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Was "Eyes Wide Shut" a Cultural Watershed?
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“Eyes Wide Shut,” released in 1999, was the last film of the legendary director Stanley Kubrick. He died of a heart attack six days after he submitted the final cut of the film to the film studio. Kubrick’s other films include “The Killing” (1956), “Paths of Glory” (1957), “Spartacus” (1960), “Lolita” (1962); “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964), “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), “A Clockwork Orange” (1971), “Barry Lyndon” (1975), “The Shining” (1980), and “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). A most impressive list. While I’m sure “Eyes Wide Shut” was an honest expression, and by all accounts Kubrick gave it his best effort, it doesn’t contribute positively to his oeuvre.

At least ostensibly, “Eyes Wide Shut” is an erotic drama Kubrick produced, directed, and co-wrote with American-born British resident Frederick Raphael, starring Tom Cruise and his wife at the time, Nicole Kidman. It is based on the 1926 novella Traumnoville (Dream Story) by Arthur Schnitzer. Kubrick and Raphael changed the setting of the story from early twentieth-century Vienna to contemporary New York City. The film follows the—again, ostensibly–sexually charged night of medical doctor Bill Harford (Cruise). It includes his infiltrating a masked orgy by a secret society and the apparent murder of a woman attendee. The film grossed \$162M world-wide, a very good return. “Eyes Wide Shut” is widely available now for purchase and streaming. It has its admirers and has become something of a cult film in recent years.

In the late ‘90s, “Eyes Wide Shut” received a great deal of attention in the media, both while in production and after its release, because of Kubrick’s excellent reputation and Cruise and Kidman’s association with the film. The pre-release media coverage was extended—the 400-day shooting schedule is the longest in film history. Kubrick was known for his multiple takes—up to a hundred for a scene. Harford’s encounter with a prostitute early in his roaming night—incidentally, the one good thing in the film—about seven minutes of screen time, took Kubrick two weeks to shoot.

Critics’ responses to the film at the time were mixed, though none of them was as scathingly negative as I’ll be here. I saw “Eyes Wide Shut” when it came out and remember being disappointed after all the hype and almost completely unaffected by it; it stayed “over there,” it didn’t engage me. I saw it again about ten days ago and this time, indeed, it was “right here” and not in a good way; I found it stunningly bad. Words that come to mind include artless, coarse, contrived, sophomoric, undisciplined, and vulgar. For all its sex talk, sexual situations, and nudity and couplings, this film curiously lacks eroticism. While I found its merits wanting to say the least, “Eyes Wide Shut” intrigued me enough in my second viewing to spend a good a deal of time thinking about it, reading about it online—reviews, analyses and such–and going through co-writer Raphael’s memoir about his experience with Kubrick during the development of the screenplay (Eyes Wide Open, Ballantine Books, 1999).

Why all this attention from me to this bad film? Because I speculate that “Eyes Wide Shut” may have been a watershed in our collective life, a turning point, an historical moment in the core culture. It may have set the stage for, paved the way to, pointed the direction to, legitimized, what is going on now in center-stage mass entertainment taken seriously by critics and the informed—or perhaps better, pseudo-informed—public. I’ll give over the next paragraphs to fleshing out that assertion and invite you to add your own best thinking to what I offer. To orient you to what’s coming up, the last word in “Eyes Wide Shut,” and thus the last word in Kubrick’s directing career, is “fuck.”

• • •

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick

I’ll begin by recounting how I came to watch “Eyes Wide Shut.” I had streamed the 1967 French film “Belle de Jour” starring Catherine Deneuve and really liked it and was looking for a next film with that same theme. “Belle de Jour” deals with sexuality and is about a young woman who spends afternoons as a high-class prostitute while her medical doctor husband is at work. It was directed by the renowned director Luis Buñuel (“Un Chien Andalou,” “The Exterminating Angel,” and “The Obscure Object of Desire”), who co-wrote the screenplay with French writer Jean-Claude Carriere. I found “Belle de Jour” the opposite of what I later found objectionable about “Eyes Wide Shut”: it is artful, refined, true, mature, meticulous, and tasteful. Without any nudity at all, it was highly, and appropriately, erotic.

Looking around for a “next film” after “Belle de Jour, I read reviews of “Eyes Wide Shut,” and it seemed to be a good choice. The late Roger Ebert in his review when the film came out in 1999 wrote:

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star as Dr. Bill and Alice Harford, a married couple who move in rich Manhattan society. In a long, languorous opening sequence, they attend a society ball where a tall Hungarian, a parody of a suave seducer, tries to honey-talk Alice (“Did you ever read the Latin poet Ovid on the art of love?”). Meanwhile, Bill gets a come-on from two aggressive women, before being called to the upstairs bathroom, where Victor (Sydney Pollack), the millionaire who is giving the party, has an overdosed hooker who needs a doctor’s help.

At the party, Bill meets an old friend from medical school, now a pianist. The next night, at home, Alice and Bill get stoned on pot (apparently very good pot, considering about a young naval officer she saw last summer while she and Bill were vacationing on Cape Cod: “At no time was he ever out of my mind. And I thought if he wanted me, only for one night, I was ready to give up everything.” There is a fight. Bill leaves the house and wanders the streets, his mind inflamed by images of Alice making love with the officer. And now begins his long adventure, which has parallels with Joyce’s Ulysses in Nighttown and Scorsese’s “After Hours,” as one sexual situation after another swims into view. . . .

New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin concluded:

This is a dead-serious film about sexual yearnings, one that flirts with ridicule yet sustains its fundamental eeriness and gravity throughout. The dreamlike intensity of previous Kubrick visions is in full force here, in an adaptation of a 1926 Viennese novella that is stark and haunting in its own right. In Arthur Schnitzler’s ”Dream Story,” which the film follows with such surprising ease that its New York has a grandly Viennese flavor, a doctor and his wife are teased apart by sexual jealousy as the husband is drawn into ”a wild, shadowlike succession of gloomy and lascivious adventures, all without an end.” Step by step, this languorous yet precise film glides into a similarly mysterious realm.

Seeing “Belle de Jour” and “Eyes Wide Shut” back-to-back as I did, prompted me to compare Bunuel and Carriere as people with Kubrick and Raphael under the assumption that the art we create grows out of who we are and where we’ve come from. Raphael’s memoir made much of his and Kubrick’s Jewishness and the Jewishness of Schnitzer’s novella, the source material of what came to be called “Eyes Wide Shut.” Examples: “Jews are often real Jews only with each other. Gentiles never suspect this.” “SK [Kubrick] has said more than once, ‘What do we know about how Gentiles feel?’ Yet he wants to suppress any overt allusion to Jewishness in our story. He takes joy in the surreptitious.” This kind of thing, which pervades Raphael’s book, got me thinking about whether the fact that Kubrick and Raphael were Jewish and Buñuel and Carriere were Gentiles contributes to an understanding of the differences between “Belle de Jour” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” Does a Jewish sensibility infuse “Eyes Wide Shut”? Raphael’s memoir seems to be saying yes, it does. I’ll leave it to people who are more ethnically astute than I am to take this angle farther than I am able to.

In any case, it is important to look at who is producing art and entertainment for mass public consumption. They are teaching us what to attend to and what to make of it and how to be. In her New York Times review at the time, Machiko Kacutani notes that “Eyes Wide Shut”

underscores Kubrick’s deeply cynical view of the world, his unaccommodated view of mankind as a species driven to distraction by greed and violence and its own delusions.

Later in her review, she points out that in his films Kubrick has portrayed sex

as an all-consuming obsession (Humbert’s compulsive pursuit of a pubescent girl in ”Lolita”), an uproarious sight-gag (the scene of two planes copulating in ”Dr. Strangelove”) and a brutal violation (the rape scene in ”A Clockwork Orange”), but it has never been depicted as a complex, emotional involvement encompassing love.

Who is showing us the world?

• • •

I’ve decided that the best way to get across my take on “Eyes Wide Shut” is through the dialogue of its climactic scene, an exchange between millionaire Victor (last name, Ziegler) and Dr. Bill. At Victor’s party, Bill’s piano-playing medical school classmate Nick tells him about an upcoming engagement where invitees to secret gatherings wear costumes and masks and must provide a password, which he gives Bill. Bill rents a costume and mask and takes a taxi to the country mansion location. He provides the password and enters and discovers a sexual ritual is taking place involving fifteen or twenty masked women, nude except for thongs. They are virtually identical and resemble large-breasted store manikins. One of the women warns Bill that he is in terrible danger.

Bill is unmasked by the master of ceremonies and it seems that he is in dire straits; perhaps he will be killed. The woman who warned Bill intervenes and declares she will volunteer to take his undisclosed punishment. Bill is let off with a warning not to tell anyone about what happened. The next day, Bill reads an article in the newspaper, “Ex-beauty Queen Dies in Hotel Drug Overdose.” Could it be? He goes to the morgue and views the body and is sure that it is the woman who warned him and then took his punishment. It wasn’t drugs; she was murdered, he concludes. He is then summoned to the lavish residence of Victor; what about, he isn’t told. This sets up an exchange between Bill and Victor in Victor’s billiards room that provides the denouement of the film.

Before getting into the dialogue between Victor and Bill, a couple of quotes that I deem revealing from Raphael’s memoir. “Kubrick wanted to show, not tell. He preferred to leave motive and ‘psychology’ to be divined by the spectator.” Kubrick disparaging exposition in another film: “Know what they did? They explained everything. They told you what everything means. Killed it. You tell people what things mean, they don’t mean anything anymore.” These quotes exemplify what Kubrick and Rafael did throughout their collaboration on the screenplay for “Eyes Wide Shut”—talk a good game and then produce commonplace, even contradictory, results. See what you think, but to me this scene coming up is the longest, most heavy-handed, meandering, tell-not-show, drama-killing exposition movie scene of all time. After all the references to Harold Pinter and the eighteenth-century letters of Junius, Kubrick and Raphael produce this rubbish—you and I could write better dialogue than this. This scene is crude enough that after I typed it up, I went to brush my teeth.

So, millionaire Victor and Doctor Bill in Victor’s billiards room, the big climactic scene.

VICTOR. Bill, I appreciate you coming.

BILL. Sure.

VICTOR. Sorry to drag you out here tonight. Let me take your coat.

BILL. No, no. You know, I was out anyway. Thank you.

VICTOR. How about a drink?

BILL. Are you having one? Sure.

VICTOR. OK. What would you like?

BILL. Just a little scotch.

VICTOR. Good. How do you like it? Neat?

BILL. Please. That was a terrific party the other night. Alice and I had a wonderful time.

VICTOR. Well, good, good. It was great seeing you both. Cheers.

BILL. Cheers. Were you playing [referring to billiards]?

VICTOR. No, I was just knocking a few balls around.

BILL. Beautiful scotch.

VICTOR. That’s a 25-year-old. I’ll send you a case. No, please.

BILL. Sure. No.

VICTOR. Why not?

BILL. No, no, no.

VICTOR. You, uh, feel like playing?

BILL No, thanks. You go ahead. I’ll watch.

VICTOR. I enjoyed, uh . . . listen. Bill, the reason I, uh, asked you to come over tonight is I—I need to talk to you about something,

BILL. Sure.

VICTOR. It’s a little bit awkward. And I have to be completely frank.

BILL. What kind of problem are you having?

VICTOR. It isn’t a medical problem. Actually, it concerns you. Bill, I –I know what happened last night. And I know what’s been going on since then. And I think you just might have a wrong idea about one or two things.

BILL. I’m sorry, Victor, I, uh . . . what in the hell are you talking about?

VICTOR. Please, Bill, no games. I was there at the house. I saw everything that went on. Bill, what the hell did you think you were doing? I couldn’t—I couldn’t even imagine how you, how you even heard about it, let alone got yourself in the door. Then I remembered seeing you with that—that—that prick piano player Nick whatever the fuck his name is at my party. And it didn’t take much to figure out the rest.

BILL. It wasn’t Nick’s fault, it was mine.

VICTOR. Of course it was Nick’s fault. If he hadn’t mentioned it to you in the first place, none of this would never have happened. I recommended that little cocksucker to those people and he’s made me look like a complete asshole.

BILL. Victor, what can I say? I had absolutely no idea you were involved in any way,

VICTOR. I know you didn’t, Bill. But I also know that you went to Nick’s hotel the next morning and talked to the desk clerk.

