Excerpts from Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut
OK, I saw Eyes Wide Shut last night, and Im bit confused. Not especially confused about the plot or themes if I wanted to take the time I could sit down and analyze the piece as I would a play I was working on, come up with all sorts of interpretations that may or may not be "right" but would work for me to crystallize my own understanding of the things but Im confused about is this: whether or not it is a good movie.
I feel sort of the way about this film that I did when watching Its Like You Know for the first time. I dont know if what I saw was a long, ponderous, piece of melodramatic crap, or a brilliant moody meditation on the nature of jealousy, sexual fantasy, and modern matrimony. Naturally, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. However, the more provocative truth would be that this movie was one big final "fuck you" from Kubrick, a joke at the expense of those who search for deeper meaning in all art. A joke on Tom and Nicole his own way of saying, "Guys, cmon. Two years to film this movie? I was fucking with you! I made you do the homework scene 80 times for crissakes you really thought I was that much of a perfectionist." And a joke on the notion of stardom in general.
Thankfully, this was proven to me when I stumbled across a few random selections from Kubricks secret Eyes Wide Shut journal soon to be posted at Salon:
7/9/95 - Came upon funny idea: hire huge movie stars for Eyes! Bruce & Demi? Mel & Goldie? Tom & Nicole? Call Semel, get opinion. Found bee in garden. Brought it to live in Blue Bedroom. Hope the bee is happy there. Note: send postcards to Modine and E. Berkley. "Going in a different direction, etc. etc."
4/1/96 - First table-read of Eyes today. Watched from upper office via closed-circuit TV. Kidmans reactions to "sex with Naval Officer" flashback very funny. Think it was the "three fingers" stage direction that got her. Note: change it to "four" (funnier?). Shelly said Modine called yet again today. Can restraining orders be obtained for phone callers? (Have Shelly look into this.)
9/7/96 - First shooting day. Did "walking out door on way to party" take 89 times, just to show Mr. and Mrs. Kidman whos boss. Last 84 takes, didnt even have film in camera! This is so much fun. (Note: dont wait 12 years to do next film.)
2/13/97 - Heard Tom and Nicole discussing "significance of exchange with HIV-positive hooker" today over hidden trailer mic. Tom thought it showed "the futility of the subjugation of desire", while Nicole insisted the whore was "a symbol of pure id restrained by ego posing as superego". Note: add scene with young girl and two foreign men. Cant wait to hear the "stars" take on that. (Note: make them Asian men in Kabuki make-up? Ha.)
6/25/97 - Gave crew day off today. "Neglected" to inform Tom and Nicole. Watched them banging on studio door for ½ hour via hidden camera. Later apologized for misunderstanding with fruit basket. Big news: Variety reported that so far Tom has lost out on $60 million worth of film deals because of length of Eyes shoot. Fell to floor laughing, banged knee. (Note: couldnt find bee today. Sad. Movie idea about disappearing bee? Maybe turns out to be a robot bee?) Watched Shakes The Clown on laserdisc again this morning. What a film!
8/1/97 - Shot 129 takes of the orgy scene today in one continuous tracking shot. Hired huge naked model to lead Cruise around the mansion. Shes about a foot taller than Tom: he was red with anger! Had very funny idea today while watching, "Mamas Family" on the satellite dish. Goes something like this: "Fire Keitel. Float rumor that Keitel ejaculated on Kidmans head during shoot, and was fired because of it." Think Ill do it tomorrow.
11/5/97 Wrapped today. Quite happy about alternate ending. Not sure which one to use: scene in toy shop funny to have last line in movie be "fuck" (watch film professors around the country scramble to find meaning in the word), or the flying monkey scene. Sleep on this. Twelve year-old second cousin Herbie came by the house today mother on trip in London. Herbie started taking piano lessons this year and was playing this awful little trickling melody over and over, finishing by BANGING on a single note numerous times. I recorded it for fun. (Use as score for Eyes? OK, Stanley, now youre just being silly )
This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.
Blair Witch made 1.5 million this weekend - on only 27 screens!!! Pretty damn good...David Cone pitched a perfect game. This, after massive surgery recently. And he's 36. And he did it with Yogi Berra and Don "Perfect Game" Larson watching. You go boy...JFK Jr.'s piloting skills are coming under whispered attack now. Perhaps, but still, how low, how innappropriate, how beside the point...