Thursday, December 24, 2009

January 29, 2010 - Eyes Wide Shut

My favorite film of 1999 was not, as some might suspect, directed by George Lucas. It was not, interestingly enough, based on an amazing novel by Chuck Palahniuk. No, my favorite film of 1999 was what I describe as Stanley Kubrick's attempt to make a David Lynch movie.

As I mentioned previously, I developed a certain affinity for Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey over the years. Frankly, few of his other films interested me. A Clockwork Orange and The Shining perhaps the only notable exceptions.

There was much uproar over Eyes Wide Shut - at first about the scandalous nature of the film starring then Hollywood Royalty Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Then, after Kubrick's untimely death, the film was optically censored (at first described as according to the late director's wishes, but who are we kidding).

When Vonna and I saw the film at the AMC Saratoga in July of 1999, the mass audiences were still flocking to see The Phantom Menace the third, fourth and fifth times, so it was no surprise that we were of but a handful in attendance. The film blew me away. I didn't really know what to expect, but what I got was, as described above, Stanley Kubrick's take on a David Lynch concept. Secrets, deceit, betrayal, and a naive character sucked into a vortex from which he may not safely escape. It was a very powerful film, with several very well constructed set pieces.

When it came out on DVD, I ordered it from the UK as they saw fit to release Kubrick's original, uncensored version. That is the version that we will be watching on Blu Ray on the 29th. We hope you'll consider joining us for this swan song from a master filmmaker.

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