BILL. How did you know that?

VICTOR. Because I had you followed.

BILL. You had me followed?

VICTOR. OK, OK. I’m sorry. All right? I owe you an apology. This was for your own good, believe me. Now, look, I know what the desk clerk told you. But what he didn’t tell you is all they did was put Nick on a plane to Seattle. By now, he’s—he’s probably back with his family, you know, banging Mrs. Nick.

BILL. The clerk said he had a bruise on his face.

VICTOR. OK, he had a bruise on his face. That’s a hell of a lot less than he deserves. Listen, Bill, I don’t think you realize the kind of trouble you were in last night. Who do you think those people were? Those were not just ordinary people there. If I told you their names—I’m not gonna tell you their names, but if I did, I don’t think you’d sleep so well.

BILL. Was it the second password? [He was asked for a second password and didn’t know it.]

VICTOR. Yes, finally. But not because you didn’t know it. It’s because there was no second password. Of course, it didn’t help a whole lot that those people arrived in limos and you showed up in a taxi, or that when they took your coat, they found the receipt from the rental house in your pocket made out to you know who.

BILL. There was a woman there who, uh, tried to warn me.

VICTOR. I know.

BILL. Do you know who she was?

VICTOR. Yes. She was a hooker. Sorry, but that’s what she was.

BILL. A hooker?

VICTOR. Bill, suppose I told you that everything that happened there, the threats, the—the girl’s warnings, her last-minute intervention—suppose I told you that was all staged. That it was a kind of charade. That it was false.

BILL. False?

VICTOR. Yes. False.

BILL. Why would she do that?

VICTOR. Why? In plain words? To scare the living shit out of you. To keep you quiet about where you’d been and what you’d seen.

BILL. Have you seen this? [The newspaper clipping about the hotel death,]

VICTOR. Yes, I have.

BILL. I saw her body in the morgue. Was she the girl at the party?

VICTOR. Yes.

BILL. Well, Victor, maybe I’m missing something here. You called it a fake, a charade. Do you mind telling me what kind of fucking charade ends with somebody turning up dead?

VICTOR. OK, Bill, let’s cut the bullshit, all right? You’ve been way out of your depth for the last twenty-four hours. You want to know what kind of charade? I’ll tell you exactly what kind. That play-acted “take me” phony sacrifice that you’ve been jerking yourself off with had absolutely nothing to do with her death. Nothing happened to her after you left that party that hadn’t happened to her before. She got her brains fucked out, period. When they took her home, she was just fine. And the rest of it is right there in the paper. She was a junkie. She OD’d. There was nothing suspicious. Her door was locked from the inside. The police are happy. End of story. Come on. It was always going to be just a matter of time with her. You remember? The one with the great tits who OD’d in my bathroom. Listen, Bill, nobody killed anybody. Someone died. It happens all the time. But life goes on. It always does. Until it doesn’t. But you know that, don’t you?

• • •

Legendary film director Stanley Kubrick’s contribution to the culture. I’ll leave it here and turn it over to you. I won’t get into the part about the father prostituting his thirteen-or-fourteen-year-old daughter to two eager middle-aged Asians which made me hit pause. What do you make of this? I’m thinking that “Eyes Wide Shut” was a watershed, a harbinger, it set a tone, portended the future, marked a cultural shift, validated a mindset, passed the baton onto a new set of tastemakers, however best to put it. Is there any validity to this idea, do you think? How about taking it further than I have, either with this film or some other artistic (or “artistic”) expression, a film or television show, whatever it is. Really, the only thing that’s come out of this consideration for me is a commitment to do my best to stay clear of creations as base as “Eyes Wide Shut.” If nothing else, I’ll save on tooth paste, and mouthwash too.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Hollywood, Kubrick, Movies 
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  1. Notsofast says:

    a review of eyes wide shut with no discussion of the rothschilds parties?

  2. gay troll says:

    I recall reading somewhere on the Internet that Kubrick’s contract for Eyes Wide Shut dictated that he had complete control over the film. The studio came to him asking for some changes. He refused. Then, he died, and the studios made the changes anyway.

    I have also read that Kubrick conveyed symbolic messages in his films: the Obelisk is the silver screen; the kid in The Shining wears an Apollo sweater and the film is a metaphor for Kubrick’s labors under NASA. Perhaps some symbolism in Eyes Wide Shut went a bridge too far?

    Despite what the Apollo photographs show, there is no three point lighting on the moon.

    • Replies: @Getaclue
    , @Getaclue
  3. For all its sex talk, sexual situations, and nudity and couplings, this film curiously lacks eroticism

    That’s the point. Unlike this article, which is just pointless. Bizarre that the author loves Belle Du Jour, which is pro-promiscuity and not this film which is anti- for moral reasons. If you want to demonstrate something about a scene from a film, why wouldn’t you put a link to a clip?

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  4. What are you, a dammy?

  5. I found “Belle de Jour” the opposite of what I later found objectionable about “Eyes Wide Shut”: it is artful, refined, true, mature, meticulous, and tasteful.

    (…) got me thinking about whether the fact that Kubrick and Raphael were Jewish and Buñuel and Carriere were Gentiles (…)

    Belle de jour is based on a novel by Joseph Kessel, a Jewish writer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kessel

  6. Here is an uplifting movie.

    • Thanks: Hillbob
  7. @Brás Cubas

    If we are going on quotes from the Raphael book, according to him Kubrick once told him “Hitler was right about almost everything”.

    • Thanks: gay troll
  8. Really, the only thing that’s come out of this consideration for me is a commitment to do my best to stay clear of creations as base as “Eyes Wide Shut.” If nothing else, I’ll save on tooth paste, and mouthwash too.

    I didn’t read anything in this dialog that would make me want to brush my teeth, but neither did I read anything in this dialog that made a lick of sense. Thank you for helping nw to understand why I never ever had any urge of any kind to watch this movie.

    As for Kubrick, I can think of possibly only one of his films that were worth watching. It was in the 50s. The Killing, and maybe, Spartacus, could be added possibly.

    Lolita made no sense at all, Strangelove wasn’t funny or even very good satire, 2001 was incomprehensible gibberish, A Clockwork Orange was just ugly (though it did closely follow the book), The Shining was another big waste of time (and did not follow the book to my outrage). I never saw Full Metal Jacket and don’t regret it. Same for Eyes Wide Shut, but I will add further that I don’t care at all for Tom Cruise’s dramatic acting and likewise times 2 for Kidman.

    I do remember seeing Barry Lyndon (1975) many years after it came out as I was studying cinematography at the time and new film stock had just come out from Kodak that allowed the movie to be lit almost completely by the natural lighting of the time period and I wanted to see the results. It was a good film I believe, but it also was made just as Ryan O’Neal’s stardom was sinking, so I think the film bombed at the box office.

    To conclude, Kubrick has been vastly overrated and I don’t believe he is influential at all. I will have to disagree that Eyes Wide Shut marks some kind of cultural change.

  9. gay troll says:
    @restless94110

    Barry Lyndon is Kubrick’s most interesting film. He also utilized some insanely fast lenses to shoot scenes lit only by candles.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  10. Big Daddy says:

    Disagree. I interpret the movie differently. I am frankly surprised that the obvious premises of the work of art are seemingly not grasped.

    Firstly Kubrick exposes the Illuminati/Bilderbergs for what they are: devil worshiping, sex obsessed, murdering, self elected elitists.

    Then he posits that our society has become a bunch of hedonistic sex addicts. The opening two attempted seductions of the couple at the party and the attempted homosexual seduction of the hotel clerk, for instance. And the wife’s admitted sex obsession dream and her saying “let’s f… at the end of the film. Kubrick was unable to examine this issue in 1960 because of censorship at that time.

    I don’t doubt Kubrick’s genius. The opening scene in Lolita is generally accepted as the greatest one ever filmed.

    • Agree: Zimriel
  11. @gay troll

    You are a true expert and aficionado of the last days of film stock innovation. And you are totally correct. Yes. The film was remarkable for its technological innovation.

    But as I remember the movie, and I barely remember the movie, I thought: this is a pretty good movie.

    Apparently few people at the box office thought that way at all. It was a massive bomb.

    I liked it though. And not just for the technological innovation. Glad you know about it, too.

    And kind of interesting that within 15 years, digital would completely make that innovation irrelevant.

    Ah, well. Thanks for your comment.

    By the way, if you want to see a very literate entertaining documentary on the switch from film to digital there is a great one out there, narrated by Keanu Reeves. Can’t remember the title, it used to be on Netflix before Netflix got woke. Check it out. It’s real good.

    • Thanks: gay troll
  12. @Kent Nationalist

    Agreed. The Harford characters were both tempted and propositioned, but never strayed from each other. Their marriage had turned sexless and boring. Cruise, to spice up his sex life, wanted to take a walk on the wild side, but his commitment as a doctor stopped him when he was called to save the life of a prostitute who had OD’d at the orgy. When Kidman ended the movie by telling him “let’s fuck,” she was saying to Cruise that it was time to get back together as a couple and work on their marriage. It was really a homage to marital fidelity. (Incidentally, weren’t they married to each other at the time?).

    BTW, as Cruise is a big shot in Scientology, it would be interesting to find out what goes on at their secret meetings.

    That said, my wife and I saw the film on the big screen. We found it over long and boring (2 hours and 39 minutes). We thought about getting up and leaving, but stayed to the bitter end. It’s hard to believe that Kubrick spent so long on this film and came up with such a dud after all the build-up. A sad ending to a great director.

    • Replies: @Getaclue
  13. Blubb says:

    Does a Jewish sensibility infuse “Eyes Wide Shut”?

    YES.

    I watched the movie back in the day and likewise found it puke-inducing. It is a disgusting movie, as are many Hollywood productions.

    Where I disagree with you is that it was a cultural watershed moment.

    Recently, I wanted to watch a good old fashioned comedy. Bringing up Baby, maybe.

    It’s not streamed anywhere, so we ended up watching a Marx brothers movie. It was just as disgusting as eyes wide shut. As are many movies today. Many shows. Lacking soul, lacking love, lacking humour.

    This is not new. Just more numerous.

    And it definitely does have something to do with the ethnicity of their writers, directors, and producers.

  14. @restless94110

    “Strangelove wasn’t funny…”

    I mean, I’m just….I can’t…. what the fuck is wrong with you?

    • Replies: @restless94110
  15. @Notsofast

    I’m glad to see this is the first comment, as it cuts right to the heart of things. This tedious waste of bandwidth goes on and on about nothing, including a huge chunk of dialogue cut ‘n pasted (you could use a link, you know, this is the internet and all), yet misses — and presumably wants us to miss — the key “cultural” significance of the film.

    If misdirection isn’t the intent, then I’d have to guess the author had one insight: the last word in the film is “fuck,” so that’s the last word in Kubrick’s oeuvre — and had to pad that out into an essay.

    Another misdirection: as a commenter points out, Belle du Jour was based on a novel by a Jew. So the whole contrast of Jewish and supposedly Gentile sensibilities — a valuable bit of cultural IQ — blows up in his face, thus blackwashing the trope. Now who would want that?

    BTW Midnight Cowboy would be a much better choice to illustrate his supposed theme.

    • Agree: Pheasant
  16. @Notsofast

    a review of eyes wide shut with no discussion of the rothschilds parties?

    Maybe in another time, such would have been deemed as sensational and salacious. But, most people found it either boring or perplexing when the film was released. Film Porn had long been legalized in the early 70s. There was a time when you couldn’t walk around NY without seeing ads for porn theaters(like in TAXI DRIVER). Rock Culture normalized wild behavior, licentiousness, and the like. Kids grew up to songs celebrating degeneracy.
    The behavior of college kids all across America centers around Easy Sex. Most people have had sex many times with multiple partners before sex. The idiot creature named ‘madonna’ released jungle fever music videos in the 80s. Rap music and its raunchy expressions were all over in the 90s. Christina Agorilla became the model for girls. And Heavy Metal and Punk sure didn’t promote propriety and sobriety. So, when EYES WIDE SHUT came out, most people were underwhelmed. It seemed milder than RISKY BUSINESS(or any number of Horny Teenager Movies of the 80s).

