was always the same: The backlash against the film is now generally blamed on its cynical, miscalculated ad campaign. The most erotic scenes he ever filmed were the bomber refueling in Dr.
Strangelove and the spaceliner docking in He mocks any prurient suspense in the very fist shot of this movie; without prelude, Nicole Kidman, her back to the camera, shrugs off her dress and kicks it aside, standing matter-of-factly bare-assed before us for a moment before the screen goes black like a peepshow door sliding shut.
Can we get serious now? In other words, Eyes Wide Shut is not going to be about sex. The real pornography in this film is in its lingering depiction of the shameless, naked wealth of millennial Manhattan, and of its obscene effect on society and the human soul.
For those with their eyes open, there are plenty of money shots. Strangelovetelling us that prostitution is the basic, defining transaction of our society. It is also, more importantly, a key to understanding the film, suggesting that we ought to interpret it sociologically--not as most reviewers insisted on doing, psychologically.
Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times tells us that Kubrick "never paid much attention to the psychology of characters, much less relationships between men and women," and in fact "spent his career ignoring or avoiding the inner lives of people, their private dreams and frustrations.
Secondly, and more importantly, she misses the point: Even The Shining is not just about a family, as Bill Blakemore showed in his article "The Family of Man," but about the massacre of the American Indians and the recurrent murderousness of Western civilization.
Strangelove to human error. To understand a film by this most thoughtful and painstaking of filmmakers, we should assume that this characterization is deliberate--that their shallowness and repression is the point.
Anyone who doubts that it is the character, rather than the actor, who lacks depth and expressiveness should watch Cruise in Magnolia. Or of Alice giggling in her sleep, clearly relishing her dream about betraying and humiliating her husband, only to wake up in tears, saying that she had "a horrible dream"; her repression is complete and instantaneous.
One place to look is not at them but around them, at the places where they live and the things they own. Kubrick and his collaborator, Frederic Raphael, discussed exactly how much money a New York doctor like Bill Harford must earn per year.
But make no mistake: Ullman in The Shining call "all the best people. The Harfords are what we think of, uncritically, as "nice" people--that is to say, attractive and well-educated, a couple who collect art and listen to Shostakovitch.
But evil among our elites is more often a matter of willful ignorance and passivity--of blindness--than of any deliberate cruelty. And Kubrick emphasizes that culture and erudition have nothing to do with goodness or depth of character; in this film they have more to do with the exhibitionistic display of imperial wealth.
And the fact that Ovid was an exile from his own center of empire further links him to the expatriate Hungarian. Banal dance music echoes from downstairs as we see the call girl Mandy sprawled naked in a narcotic stupor, while Victor hurriedly pulls up his pants, his use of her having been interrupted by an overdose.
After Bill brings her around, Victor impresses upon him that this near-scandal has to be kept "just between us"--but Kubrick, our own contemporary American artist-in-exile, in his own bitter Art of Love, tells all.
With every detail and allusion he exposes the base, exploitative impulses behind imperial high culture: Hardly an interior in the film except the Satanic orgy is without a baubled Christmas tree.
Almost every set is suffused with the dreamlike, hazy glow of colored lights and tinsel. There is a chain of allusions to the Judeo-Christian fall-and-redemption myth throughout the film: This all seems like unexpectedly old-world symbolism coming from a famously atheistic director whose films all take place in a modern, Godless universe.
But these Biblical references only serve to show us how bankrupt the Christian ethic is in America by the end of the second millennium A. In Eyes Wide Shut, much as in the real world circaChristmas is less a religious observance than an annual orgy of consumerism, the ecstatic climax of the retail year.
Even Milich, the Scroogelike owner of Rainbow Costumes, calls holiday greetings to the two men who have just come to "another arrangement" concerning the use of his daughter.
The whole movie is brimming over with the spirit of the season. The equation of Christmas with crass desire is made explicit by the song heard in the Gillespie Diner: But again and again Kubrick visually links his characters to their settings, indicting them as part of the rarefied world in which they live and move, through which his relentless Steadicam tracks them like an omniscient presence.
Bill is haunted wherever he goes by the colors blue and gold, the color of the wallpaper outside his apartment. Domino first appears in a black-and-white striped fur coat, a pattern repeated in the zebra skin stool at her dresser and the coat of the plush tiger on her bed.
Everyone she encounters in the first fifteen minutes of the film compliments her appearance; Bill dutifully tells her she always looks beautiful, the babysitter exclaims, "You look amazing, Mrs. During the quotidian-life-of-the-Harfords montage, in which her husband examines patients at the office, we only see Alice tending to her toilette: Hers is the daytime regimen of a courtesan or an actressdevoted to the rigorous maintenance of her looks.After spending two decades researching Jack the Ripper, Patricia Cornwell claims to have cracked the notorious serial killer’s case in her new book, Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert (Thomas & Mercer), out today.
After spending two decades researching Jack the Ripper, Patricia Cornwell claims to have cracked the notorious serial killer’s case in her new book, Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert (Thomas & Mercer), out today.
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed [Patricia Daniels Cornwell, Kate Reading] on benjaminpohle.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Complete and unabridged audiobook on cassette tape.
Includes 9 cassettes. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed [Patricia Cornwell] on benjaminpohle.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The best-selling novelist turns her attention to the real-life, century-old series of crimes that terrorized London in the s.
This walk explores parts of London’s East End linked with Jack the Ripper in the ’s and takes you through some of the rich multi-cultural areas of Whitechapel and Spitalfields. Observation Essay – The Clown - Observation Essay – The Clown He’s a young man, the clown, with white socks striped in black, and black suspenders over a white T-shirt.