    When LA DOLCE VITA was released in 1960, it was both successful and scandalous. Catholic Church, which still wielded cultural power, didn’t know what to make of it. Censorship of sexual material, violence, and language was still in effect in Hollywood. Indeed, the appeal of European Art Film for many people was largely sexual, as Andrew Sarris noted. Though nothing in LA DOLCE VITA would shock anyone today, it was scintillating for many back then. That was a cultural watershed, along with Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS.

    Now, about the power of the ‘Rothchilds’ and the like. I’m sure Kubrick was fascinated with power and its perversions. The Powerful live by their own rules, just like the hoodlums in GOODFELLAS, especially if you’re ‘made’. And of course, cinema is a business, and sex sells. People prefer a peek into the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ than the nitty-gritty details of power.

    But this could be a huge misdirection, perhaps even on the part of Kubrick. After all, the true perversion of power isn’t about the hanky panky stuff. Even if everyone with immense power/wealth were steadfastly moral in personal life, he could part of evil intrigues and ruthless power plays. That is what counts. Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone are faithful husbands and good fathers, but they are also killers. Richard Nixon wasn’t into hanky-panky, but he could be dark and dirty as the next guy. Mayor Richard Daley, by all accounts, led a honorable life as a family man, but he was the master of the Machine(which sure did wonders for JFK).
    The devious general in PATHS OF GLORY may or may not be a sexual pervert, but that’s immaterial. What really matters is he’s an egotist obsessed with power and never hesitates to move individuals around like chess pieces. (Too often, evil was associated with sexual perversion, e.g. Laurence Olivier’s bi-sexual character in SPARTACUS and the lesbian Nazi in ROME: OPEN CITY. Costa Gavra’s Z has a right-wing thug who turns out to be homo, and NO WAY OUT has a fantastic psycho-homo villain. Perhaps, homos tend to be higher in sociopathy, but the fact is one can be straitlaced in life but still be a total scumbag of power. Most likely, J. Edgar Hoover wasn’t homo and didn’t wear women’s dresses, but he was the dark lord of the deep state.) So, if Kubrick was REALLY INTERESTED in exposing the Power, he would have focused less on ‘boi-oi-oi-oi-oing’ and more on what the powerful really do to amass wealth and wield power. After all, if power = sexual perversity, every hillbilly who did his sister would be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. (How do you castrate a hillbilly? Kick his sister in the jaw.) But, Kubrick didn’t go there. Showing how Ziegler operates in business would have been far more revealing of the true nature of globalist power. (‘How did the Jewish Oligarchs rape the Russian economy?’ than ‘How did some Jewish pervert rape such-and-such person?’ Bernie Sanders sure raked in billions, and I don’t think it had to do with orgies or satanic rituals.) It’s like the real Donald Trump is about the deals he made, not the fantasy that he hired some hookers in Russia and made them watch him urinate on bed. So, Kubrick’s take on power isn’t much different from Alex Jones sensationalism(and not surprisingly, Kubrick’s estranged Scientologist daughter was interviewed by Jones about EYES WIDE SHUT and the possible murder of her father.)

    And yet, it doesn’t matter in EWS because the film is not really about the machinations of power, which serves as metaphor than anything else. The film is really about one individual’s realization of power and/or mystery beyond his imagination. The realization can be political, or it can be psychological. Bill Hartford underestimated the expanse of his wife’s sexual realm, just like he underestimated the extent of power and wealth.
    There is a parallel between the moment of his wife’s confession and the moment when he is exposed in the mansion. In both cases, he started thinking that he’s so very clever and knows the rules of the game. But his wife’s confession offered a glimpse of a deeper mystery he hadn’t imagined. And his exposure in the mansion makes him realize they were spying on him just as he was spying on them. Thus caught, he is confronted with a power beyond his Mickey Mouse self-assuredness. He got the pawn but got checkmated.

    • Thanks: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  17. @James O'Meara

    Since you asked….Exactly what was funny about anything in Strangelove? Especially 50 years later. I know. When you were 10 you saw it and laughed. Only no 10 year old thought it was funny at all. Which means that I deduce you were at least 25 to 35. The reason? Only university intellectuals of that age (or British heroin addicts on the dole) could have possibly thought any of that was funny.

    Meaning that you are now in your 80s. And you still think any of that was funny? Do you have co-morbidities? Is one of them laughing sickness?

    And I still don’t get it. Even after recently watching 4 of the original Pink Panther films. In what universe did anyone ever find Peter Sellers funny?

    I guess only uni students of the 60s and ex-heroin addicts on the dole did. So let me ask you: What the fuck was wrong with you?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  18. @restless94110

    Since you asked….Exactly what was funny about anything in Strangelove?

    Major Kong is especially funny. Sellers as Strangelove(a ‘Jewishy’ Nazi) is pure genius.

    And I still don’t get it. Even after recently watching 4 of the original Pink Panther films. In what universe did anyone ever find Peter Sellers funny?

    PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN is one of the funniest movie ever made. If you don’t find the following scene funny, you need help.

    • Replies: @restless94110
    , @Wielgus
  19. Kubrick leaves a lot of blank space for the viewer to project into. Reviews of his movies almost always say more about the reviewer than the movie. Also: they are great for conversation fodder but only a couple of them (Dr. Strangelove is definitely one) are actually good movies.

    I like 2001 but a lot of people I know totally hate that movie so it’s difficult to label it a good movie.

    I dislike the Shining but it is described as a masterpiece all over the damn internet.

  20. Sellers as Strangelove(a ‘Jewishy’ Nazi) is pure genius.

    When someone says the phrase pure genius I get out the barf bag. What does pure genius even mean? It has been used by effete film critics for 70 years and no one has the slightest idea what it means.

    PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN is one of the funniest movie ever made.

    The Marx Brothers films were some of the funniest movies ever made. Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Loyd. Hell, even What’s up, Doc? and Foul Play were funny.

    Pink Panther? Lordy. This proves true that humor is in the eye of the beholder. I’d rather watch Eddie Murphy in Delirious. Sellers? Truly unfunny in every single thing he ever did. He is only rivaled in unfunny by the movies of Steve Martin.

    Have fun. Laugh your ass off. I guess….

  21. @Priss Factor

    By the way, I didn’t just watch Sellers in the Pink Panthers. I am so starved for movie entertainment given the insane destruction of American movies by the black racists and radical feminists infesting the arts that I also have watched Shot In the Dark and the first Casino Royale (among many many many other films of that era–including Dustin Hoffman’s first film shot in Rome) and I can confidently report the following:

    PETER SELLERS WAS NEVER EVER FUNNY EVER.

    Just had to add that. I know. I am a pure genius. As defined by film critics the English-speaking world over for 70 years now.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  22. I found it stunningly bad. Words that come to mind include artless, coarse, contrived, sophomoric, undisciplined, and vulgar.

    Actually, it’s artful and vulgar, which can also be said for LOLITA and BARRY LYNDON. And THE SHINING. Kubrick was a cinematic master, and everything he did was artful. He was fascinated with things of beauty, and the palatial world in BARRY LYNDON is amazing in terms of what humanity could achieve in aesthetics. However, Kubrick was also an artist, a truth-seeker, and he pondered the timeless theme of the divergence between man-as-aspiration and man-as-ape. Icarus with wings, Icarus fallen back to earth. Through art, people create ‘perfect forms’ of beauty and grace, as among the Ancient Greeks.
    But people don’t measure up to such standards. Also, even those gifted with beauty could be dumb, stupid, monstrous, and/or pathological. (Tom Cruise is a looker but dumb. So is Brad Pitt.) And even if they’re virtuous and noble, they must compromise with the corrupt world, and the compromise corrupts them. And even if they lead exemplary lives, they are nevertheless animated by primitive urges(as man is the hairless ape).
    And, even sound minds deteriorate into senility, and even the greatest beauty wilt and wither with age. In the post-Stargate scene in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, the one in the bedroom, Kubrick was maybe making this point. The extraterrestrials created an artificial space modeled on man’s highest aspirations of art and dignity. But natural man is far below his ideals. Man dreams of heroes and saints, but he is neither. He is a thinking ape driven by urges not much different from those of chimps. It’s like DR. STRANGELOVE is about important men, the best and the brightest, of two great nation-states. Both claim to high aspirations, either freedom & democracy or justice & socialism. But the contest of egos and obsession with dominance betray their inherently apelike nature. If mankind seems doomed to remain mired in apedom in DR. STRANGELOVE, the next film 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY imagines a dream where wiser extraterrestrials can remold at least one man, David Bowman, as the prototype of the New Man who can transcend apehood and reach the level of man’s higher aspirations of art, philosophy, and spirituality.

    Vulgarity in Kubrick’s films is not gratuitous. If anything, it reveals the contradiction between beauty and ugliness at the center of power. In fairytales, beauty rules. Beauty is goodness and ability. The handsome prince defeats the dragon & ugly villains and lives happily ever after with the beautiful princess(and they have beautiful children together). In reality, power is attained by intelligence + cunning + ruthlessness, and an ugly and devious person could be the most intelligent, strong-willed, and resourceful. The result is so much of beauty ends up in the hands of the ugly and ruthless. Ideally when we see a grand mansion, we would like to think the owner/inhabitant is the human equal of the impressive architecture. But many kings and noblemen were idiots through history. And capitalism meant that most wealth would end up with the business class. While capitalism was more meritocratic than hereditary aristocracy, there was no guarantee that the most scrupulous and principled, let alone the most handsome and beautiful, would make it to the top. Rather, winners are guys like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
    In BARRY LYNDON, we are dazzled by the mansions, sculptures, gardens, and art, but we also notice that the elites are far from angels and tricks up their sleeves. Humanity is unworthy of the best of humanity. Also, they will even allow a rogue like Barry into their domain AS LONG AS he is willing to pay to play. So, even as they’re dignified in dress and manners, they are really vulgar about power. Over the table, it’s all fancy and clean, but under the table, all kinds of shenanigans go on. It’s the same with democracy. We are told it’s about the Rule of Law and ‘liberal values’, but who writes the rules? Who gets to define the values? The rich and powerful and their minions.

    Furthermore, vulgarity serves two functions in Kubrick films, which distinguishes him from David Lean(much admired by Kubrick). Both Kubrick and Lean presented vulgar characters — performances by Anthony Quinn in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and Rod Steiger in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO come to mind — , and Lean wasn’t without irony and cynicism. Still, vulgarity could be idealized, especially with William Holden’s character in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI: An American who cuts through the bull, especially in contrast to the snobby British and stuck-up Japanese. And with Quinn’s character, vulgarity = valour and virility. Though Steiger’s character(as a man of privilege with crude ways) in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO is contemptible, he is not without a certain romanticism and possibility of redemption. Furthermore, there are genuinely noble characters or moments in Lean’s movies. Holden plays the cynic who becomes a real self-sacrificing hero. Lawrence the troubled soul is a true poet-warrior. Zhivago is pure of heart, and Lara is a dream. They all rise above the vulgarity around them. They are pearls among the swine.
    Kubrick’s nihilistic view is the opposite. Not only is there a vulgar underbelly to the opulence of the rich, but all men are part of apehood. There are no noble souls or salt of the earth. The noblest character in Kubrick’s films is Kirk Douglas’ in PATHS OF GLORY, the one that comes closest to the humanist message, but on some level, we can’t help feel that Kubrick agrees with the devious general. Idealists are fools delusional not only about the world but their own moral character. It’s like a fish pretending it can be dry. So, unlike leftist social critics who tend to believe that evil is concentrated in the power and that the average person is a fine fellow, Kubrick believes the stain of apehood is part and parcel of every man.

    [MORE]

    For all its sex talk, sexual situations, and nudity and couplings, this film curiously lacks eroticism.

    By intention. EWS is not about Bill Hartford looking for sex. If he had the hots, he had the looks and money to get it without trying. He is subconsciously looking for something else, one touching on the mythical and ‘spiritual’. In Luis Bunuel’s EXTERMINATING ANGEL, DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, and THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE, characters can’t get what they really want. The guests in EXTERMINATING ANGEL cannot leave the house despite all their efforts. The bourgeoisie in DISCREET CHARM are always interrupted from having dinner. Something somehow always comes between the old man and the girl in OBSCURE OBJECT. Bunuel was saying something about the contradiction of bourgeois culture that is predicated on promise of freedom/liberty but built on repression, deception, and denial.
    Some people might say there is a kind of coitus-interruptus at work in EWS as Bill Hartford fails to fuc* anyone after his wife’s confession. But he’s not really seeking sex or physical contact. He wants to enter into the secret realm of sexual dynamics. He wants to remain a voyeur. When he’s with the hooker in her apartment, he seems only mildly turned on. Earlier when the daughter of the dead man made advances, he walked away. If he only wanted sex, he surely could have called up any of his female acquaintances. He’s no ‘incel’. Nor, is he looking to GET EVEN with his wife. After all, despite Alice’s confession, she didn’t cheat on him and remained faithful in body. But not ‘spiritually’. He wants to enter her mind, but of course he can’t, so his wandering through the night is a subconscious search for something approximating the the secret temple of sex and love. It explains why he’s so insistent on gaining access to the secret ritual within the mansion. It’d be like walking into a lucid dream. To better understand EWS, try MOTHMAN PROPHECIES in which a man who loses his wife subconsciously seeks roundabout ways to reconnect with her somehow. His quest is as futile as Hartford’s — one cannot reconnect with the dead, and one cannot enter someone else’s soul — , but an obsessed soul simply can’t let go and wanders into mythic territory for an answer. Whether it’s Scotty recreating Madeleine in VERTIGO or Klein(Richard Gere) trying to save lives(as compensation for his inability to prevent his wife’s death) in MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, there is more going on than what meets the eye.

    Why all this attention from me to this bad film? Because I speculate that “Eyes Wide Shut” may have been a watershed in our collective life… It may have set the stage for… what is going on now in center-stage mass entertainment taken seriously by critics and the… public… the last word in “Eyes Wide Shut,” and thus the last word in Kubrick’s directing career, is “fuck.”

    Yeah, I guess he didn’t say ‘fudge’ and deserves a soap in his mouth. At any rate, where have you been? EWS as a cultural watershed, especially because someone said ‘fuc*’? What about THE LAST TANGO IN PARIS? During Watergate, everyone was wondering about ‘deep throat’. The word ‘fuc*’ must have been uttered a million times in movies since the early 70s. Quentin Tarantino himself used it at least 100,000 times in the 1990s.
    Besides, despite the cult following, EWS hasn’t been much discussed by critics and scholars. If you want to talk about watersheds, Tarantino is your man. PULP FICTION was a real game-changer in film culture as it profoundly altered the meaning and purpose of Art Cinema and Indie Film. Another game-changer was JUNGLE FEVER by Spike Lee. While interracial stuff had been around, Spike Lee brought it out in the open, along with madonna the skank. EWS had no impact on culture. Had it never existed, the overall culture would be the same. Besides, in a culture that is most obsessed with superhero movies, how is EWS relevant?

    I found “Belle de Jour” the opposite of what I later found objectionable about “Eyes Wide Shut”: it is artful, refined, true, mature, meticulous, and tasteful. Without any nudity at all, it was highly, and appropriately, erotic.

    Luis Bunuel was one of the most wickedly vulgar directors. Intellectual and sophisticated but anarchic, irreverent, and subversive. He really loved to stick it to the Catholic Church and the bourgeoisie. Also, the ‘refined’ quality you find in BELLE DE JOUR is a put-on. Bunuel was a master, but I wouldn’t call his art ‘mature’. He remained a mischievous child to the end. Many of films are the equivalent of anarchist bomb throwing or stuffing a frog down someone’s back. And, BELLE DE JOUR is a comedy. EWS had funny moments but operates on a different level. BARARELLA is closer to BELLE DE JOUR.

    This kind of thing, which pervades Raphael’s book, got me thinking about whether the fact that Kubrick and Raphael were Jewish and Buñuel and Carriere were Gentiles contributes to an understanding of the differences between “Belle de Jour” and “Eyes Wide Shut.”

    This reads like ‘woke’ criticism in the pages of NYT and elsewhere. It’s one thing to ponder the role of Jewish mindset or personality in arts and expression, but the above query comes close to saying “Goy good” and “Jew bad”. Art has no such rules. Commie Eisenstein was a genius. Anti-Jewish Wagner was a great artist. And it’s especially hilarious in relation to Bunuel, one of the most wickedly perverse, irreverent, subversive, mocking, and anarchic directors. Bunuel makes most Jews, even the perverts, seem rather staid by comparison. Bunuel relished being the enfant terrible. And as a swarthy Spaniard, he was hardly the ‘Aryan’ type.
    If one wants to contrast Jewish Sensibility vs Gentile Sensibility, maybe it’s possible pitting Billy Wilder against John Ford or Roman Polanski against Christopher Nolan(or Veit Harlan). But Bunuel of all people? He out-Jewed the Jews. It’s like mentioning Jerry Lee Lewis as an exemplar of white music as contrast to black music.

    Also, while one can find distinct Jewish elements in Kubrick’s works, he stands out from most Jewish directors who were more adept with words and gags than vision and design. (Fritz Lang, a comparable director, was half-Jewish. Sergei Eisenstein, another grand master, was quarter Jewish.) A cursory glance at Kubrick’s visual style wouldn’t necessarily lead one to say ‘Jew’. He’s the most Beethoven-like among directors. Pauline Kael called A CLOCKWORK ORANGE ‘teutonic’. Susan Sontag found ‘fascist’ aesthetics in the Nietzschean 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Granted, the Jewish Max Ophuls, no less than David Lean, anticipated Kubrick’s approach. In the early 60s, Kubrick though Ingmar Bergman was the greatest film artist. And Kubrick loved Kurosawa, whose cinema has little in common with Jewish sensibility.

    https://akirakurosawa.info/2016/07/27/stanley-kubricks-favourites-including-kurosawa/

    (Michio Kakutani)points out that in his films Kubrick has portrayed sex
    as an all-consuming obsession (Humbert’s compulsive pursuit of a pubescent girl in ‘Lolita’), an uproarious sight-gag (the scene of two planes copulating in ‘Dr. Strangelove’) and a brutal violation (the rape scene in ‘A Clockwork Orange’), but it has never been depicted as a complex, emotional involvement encompassing love.

    Kakutani is the Yoko Ono of criticism. An idiot. Actually, LOLITA is about love as complex emotional involvement. I don’t know about the novel by Nabokov, but the movie isn’t about a dirty old man hankering for some hotty-tot teen. Humbert is really in love with the girl and only with her. Even when she’s married and knocked up with a kid, he still wants to be with her. As such, LOLITA isn’t really about sex, though of course sex/lust is part of love. He really feels love for her, which oddly makes it even more perverse. He’s caught up in a dirty and scandalous situation but feels something true and deep about the object of his obsession. This makes Humbert a tragic character in the end. He doesn’t kill merely for jealousy but for love’s honor.

    I’ve decided that the best way to get across my take on “Eyes Wide Shut” is through the dialogue of its climactic scene, an exchange between millionaire Victor (last name, Ziegler) and Dr. Bill… See what you think, but to me this scene coming up is the longest, most heavy-handed, meandering, tell-not-show, drama-killing exposition movie scene of all time.

    Victor is likely a billionaire.

    What’s wrong with the scene? It works just fine. First, film dialogue, which cleaves closer to intimacy of reality, works differently from stage dialogue. As such, film speech is generally less poetic or rhetorical than stage dialogue(and it explains why most plays don’t make good cinema; novels, set in reality than on stage, make better movies). Most novels have ‘pedestrian’ dialogue compared to plays because the characters operate as real life people. Theater actors, even in ‘realist’ plays, are as much performances(like opera singers) as they’re characters. In the novel, the description of places and mood are as important(or more so) than the dialogue. If Hemingway’s novels were stripped of everything but dialogue, much of it would seem banal and pointless.

    What matters in the scene between Ziegler and Hartford isn’t so much what they say but what they don’t say or hide between the lines… until finally the beans are spilt and there’s no going back.
    Also, the scene is an explanation(among many possible explanations), not an exposition. We will never know what really happened, and we don’t know what Ziegler is really up to. The scene is comparable to the final exchange between the general and Kirk Douglas’ character in PATHS OF GLORY. The Machiavellian and the Idealist, the professional of power and the amateur, the boy scout.
    The scene is also significant because it deflates Hartford’s personal mythology derived from what happened since his intrusion into the mansion. He feels himself to have tripped over into some dark world. He also believes a woman loved him so much that she sacrificed herself for him. Yet, it turns out the secret society of sinister rich people is really a pervert-club of the likes of Ziegler. And more likely than not, the woman who apparently sacrificed herself for him was a junkie who died of overdose. Fairytale turns into ‘Fudge’. But then, it’s one explanation, and we aren’t sure what really happened.

    At any rate, screenplays rarely come to life on their own. Theater Plays have innate worth as Talk is central to the stage. In most forms of cinema, words are only part of the package. It’s the difference between reading poetry and song lyrics. The latter mean little without the music.
    In the scene, both characters speak a lot of twaddle to either hide something or warm up for the kill. Clearly, Ziegler has the advantage because he knows something Hartford does not. In a way, it’s like a more intimate replay of what happened at the orgy mansion. Hartford plays innocent, but Ziegler denudes him with the truth. At any rate, if you focus on the twaddle, you’re missing the point. So much talk in reality function like masks. They are spoken not to reveal but to conceal what people are really feeling. So, any astute viewer would NOT focus on what the characters say in that scene but what feelings they are hiding behind the talk.

    Also, consider how the scene goes from pats and smiles to knives drawn to pats and smiles again. For Ziegler, it’s all business. Hartford is small potatoes to him, useful to keep around as fixer/doctor. Both Ziegler’s hospitality and hostility are not to be trusted. He’s never truly nice or truly hateful. What matters is his securing his position and furthering his interests. And he can shake any hand and stab anyone in the back. He can shake and then stab or vice versa. Or shake and stab and shake and stab. He can talk nice, he can talk tough. He can be your ‘friend’ or your ‘enemy’ but neither on a permanent basis. It all depends on the situation. It’s about business, what works and what doesn’t. He could put down Hartford but then put his hands on his shoulders like a chum. And yet, on some level, he seems to feel a bit of sentimentality about Hartford to warn him and just let it go. It’s sort of like the relationship between Kleinfeld and Brigante in CARLITO’S WAY. Carlito considers Kleinfeld a ‘brother’ and Kleinfeld is not without affection for Carlito, but when push comes to shove, It’s Business First(or ‘save your own ass’) with Kleinfeld. And business is power.

    • Thanks: Pheasant, Hockamaw
    • Replies: @Hockamaw
    , @CMC
  23. @restless94110

    I also have watched Shot In the Dark and the first Casino Royale (among many many many other films of that era–including Dustin Hoffman’s first film shot in Rome) and I can confidently report the following:
    PETER SELLERS WAS NEVER EVER FUNNY EVER.

    Most Pink Panther movies are hit or miss. I don’t care for them but STRIKES AGAIN is pure gold. One of the funniest stuff ever made. Others are good for a few laughs, like the one in the Japanese restaurant.

    Sellers was only as good as the roles written for him. But this is true of most actors. John Candy was a real talent but wasted so often.

    I finally got around to CASINO ROYALE a few week back, and it was dull… until Woody Allen showed up. Then it was funny as hell.

    I am a pure genius.

    You’re a good troll.

  24. cortesar says:

    What a nonsense
    The author watched Eyes Wide Shut after La Belle du Jour and that is the reason why he compares them
    These 2 films have very little in common with one major difference Eyes Eyed Shut has erotic as the background while the major story is everything else that is the corrupt sex obsessed (((New York elite society))) of the end of 20th century
    Belle du Jour has a woman erotic perversion as the main theme while the critic of French bourgeoisie is the background
    The fact that (((critics))) did not like Eyes Wide Shut is only too understandable given its main subject/theme (and likely fact that Kubrick once said that Hitler wax right almost about everything)
    From the first time I saw the movie I liked it, each next time I liked it more so did most of the other people which opinions about cinema I respect
    Time, as it always does, has proved that Eyes Wide Shut is a great film, capturing in itself every sick aspect of the society that we live in including the main character final compromise/surrender/closing wide his eyes to the (((mighty pervert and powerful)))
    Weinstein, Epstein and others will come 20 years later but do not forget that you first saw them in Eyes Wide Shut

    • LOL: Priss Factor
  25. Do we really need a 3rd film reviewer on UR, after Steve Sailer and Trevor Lynch ? Especially as Lynch has already reviewed ” Eyes Wide Shut” recently and in a very comprehensive manner.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  26. @Priss Factor

    Sellers was only as good as the roles written for him. But this is true of most actors.

    You’re right. Sellers was an Englishman very much of the immediate post-war period. He had directors and writers who wrote to his strengths and permitted him to make often very sharp social comment. Nearly all these films are still very watchable and amusing. In some of them, as in I’m all right Jack, he is superb.
    Once he left for Hollywood in the mid 1960s, he left the cultural milieu in which he prospered and lost his cultural context. He was just another foreign actor appearing in bland Hollywood comedies. None of these films were as remotely as good as his previous British films. Unsurprisingly, his reputation dimmed.

    For actors who do have a lot of input into the roles they play, the problem is similar. Steve Martin used to be very funny indeed. What happened ?

    • Replies: @restless94110
  27. @Priss Factor

    I forgot to mention What’s Up, Pussy Cat? and Alice B Toklas. Add that to your constellation of the Seller oeuvre (see? my pure genius film critic cred is elevated by my use of French). You have almost convinced me to give your fave Pink Panther film a try. I thought I included it in my Panther/Seller watching a few weeks ago, but maybe I missed that one.

    By the way, I’ve loved several of Blake Edwards’ films particularly Victor Victoria, and SOB. He, like Sellers, was hit or miss. The most interesting of Sellers’ roles was his last one, mainly because he played it so understated.

    But should you think I just don’t get English humor, I have been a fan of the early black and white Brit comedy films (from the 40s and 50s into the 60s), like Carry On, and even liked Benny Hill.

    Yes, Casino Royale was a misfire. Was that the film that they had to dub a David Niven impersonator in because Niven was so ill?

    Anyway, I’m back to the search for movies to watch from the past. In the queue is the old Brit film Separate Tables, The Killing, In a Lonely Place, Dark Alibi, The Trap, The Proud Rebel, The Ideal Husband, Heaven’s Burning, and General Commander.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  28. @Verymuchalive

    What happened was Martin was only really funny in stand up. Except for his very first film, all of his films are not funny at all.

    Years ago there was an article in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle that asked the question: why do comics become more and more unfunny as the time goes by?

    You can see it in almost every comic through time. I forgot what the article concluded, but it is a fact. They lose the funny for some reason.

    Martin was no exception. And from what you said, apparently Sellers was, too. I’ve not seen that early Brit work. Maybe I’ll check it out. Thanks.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  29. @Priss Factor

    In your Kubrick investigations have you ever crossed this:

    in the Lewis biography Anthony Burgess he floats the tidbit that Clockwork Orange was ghost-plotted by MI5.

    ?

  30. @restless94110

    I forgot to mention What’s Up, Pussy Cat?

    That is painfully bad. Blame goes all around. It’s one of the 60s movies that pretends to be hip and fashionable but is really mired in old-fashioned slapstick. THE GRADUATE, in contrast, was really something new in and out. PUSSYCAT goes for Lester-like hijinks but is crusty at the core.

    • Agree: WhiteWinger
    • Replies: @restless94110
  31. @Verymuchalive

    Do we really need a 3rd film reviewer on UR

    No need to worry. He’s not the 3rd film reviewer but the 1st film gumby.

    It is possibly the most ridiculous piece on cinema, many times worse than the Occidental Observer piece on THE GRADUATE, which is bad enough.
    I say name the Jew but give credit where it’s due.

    There’s a saying, ‘the left can’t meme’. It seems white nats can’t dream.

  32. @Priss Factor

    For once I agree with you. The Graduate was remarkable and still is. Absolutely the best Mike Nichols ever did. Maybe even the best Dustin Hoffman ever did.

    But I do take issue with you calling me a troll. For one, you are obviously as big or bigger troll than I.

    But for another, it seems that the name calling of troll is really more about someone who replies to someone else. We are supposed to say one thing and then reply to it and done?

    The name troll is stupid bullshit. Stop using it. Thanks.

    And enjoy your Sellers festival. I hear that it will be held in Prague this year.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  33. @restless94110

    But I do take issue with you calling me a troll. For one, you are obviously as big or bigger troll than I.

    That’s some genius trolling.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  34. @Priss Factor

    You are the genius at trolling not I. Congratulations.

    I am sure that at your Top Troll Award ceremony I will toast you.

    It takes one to know one.

  35. Anonymous[377] • Disclaimer says:

    He was trying to tell the world about the Epstein-Maxwell cult and couldn’t do it directly. Notice the location which is directly connected. The preteen girl etc. He probably got killed for it anyway,

  36. Who ever thought Peter Sellers was funny? The answer, unfortunately, is Peter Sellers. When he became a big star in Hollywood he decided that he was a comic genius and could be as grossly self-indulgent as he felt like being.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  37. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:

    This is written like a John C Dvorak review. Before clickbait was a word, there was Dvorak. Watch the video.

    http://scripting.com/2006/06/09.html#When:10:38:44PM

    Whoever wrote this has to know what (J)EWS is about. Surely? It’s not like when I watched this when it first came out with a group including a MOT who was really into it and thought it was really good, and here I am thinking what the hell was that all about.

    Years later, I understand it. Ygdrassil’s movie review helped, along with others.

    https://www.whitenationalism.com/cwar/shut.htm

    Of course, this movie has nothing to do with sex, affairs, etc. that it was marketed as other than in the context of hinting at the Epstein type pedo blackmail outfit which probably got Kubrick killed. It would be great to see his final cut. Alas, we will likely never see that. But what is there, is enough with a few clues.

    It is about the nature of power, the nature of the (((elite))). As someone has commented, the location was for a reason:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentmore_Towers

    The masks also potentially hold clues.

    https://steemit.com/film/@janenightshade/kubrick-s-eyes-wide-shut-1999-the-symbolic-masks

    Also the billiard room scene is required. Absolutely necessary. Brilliant.

    I am not sure I agree with every subtitle of subtext in this, but a lot of it is on the money. Basically Ziegler is conveying to Hartford in plausibly deniable language but with body language, plainly evident that yes, the woman was murdered, and for your own safety you should just try to forget the whole thing happened, because maybe I prefer you alive or maybe it’s a lot less work if I have this conversation this way, and probably a bit of both.

    You are way out of your depth here. Your concept of legality, justice, rule of law etc. is just something to control the goyim, but a level above that there is just power and its own mostly unwritten rules which you either observe or you don’t, and pay the price. When it is the leading politicians, bureaucrats, police, the heads of media, who are wearing those masks, what do you hope to achieve? You got to play voyeur looking at power, you weren’t supposed to, and if you are smart you can just file that away and play along, or you can end up in the morgue yourself. I know you will make the correct decision.

    Ok, so why are we the viewer watching this? To know how it works. To know the nature of the power structure. If it is to be contended with, one must first understand it, and that includes why and how it remains cryptic, which is shown by this scene.

    This movie is an educational film about reality, for adults. The sex is incidental and only to further the plot. It is a watershed because it shows the reality of the (((elite))).

    • Agree: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Pericles
  38. Franz says:

    Kubrick’s last film was no watershed, but it was an excellent warning to average people just how vulnerable they really are.

    By average I most surely include the Cruise character. Perhaps especially folk like the character he plays. He’s a sitting duck for the occult power pigs who rule us all, and are probably delighted at the sight if us going through our lives in blissless ignorence.

    Kubrick’s film is a warning for us to wake up and be more aware. An open society is a game preserve for the few who prey on us. The fact he came right out with it, fictively, at the end shows he intended it to be a warning

  39. @Brás Cubas

    And I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,paperback writer!

  40. @restless94110

    I dont know if he is overrated,tho I suspect movie critics like the idea of a mysterious,Jewish movie genius. Me, I have seen several Kubrick movies and I didnt much like any of them,except Spartacus.*
    The worst was The Shining. My taste is a bit plebian,I should say.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  41. @Father O'Hara

    The worst was The Shining. My taste is a bit plebian,I should say.

    The only Stephen King I have ever read was The Shining.

    So when the movie came out, I was very interested in it. And so? When Kubrick re-wrote the book so that Scatman Cruthers was KILLED??????????

    I lost all interest in Stanley Kubrick forever.

  42. @restless94110

    I’m the other end on The Shining. I thought the changes Kubrick made were brilliant. Then I read the King book, the only one I’ve ever read of his–thought it was awful, not scary, and the ending Kubrick substituted instead gave ‘the devils’ still some of their power left, even if the mother and child got out–that makes for much scarier sensations than that ridiculously cornball Stephen King ending. In fact, the evil people are ‘still’ in the Overlook Hotel. Shelley Duvall and the little boy didn’t stop the spell. The Hunger (the movie) was equally bad for not letting the evil and horror triumph at the end. If it doesn’t win, it’s not really evil. Whitley Streiber’s book was chilling and the last page incredible. So those two swap, one better as a book (most often), one better as a movie (rare that it’s better than the book.)

    Good to read this, though, I had never known Frederick Raphael co-wrote this. He’s one of the best screenwriters, from Petulia, Two for the Road, The Glittering Prizes, After the War, more…although I definitely find Eyes Wide Shut an extreme mediocrity. Cruise has his one moment to show his stardom, and takes it. Kidman is no star as far as I’m concerned, dreadfully overrated.

    List of Kubrick films is very good to see, how many of them are masterpieces. I’d forgotten some were his. Loved Barry Lyndon, a total ‘biological sport’ of a film, and 2001 is one of the greatest.

    I never liked Belle De Jour much, but Deneuve is my favourite of all film actresses, so of course anything she does is worth watching for me. She’s still making good pictures, 2 or 3 a year.

    The only thing I like about Eyes Wide Shut is that Kubrick seems to be using the couple real-life marriage without their permission. This is very sinister and evil in itself.

    They were both in Scientology, but she got out.

    • Replies: @restless94110
    , @dfordoom
  43. @Notsofast

    I have been to Rothchilds parties. They are not as exciting as this. Oops! I talked too much. I got to hide.

  44. Pericles says:
    @restless94110

    It was a while ago but I do recall enjoying Roxanne. Perhaps that was because of Cyrano rather than Steve. Not to mention Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Or was that because of Rachel Ward?

    • Replies: @restless94110
  45. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    Whoever wrote this has to know what (J)EWS is about.

    “So what should we call the movie, Stan?”
    “Just Eyes Wide Shut.”
    “OK, got it.”

    Regarding that final-ish scene, I thought it fizzled when read straight. We’ve probably all seen dozens of movies like this already, though there is usually a long chase in the third act after the reveal. OK, so this time the doc is scared off and the film ends. Not satisfying, more juice needed. So it’s possibly more interesting to speculate about all the imbued meaning.

  46. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    In fact, the evil people are ‘still’ in the Overlook Hotel. Shelley Duvall and the little boy didn’t stop the spell. The Hunger (the movie) was equally bad for not letting the evil and horror triumph at the end.

    I do not believe that evil should triumph in movies or in books. That is the obvious difference between us.

    I had never known Frederick Raphael co-wrote this. He’s one of the best screenwriters, from Petulia, Two for the Road, The Glittering Prizes, After the War, more…

    All obscure and/or mediocre films. Not a great CV.

    List of Kubrick films is very good to see, how many of them are masterpieces. I’d forgotten some were his. Loved Barry Lyndon, a total ‘biological sport’ of a film, and 2001 is one of the greatest.

    I’m sticking to my story: The Killing and Barry Lyndon–the only 2 films that are any good.

    I never liked Belle De Jour much, but Deneuve is my favourite of all film actresses, so of course anything she does is worth watching for me. She’s still making good pictures, 2 or 3 a year.

    I don’t see why she is your favourite. Try watching that thing she was in with Jack Lemmon. Are you really sure she is still acting in 3 movies a year? Haven’t heard a thing about her in ages except for her honorable public stand against MeToo.

    The only thing I like about Eyes Wide Shut is that Kubrick seems to be using the couple real-life marriage without their permission. This is very sinister and evil in itself.

    Since the marriage was always a beard, it didn’t really matter did it? But I do not understand what you are saying. You are rooting for evil? You appear to like that evil triumphs and that Kubrick was evil in his intentions. I don’t see that as a good thing or worthy in any way.

  47. @Pericles

    Ok. I do agree that Roxanne was good. The real old Hollywood version of it–dramatic not comedic–was a masterpiece, but yes, agreed. Roxanne.

    Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid was, in my view, an honorable attempt. I appreciated it, but it was still much of a miss.

    Don’t get me wrong. Good on Martin for acting, writing, creating. Keep on keeping on. I just don’t think much of what he did in films was funny while much of what he did on live TV was better.

  48. @restless94110

    Do be sure to always decimate everything in a commenter’s post. Wonderful etiquette.

    All obscure and/or mediocre films. Not a great CV.

    They are all known to people who know anything (or maybe a lot about movies.) I included The Glittering Prizes and After the War, which are BBC TV series, not theatrical films, which you obviously didn’t know. Still, fine examples of Raphael’s writing. Two for the Road is probably Audrey Hepburn’s best film (although not her most iconic), and she and Finney are beautiful in it. Petulia is marvelous, and was one of the first that showed us Julie Christie’s fabulous acting talent, but…I had meant Darling, just previous to that, for which she won Best Actress. (Lawrence Marcus wrote Petulia.)

    None of those were mediocre, and even if something is obscure, that is not a valid criticism of it. John Korty’s Silence is a beautiful film, and that’s very obscure.

    I don’t see why she is your favourite. Try watching that thing she was in with Jack Lemmon. Are you really sure she is still acting in 3 movies a year? Haven’t heard a thing about her in ages except for her honorable public stand against MeToo.

    I can’t even believe someone would write such an appalling sentence–it’s none of your business ‘why she is my favourite actress’. If you don’t like it, then just bugger off. Even if someone told me that Jennifer Lopez was their favourite actress, I would just respond with bewildered silence, not tell them “I don’t see why she’s your favourite”; however stupid I might think the reasons were; they have their reasons. What am I going to do, try to talk them out of it?

    But since you phrased it so crudely, I will follow with the one thing (besides Barry Lyndon, I guess) we agree on: The April Fools is definitely her worst film, and I’ve seen all of them that I’ve been able to find. Hustle with Burt Reynolds was none too great either, now was the movie of The Hunger, also with David Bowie. She’s a great actress and a great beauty, cool and magnificent. That’s hardly obscure, now is it? Lots of people love her. Yes, she makes 2 or 3 movies every year, explaining it by saying she and some of the finest French directors aged at the same time. She’s still in great demand. If you haven’t followed her, then you just haven’t. Even European films aren’t shown here with much publicity any more, and usually only in NY or LA, even then only about a week. In the last 5 years, I’ve seen the few that were made in theaters like IFC in NY, but there were at least 3. The others I’ve streamed. Yes, her response to MeToo was brilliant, and very Deneuve to do it. She is very fond of men, always has been. And god knows they’ve been wild about her. How couldn’t we be? She’s older now, but still one of the great beauties.

    As for her best movies, there are Repulsion, Peau d’Ane (with the equally beautiful Delphine Seyrig as the Lilac Fairy), Tristana, Indochine, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Mississippi Mermaid, The Last Metro, My Favourite Season (one of the best, I think–Andre Techine is one of the greatest directors, and he later directed her and Depardieu in Les Temps Qui Changent, which is wonderful–the first had Daniel Auteuil, one of the great French film actors of the last 30 years), Place Vendome, Pola X, East-West, a miniseries of Les Liaisons Dangereuses which I thought better than the Close/Pfeiffer/Malkovich movie)…the best from the 00’s on that I was able to get hold of or see in theaters were A Christmas Tale (fantastically good), Potiche, The Girl on the Train (also Techine), On My Way, In the Name of My Daughter (in theater), and All That Divides Us, from 2017, a year in which she made 5 pictures.

    As for the evil, the two examples are different. If it’s going to be HORROR, it should really scare you as much as it can. When I said ‘they are still there’, I just meant that that’s the fictional intention in the movie of The Shining and the success of the vampires in the book of The Hunger . That does not mean I think ‘evil should triumph in real life’, which brings us to Eyes Wide Shut: That was just a thought of mine, but I thought Kubrick was clever using real-life husband and wife even if I don’t really like either of them much (he’s good for action, she’s always pretty flat-footed, and another stupid Oscar for The Hours). He had to be thinking of this fact by using them to portray another couple besides themselves. So there had to be some sort of psychological manipulation–although both actors would have been aware of the contrasts and similarities of the fictional couple they played. Probably ‘evil’ was therefore too strong a word for Kubrick’s choice of a famous couple to do his film about a couple. In that way, the film makes some sense to me even if I don’t like it.

    I’m sticking to my story: The Killing and Barry Lyndon–the only 2 films that are any good.

    And that’s your business. Think what you please.

  49. Do be sure to always decimate everything in a commenter’s post. Wonderful etiquette.

    Do act like a school marm, it does fit you.

    Who cares what is known to all people? Known to not all people obviously, and Britain is no longer the center (centre) of the world so their tv shows are obscure and likely to stay that way at least for another century or two.

    Hepburn’s finest film is her first film. She never topped it.

    Glad you corrected your error: Petulia is terrible and dated. Darling she indeed was great in.

    If you don’t like my reply, and think something is none of my business, stop replying then, you old crank. And I still have no idea why she is anyone’s favourite. JLo has actually done far better work than Cathy.

    I’m not sure what you are going on about on European films. It’s been 20 years since I was in a movie theater and all European films should become available on streaming services yet I’ve seen no output from her. I will agree with you without even seeing it, that anything with Burt Reynolds would be poor, which is not her fault. For the record also, I’ve had the chance this year to watch some Jack Lemmon films and his “act” has not dated well.

    Well thanks for the partial filmography. Many of the early films mentioned I have seen, I will look up the recent work as I need to watch films not made in LA. As for Dangerous Liaisons, I prefer the Witherspoon-Phillipe version (I can see your eyes rolling now, lol).

    Speaking of Depardieu, a number of years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Les Valsueses with the late Patrick Dewaere and also Miou-Miou. Great film.

    As for your delineation between horror and evil., the book, The Shining, read more as an evil strange hotel that infected Nicholson’s character. You wanted to get out of there and get them out of there. The Scatman character did that in the book and there was great relief. Killing his character in the movie just felt like a senseless prolongation of the film. It had no other reason, but it also was emotionally depressing. And it harmed the pacing of the film and thus diluted the horror.

    As for the Kidman-Cruise thing (I agree with you on your critique of both actors–and never have seen The Hours and never will probably). But they divorced almost immediately after this film came out. But the few film clips I have seen of their interactions in Eyes Wide Shut seemed to be more revealing of their off-screen relationship than any acting–it was distant and at heart, false. I don’t think Kubrick was being clever. I think he had sunk to mediocrity even further than normal for him.

    As for the only 2 good films he did, I just re-watched The Killing a few days ago, and stand firm on my assessment. And yes, that is my business, just as you favor a snoozer like The Hunger.

    Go your way in joy and peace.

  50. @restless94110

    you favor a snoozer like The Hunger.

    I made a typo, ‘now’ should have been ‘not’. The Hunger was not a good movie, the book was in this case what was so effective. I liked it because of Deneuve’s long guilty stillnesses, which conveyed her acceptance at being the ‘major vampire’, as opposed to Bowie’s ‘minor, more short-lived vampire’–but he didn’t know it early on, and she didn’t tell him that she got a few thousand more years than he did. She just stood there looking helpless in her hilarious guilt. But the gross mistake was to finally kill the Deneuve character and let her new favourite, Susan Sarandon, whom she corrupted into vampirism, be the final shot at the top of some Croyden-looking high-rise apartment building. I’ve always thought Sarandon was overrated hugely, including on the street, on which she dressed down to an absurd degree. Lived a few blocks from me (maybe still does, but she was with Tim Robbins then and I saw him once, he was nice.) Anyway, in the book, the final paragraph has the Deneuve character triumphant and having been threatened by her ‘smart protege’ Susan Sarandon character, ‘visits her frequently’, but, in the last line, Strieber has her vow that “she knew that she would never ever take the chance of letting her out of her coffin again”. Of course, that could make you ’emotionally depressed’ just like Scatman getting the ax and the mother and son having a ‘less famous’, maybe more feral, sort of getaway, but I just don’t think horror is supposed to make you feel all elevated and enlightened–it’s a kind of fiction, supposed to make you a bit queasy if not a lot… and I’m not attracted to it generally. Also, the way certain stars were always supposed to survive–like Paul Newman in The Towering Inferno, that sort of thing. But Susan Sarandon atop Deneuve? Unthinkable. However, it was 1984 by then, and unhappy endings had also finally come to America in the 60s (although there are the notable few even as far back as D.W. Griffith’s beautiful Broken Blossoms.) I had read Strieber’s book after seeing the film and it was from the library, so you might have agreed with someone who had pencilled in after the last paragraph “The writer is insane!” I thought that hilarious, but Strieber knew how to portray a *Serious Vampire*, none of that Anne Rice bullshit. Otherwise, in the movie, it was sort of an ‘overdone chic’ atmosphere, with Deneuve and Bowie smoking and posturing all the time. Sometimes she played ‘Gibet’ from Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, on the piano, which was also very funny. Here’s one NYT featured a few weeks ago and is recent. I haven’t even read the article yet, but I think it’s been online for awhile: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/movies/the-truth-review.html

    Movies not made in LA? But that reminds me one of my favourite things is movies ‘made in L.A.’, including Alan Rudolph’s Welcome to L.A., a sort of sequel to Nashville. Loved it, especially Keith Carradine and Geraldine Chaplin, who was gorgeous, and it inspired me (along with all of Joan Didion’s and Raymond Chandler’s books) to go to L.A. 13 times from 2001-2011. Also, the old noirs made there, like Kiss Me Deadly, Criss Cross, Double Indemnity and, above all, Chinatown, for which I searched out all the locales: Lake Hollywood, Pt. Fermin, the Casino on Catalina, Alameida Street, went to them.

    But they divorced almost immediately after this film came out. But the few film clips I have seen of their interactions in Eyes Wide Shut seemed to be more revealing of their off-screen relationship than any acting–it was distant and at heart, false.

    Could be. But it was revealed as false, which is why I now think the movie was good. They all were as ambitious as possible, as are all Hollywood ‘tuffies’ who are really making it there, and the divorce seemed like an immediate continuation of the movie. There are all kinds of these relationships in movies which are interesting to me: The extreme artifice of Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad is made even more so by all that serialized Robbe-Grillet writing, but the two lovers gradually come together in this weird sort of happy ending, despite all the stylized movement in the hotel throughout, so that a kind of ‘true love’ came out of all that artifice.

  51. I have just finished your latest book-length reply, and can now take a long nap.

    Ok, I’m up again to say that in the 90s all the 20-somethings I knew in San Francisco were cult followers of The Hunger. I saw it then, and–without going into your intricate detail–thought that its slow slow slow pacing was portentous horseshit. The viewer was supposed to take the crap pacing as a sensual brimming sexuality, but Bowie was never a good actor, and I tend to agree with you about Sarandon (though I don’t know why someone of her fame would not “dress down” while out in public. What? You wanted her to walk down the block in gold lamé?).

    Of course, that could make you ’emotionally depressed’ just like Scatman getting the ax and the mother and son having a ‘less famous’, maybe more feral, sort of getaway, but I just don’t think horror is supposed to make you feel all elevated and enlightened–it’s a kind of fiction, supposed to make you a bit queasy if not a lot

    You have misunderstood my comment on The Shining the movie, changing the resolution of the story. They got away in the film same as in the book so your wished for ending of them never escaping and/or dying was not going to happen anyway. The killing of Scatman was a senseless prolongation and it hurt the story and the pace. I am not a fan of horror porn (Saw, Hostel, etc,etc.). and, yes, I do believe in movies that resolve if not positively, at the very least not pointlessly. For example, Chinatown did not resolve positively, but the point of the resolution was important and well made.

    By the way I should have said “movies made in LA in the past 5 years or so.” I love movies made in LA and have been watching them from all eras of film for most of my life. And I, too, have been fascinated by Los Angeles, and used to visit often from San Francisco, sometimes staying for several weeks. In my 20s, I read all of Raymond Chandler’s output and in my teens I read almost all of the Earle Stanley Gardner–both the Perry Mason and the Donald Lam-Bertha Cool series–mainly for the wonderful descriptions of Los Angeles in the 30-year period that Gardner wrote them. Over 10 years ago, I read almost all of the Sue Grafton alphabet novels which are based in Santa Barbara but cover Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California.

    My love of LA is also one of the key reasons I enjoyed the Bosch series on Amazon Prime (from the great books by Michael Connelly), the Californication series of 8 years ago, the Goliath series with the always great Billy Bob Thornton, and the Ray Donovan series co-starring John Voight, chewing up the scenery. Of course there are the great LA films from all eras and thankfully they are a fine antidote to the toxic woke trash being put out today and the vapid, stupid super hero monstrosities.

    I just wish the broad catalog that Netflix had in the first years it started (mid 90s) had not been narrowed by bean counters and the dreaded AI, and/or the ghettoization of the studios (who let this film out for a while, then withdraw it, then let it out again at random times, or make it only available on one of the 2 dozen special “channels” all of which have a monthly subscription fee).

    But that’s copyright biz for ya.

    Lastly, I saw L’année dernière à Marienbad in my early 2os while at university and was fascinated by it for many years after. However, I remember little of the plot points and your commentary provokes me to search it out and watch it again.

    As for French screenplay writers you can’t beat Luc Besson, everything he touches is great.

  52. @restless94110

    This one will be very shorter, but is just to clear up a few things.

    You have misunderstood my comment on The Shining the movie, changing the resolution of the story. They got away in the film same as in the book so your wished for ending of them never escaping and/or dying was not going to happen anyway.

    I may not have been clear enough about this, but I never wanted the mother and child to not escape or to die. That they got out so miraculously was what was so mysterious, and we were left with their helplessness, because Danny’s ‘shining’ had made him ‘see’ the ‘crazy woman’ in room 237, the ghosts were sometimes made to seem alive more than just Jack’s alcoholism, he was freed from the pantry by ‘Grady’, who is one of the ghosts, and at the end there is the picture of Jack on the wall from 1921 as ‘Midnight, the Stars and You’. So there is this ambiguity (not just in Jack’s mind) about whether some of this is real or not (especially if Grady could let him out of the pantry where Wendy has locked him. Yes, I’ve had to look at a summary to remember some of these details, others I do remember.) Toward the end, Wendy ‘sees ghosts’, and since both Jack and Danny had as well, they seemed to have something of an evil life in the hotel, although that probably had to be stimulated from without. Scatman said to Jack at some point that “someone was trying to interfere with this ‘situation’”. Earlier, Danny had asked Scatman “Is there something bad in this hotel?” (these I remember on my own, although it’s been 25 years since I saw it, probably a second time.) And although Jack does freeze to death without quite being like Mr. Grady and his slaughtered children, there was this sense of a real haunting insofar as both Danny and Wendy also picked it up.

    So that Wendy and Danny would go away without ever being able to convince anyone that any of those ghosts and telepathic things that Danny and Scatman had meant a thing. Wendy could only report Scatman’s death to the police, and they’ll find Jack frozen to death. Otherwise, the whole nightmare will remain between them alone–which makes it so the phantoms still seem somewhat alive. Although he communicates with Danny telepathically, it doesn’t seem that he also ‘saw’ these ghosts. In the book, the hotel is burned down or is blown up, which means that everybody is free of the curse of this evil, which, as I said, I would want in real life, if such a similar thing occurred, but the escape of Danny and Wendy was more chilling since they barely made it on their own, with Danny tricking Jack to go in another direction in the maze, and the two of them, at wit’s end, just making it out on Halloran’s (Scatman) snowcat. Of course, Scatman was a ‘good guy’, but he would not be able to corroborate Wendy’s story, Danny could be explained away with almost anything, being a child, but the hotel blown up would then seem to be primarily about Jack’s alcoholic dementia, rather than the horror characters seeming real, esp. with that photo of Jack at the end credits. In the book, “Hallorann, who has taken a chef’s job at a resort in Maine, comforts Danny over the loss of his father as Wendy recuperates from the injuries Jack inflicted on her.” That’s too mundane for horror fiction, although it would be what one would hope for in real life.

    I live in an area which a lot of celebs moved to beginning in the late 80s and continuing (mostly by the Hudson), and I’ve run passed a good number (and elsewhere in the city over the years). No, I didn’t expect any of them to be dressed up, but she wore dirty sneakers and looked like a slob. I think in the last 20 years, I’ve also passed (in this area), Julianne Moore, Richard Gere, Jude Law, Tom Cruise, Leonard DiCaprio, Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer (gorgeous and slightly dressed-up but not flashily), and Robbins, as mentioned. Cruise was right across the street from me, looked insane, almost murderous, but is very good-looking, I have to admit. The other actors looked a lot plainer than I thought actors would, Kidman needed makeup because looks plain otherwise, but none looked somewhat ratty except Sarandon. Before that, I saw quite a number of the old really glamorous legends from the 30s, 40s onward, but that’s another story–one was really dressed-up, in one of those black lace dresses, but she was the only one.

  53. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I meant “‘Grady told Jack that someone was trying to interfere with ‘this situation’”, not Scatman (he was one of the ones who picked up on it, although I don’t recall his saying he saw these ghosts.

    Never have gone celeb-searching anywhere, but esp. not in L.A., but did want to see some of their houses. You can walk a good way up Benedict Canyon, although I had to take a cab from the Beverly Hills Hotel to get further, and once I did see the Malibu Colony, which does gleam, but it’s too tacky for tourists to walk on it and pretend they’re not impressed, as is known to happen. I knew restaurants movie people went to, but I am not much of an ‘extreme fan’ type, so any I saw here were by accident, and I never saw one in L.A.

  54. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    And that is your version of a short reply?

    Look, I appreciate the extreme detail, but I only saw The Shining once (in a theater) and there is abso-fucking-lutely no way that any human being on God’s Green Earth could have pulled all of that detail out of it. You would have to watch that movie 90 times and I know that a lot of people have watched it that many times. No thanks. I’ll leave all of that minutiae to you and to other fans of The Shining. I saw the film. I read the book. The film sucked. Kubrick sucks. I rest my case.

    As for celebs wow. I lived in Manhattan for 4 years and only saw (maybe) Carly Simon (old and real wrinkly) in Greenwich Village, and that guy from The Actor’s Studio (getting into a limo on the Upper East Side). Oh, als0 Ben Gazzara sitting at an outside table with his wife again in the UES.

    But that is cool you saw so many. What you said about Kidman reminds me of what I’ve heard about Cameron Diaz and at first I thought you might have been talking about the cool Hudson Hotel, but obviously you’re speaking primarily of the Upper West Side. The next thing you’re going to tell me is you saw Garbo or Cary Grant back in the day.

    Good on you, but I’ve always thought that they are just people and though I might or might not appreciate their work, that’s their craft, their job and again, whatever.

    As for Benedict Canyon and LA well, I had a friend for a number of years who lived in Venice Beach for decades. Her dad had been a servant at one of the huge huge estates in the early days of Hollywood and she had 100s of friends from her life there. She was in her 50s when I knew her and epitomized for me the Los Angeleno. She told me that when you live in LA you see celebrities all the time it’s just part of the turf. But again, as she said, it doesn’t really matter. Does it?

    Glad to have a back and forth. You sound as they say, well situated? Carry on.

  55. I’m in the West Village, just one block below Chelsea. Lots of celebs live a few blocks inland from the Hudson near me (Harrison Ford and Callista Flockhart, for example, and I forgot I did see her a few years ago, but alone), Lauren Hutton, Gere, both of whom I saw many years ago. Most of the others I mentioned now live in the Richard Meier glass houses right on the river or in the streets closest to it. They’ve made my area the trendiest in Manhattan, although the top is obviously still the Upper East Side and Park–but they usually won’t let actors into their co-ops, are the Old Money and lawyers, doctors, stockbrokers, etc., is what they want (Barbra Streisand has been screaming about it for years that they wouldn’t let her live on Park Avenue, ‘because I’m Jewish’, and it’s indeed true that that’s the last stronghold of WASPdom here.) As I said, I’m not an ‘extreme fan’ of anybody in any field–despite my adoration of Deneuve, who could have easily been one of the ones I saw when she came to the NY opening of Potiche in about 2012 or so; I should have done that, because she was speaking too. In fact, that’s the only regret I have of not seeing a film star, I’ve more often regretted not going to see onstage Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jean-Louis Barrault (Children of Paradise with Barrault and Arletty is probably my single favourite film if I had to choose, but, as I said I’m nuts for Chinatown.) I agree totally with what you said about they’re just like other people, but since we’re so familiar with them in film or television, it’s just fun when you see them by accident, and how they react (or don’t react to you). It often makes you want to say “Hi” because it feels like you know them, but I restrain that. Julianne Moore was really charming with her young daughter about 10 years ago, smiled sweetly and sincerely, and I think she’s a wonderful actress. Flockhart smiled too, and Lauren Hutton even cruised a bit. If I cared to see celebs in LA, I know it would be easy, and I knew what restaurants they went to, but I usually stayed only a week just before Xmas (when it’s so beautiful, cool and clear there), and just wasn’t interested since I’d seen so many here. No, it ‘doesn’t matter’, but it’s a little like sightseeing. These Hollywood people are not nearly so idolized here as in LA; I once saw Rod Stewart on a very cold Xmas Day, and he kept looking around for fans, which was hilarious–nobody was paying any attention to him.

    Well, yes, I did see Garbo on the Middle Upper East Side, dressed all scruffily in a man’s coat, but not Cary Grant. Lots of New Yorkers saw her regularly, because she was almost always here, and loved to get out and roam around. Now that you mention back in the day, I also saw Julie Christie breeze by very fast near me in the winter (she was as beautiful off-screen as on), and the one all dressed up was Lana Turner, who was like this hallucination of Technicolor wickedness. Also saw Ann-Margret, who was as charming and pretty as ever. Saw Dustin Hoffman twice, once talking very loudly to somebody just outside my post office. Knew Ruby Keeler way back, when she did a Broadway show I was the pianist for–way, way back. She was very sweet, I introduced my parents to her. She’s the only one I count for those I saw onstage, which is different from just passing by. There are a lot of those, which I’m sure you have too. Sean Connery and Michael Caine were at the Sherry-Netherland Bar when I played there, and Jeremy Irons when I played at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. Once when I was really hard up, I did temp work at the Park Ave. Armory (Valentino show), and Teresa Wright came in and got all sexy with me–but I couldn’t place who she was although I told her I thought she was familiar, and she got very annoyed when I asked her and refused to answer. My co-workers said “Who was the dame? It took me years to figure out (from some movies she happened to be in that I saw) that that’s who it was. I saw Jackie O on the street and enter Sotheby’s, and her sister Lee 3 times, at the same Valentino in 1993 (somebody said Streep came too, but I didn’t see her), and then twice at two lectures at the Met Museum in the 00s. Lee was a knockout in 1993, but later the nosejob showed a bit too much.

    My god, I’d totally forgotten, I saw Jack Nicholson at the old Balducci’s in the 70s, was surprised he was so short, and I think he even had makeup on. I thought he seemed unpleasant. Also James Gandolfini with his little daughter as they got into his car. I’ve probably seen the very young ones down here near me, but don’t know who they are.

  56. Wielgus says:
    @Priss Factor

    There was a lot funny in Strangelove. Sterling Hayden’s performance as Ripper, the character’s insanity displayed by the fact he hardly blinks, Keenan Wynn’s reverence for the rights of the Coca Cola company, and above all Sellers, especially as Strangelove – “animals are bred and SLAUGHTERED”.

  57. @Notsofast

    In Kubrick’s film “Eyes Wide Shut,” there’s a costume party in which Occult/Satanic rituals are performed. At the party, the Romanian Orthodox liturgy is played backwards (doing Christian prayers backwards is a common practice of Satanic worshippers). The film rituals were actually filmed at the real-life Rothschild “Mentmore Tower” mansion (the Rothschilds sold the mansion many years before the film was produced). The party costumes are very similar to those from the real-life 1972 Rothschild party.

    This Youtube video explores more of the similarities between Kubrick’s film and the 1972 Rothchild party.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  58. @JohnnyWalker123

    Here are some thoughts on the film.

    -“Ziegler” is clearly Jewish. He’s a rich socialite who presents a respectable face to NYC society, but is secretly running a huge prostitution ring that caters to the debauched tastes of elite locals. He seems to strongly believe in the Occult. Many of his friends are similar to him. His social circle seems to secretly exert an enormous amount of power, but is unknown to the general society.
    -Tom Cruise’s character (“Dr. Bill”) is a White Gentile doctor who rubs shoulders with “Ziegler” and his worldly rich friends, but is not quite at their level. “Dr. Bill” is in a subordinate role to them. He seems rather naive about women, sex, society, and all sorts of things. He’s educated, but not worldly.
    -Nicole Kidman’s character (“Alice”) seems to be a former high-end escort who married well and is concealing her past. Due to her surface-level classiness, she can pass as respectable. The movie implies that even while being married to “Dr. Bill,” she’s fooling around on the side with powerful clients, being pampered by them in many ways. She’s too addicted to their world of glamour, power, and drugs to ever really leave.
    -“Helena” (the couple’s small daughter) is being brought up to value her beauty and money. It’s strongly implied that she’s being groomed to become a prostitute by her mother.
    -There’s a scene in which an old man (“Lou Nathanson”) dies, with his daughter calling “Dr. Bill” to come medically evaluate the man’s corpse at his posh residence. She tries to initiate sex with “Dr. Bill” (near the corpse), with it being implied that she may have some necrophiliac fetish. It’s vaguely implied that she may have killed her elderly father. The movie frequently portrays the intersection of death and sex as thrilling.
    -“Mr. Milich” is a Russian (likely of Jewish origin) who’s secretly running a brothel that presents itself as a “costume” shop. His “costume” shop looks like a “Red Light” whorehouse.
    -The prostitute “Domino” has some similarities to “Dr. Bill’s” small daughter. It’s implied that the daughter will grow up to become like this prostitute.
    -Throughout the movie, there’s a theme of the wealthy (like “Ziegler” and “Dr. Bill”) using their affluence and power to exploit the working class, especially in sexual matters.
    -Christmas lights are literally everywhere, except the debaucherous party at the Somerton mansion. I suppose it’s implied that the outside world is full of comforting illusions of peace, safety, prosperity, and joy (represented by Christmas lights). The real world (which is revealed at Somerton mansion) is far more dire and frightening. Human beings live with their illusions, with only a powerful and select few understanding the nature of the world around them.
    -The Star of Ishtar (a Sumerian deity around whom a cult of ritualized temple prostitution was built) is everywhere in the “Ziegler” mansion. Temple monuments seem to be evident at the Somerton house and “Dr. Bill’s” home too. It’s implied that “Alice” (the wife) is some type of ritual prostitute.
    -The Occult rituals and orgy at Somerton (which was once owned by the Rothschilds many years before the film was created) are clearly based on the real-life 1972 Rothschild “Illuminati Ball,” with even the costumes being similar. Pedophilia isn’t shown, but very strongly implied.
    -The prostitute “Mandy” turns on “Ziegler’s” powerful sex trafficking ring to save “Dr. Bill” (who earlier saved her). After she’s injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, her death is disguised as an overdose. It’s also revealed she was the “girlfriend” of fashion designer Leon Vitali (who’s the Satanic priest that leads the rituals at Somerton). I suppose this was Kubrick’s way of telling us the true nature of the “glamorous” fashion industry, which is really just a prostitution ring. It’s also his way of telling us that many mysterious deaths of prominent people (especially overdoses) are concealed murders.
    -The fascination of the elite with the Occult is constantly portrayed throughout the film.
    -If you look at how the movie ends, “Dr. Bill” comes to realize the truly dark nature of the people who rule the society around him. He realizes his previous life was the comforting dream of a blissfully ignorant man. He realizes that the reality of the world is sinister and bleak, but only an awakened few understand this.
    -When the movie ends, “Dr. Bill’s” daughter is kidnapped by “Ziegler’s” goons, with it being implied that they’ll molest her and force her to become a child sex slave. It’s also implied that “Dr. Bill” and his wife “Alice” are allowing this to happen, under duress from “Ziegler.”

    Kubrick created this film not just to bring Traumnovelle to life again, but to “Red Pill” the masses about the world around them. The point of the film is that most people have their “eyes wide shut” to the macabre nature of the world around them.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  59. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    In the Beating a Dead Horse Department:

    I watched Last Year at Marianbad last night for the first time in almost 50 years, and whatever I thought I saw so long ago, was not what I saw last night. The first time I saw it I was a beginning French student

    The film I was thinking of when you brought it up was of lots and lots of quick cuts surreal tableaux (more like L’Age d’Or or Un Chien Andalou), black and white, with disjointed dialog, that somehow coalesced into a brilliant film. Obviously not L’Annee Dereniere.

    More like 8-1/2 but French

    Ring any bells?

  60. Wielgus says:

    -‘When the movie ends, “Dr. Bill’s” daughter is kidnapped by “Ziegler’s” goons, with it being implied that they’ll molest her and force her to become a child sex slave. It’s also implied that “Dr. Bill” and his wife “Alice” are allowing this to happen, under duress from “Ziegler.”’
    That ending scene is ambiguous – the two men show no sign of paying any attention to the kid, and a crowded department store (CCTV?) is not the ideal environment to make off with a child. Also what if she shouts out?
    Bill and Alice’s intense absorption with one another could be the opening for it – they do ignore their kid – but if the film ran on five seconds longer Bill might ask, “Where has she gone?”
    While I haven’t seen any recent statistics, child molestation by total strangers is much rarer, I understand, than by family members or at least people known to the kid.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  61. anon[369] • Disclaimer says:

    A movie with an overdose of nudity, sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, profanity and money, what’s not to like? Eyes Wide Shut is a movie of sick jews, by sick jews, and for sick jews. Kubrick makes nothing but depraved garbage, and only a jew run Hollywood and msm would hail a psychologically disturbed degenerate like him “legendary”. We should all be thankful he didn’t live to make another degenerate “masterpiece” like EWS, maybe there is a God after all. Cruise and Kidman broke up shortly after. When you make sick movies like that, you get seriously messed up psychologically. Cruise and Kidman should be disgusted with themselves for lending their names to such a movie.

    Hollywood is the epitome and genesis of (jew led) moral rot of the country. To save America, we need to start by killing off the entire movie industry, including Netflix and HBO. Stop watching movies or going to the theater, cancel your cable, cancel Netflix. Use your free time to exercise, play sports, garden, read classics, listen to/play classical music. Anything and everything from Hollywood is toxic.

  62. @restless94110

    No, I’ve never seen L’Age D’or or Chien Andalou. Marienbad never made me think of 8 1/2, if that’s what you meant. You had been talking about the ‘slow slow pacing’ of The Hunger, and I thought you probably wouldn’t like Marienbad, so I’m not surprised you had remembered it differently. Not that I think they have many similarities, and I don’t know of anyone who thinks anything of The Hunger. I’ve long been a fan of Robbe-Grillet’s novels, and have read most of them. He also made a few movies on his own, none of which are well-known and I’ve seen only one other. But Marienbad is a major, important film, with many admirers, The Hunger is mere trash. Robbe-Grillet seemed to dominate more in terms of all that stylization than Resnais, whose other films I’ve seen don’t resemble it in any way’ I think I first saw it double-billed with Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and wouldn’t have had any idea they were by the same director, but then I knew nothing of Resnais at the time (and not much now.) Lots of people hate Marienbad, of course, but that’s another story. Fellini is always with more light and less insular, less otherworldly than anything in Marienbad–or so it appears to me. I have seen 8 1/2 only once or twice, and liked that spaciousness that Fellini was so good at. But I remembered that of those big Fellini films of that early 60s period, I think I preferred La Dolce Vitaover the rest, which I’ve seen several times.

    I like all that organ music too, makes it even heavier with all that baroque furnishing and decor. Seyrig and Albertazzi do make a splendid couple–next to whom Kidman and Cruise look a bit cut-rate and dimestore. They both did many more fine things, she as an actress, he more as a director.

    Thanks for the conversation.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  63. @restless94110

    I misunderstood you at first. You meant you were thinking of another film that was ‘like 8 1/2 for French’. That’s rife with so many possibilities I have no way of even guessing. Maybe it’ll come to you and I’ll know what you meant. I’ve seen a lot of European movies, but am no scholar.

  64. Maybe it’ll come to you and I’ll know what you meant.

    Yeah, like I said, it was a long shot. Hell, I’m beginning to wonder if I wasn’t on a psychedelic when I saw Marienbad and just thought I saw all those quick cuts and disjointed scenes in a black and white tableaux very similar to the Marienbad set that all coalesced into a powerful whole.

    The closest I can come to what I remember seeing in that long gone “fine art” movie theater on Shattuck so long ago is Kenneth Branagh’s 19991 Dead Again, in some parts.

    I’ll let you know if it ever comes up. Cheers.

  65. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I have seen 8 1/2 only once or twice, and liked that spaciousness that Fellini was so good at. But I remembered that of those big Fellini films of that early 60s period, I think I preferred La Dolce Vitaover the rest, which I’ve seen several times.

    The Fellini that most impressed me of that time period was Juliet of the Spirits which completely blew me my mind. I saw 8-1/2 but was not that impressed and remember little of it today. Years and years later, I saw La Strada and thought it a masterpiece.

    It’s funny but as a boy, I can remember seeing posters in my town for La Dolce Vida, yet it wasn’t until several decades later that I saw it. I imagine it was scandalous and stunning when it came out in the 50s or early 60s, with the poster showing the guy riding the girl.

    Yes, it was a pleasure to converse. Enjoy.

  66. @restless94110

    Yes, I also saw all those ads for La Dolce Vita (but in newspapers) with Anita Ekberg’s generous bust out to pull anybody in (and was over 16) who looked that way. I didn’t see it for years either. She turns out to have been very good in it, her one important movie. And then–not only also Mastroianni, but Anouk Aimee too. I too liked La Strada, Juliet of the Spirits, and also Nights of Cabiria.

  67. @Wielgus

    Here’s the scene.

    The child (“Helena”) wanders off with the men from sex trafficker Ziegler’s Christmas party.

    You can see “Alice” (Nicole Kidman) patting the small child on the back. The child then walks towards Ziegler’s men, briefly glancing back at her parents. Her parents glance at her. The child then disappears with the men, not to be seen for the rest of the movie. The movie then ends 3 minutes later. The parents don’t mention the child or go look for her.

    In a crowded toy store in NYC, who lets their child wander off like that? Why’d they pat her on the back and exchange glances before she leaves? It’s almost like they’re gently encouraging their child to go off with Ziegler’s men.

    Why were the men from Ziegler’s party there? Did Kubrick run out of actors? There must’ve been some significance to those men coming back, especially when they were shown in the vicinity of the child wandering off.

    By the way, there’s a notable scene in the movie worth seeing. During the orgy at the Somerton mansion, there’s a scene in which there are four child-sized individuals who are wearing costumes. They are sitting on a couch. Standing next to them is an adult-sized man in a terrifying demonic costume. Judging by the body language, the adult-sized man seems to be some type of pimp or handler.

    View post on imgur.com

    There’s another notable scene in the orgy. “Dr. Bill” (Tom Cruise) walks past a painting in which demonic creatures are surrounding a terrified adolescent.

    View post on imgur.com

    There’s a third notable scene in which a statue is visible. The statue shows an adolescent standing next to a female child and holding her.

    View post on imgur.com

    So when you consider all this, it makes sense that Kubrick was making a point about the Rothschild global sex ring often procuring small children and adolescents (in addition to adult-age women and men).

    My guess is that Stanley Kubric was aware of these international sex rings that were being run by the Rothschilds. He knew that it was common for the Rothschilds and other elite global Jewish oligarchs to hold these debauched parties, in which prostitutes were freely available and occult rituals were performed. The purpose of these parties was partly to give the elites a forum for bonding and recreation, enabling them to socialize and satisfy their debauched appetites. Also, these parties (which were being recorded by surveillance equipment installed behind the walls) were often attended by useful individuals – military&intel officers, entertainers, businessmen, politicians, media personalities, intellectuals, and other people of power/influence/fame. These individuals were often blackmailed, with their sex tapes being passed to the Israeli govt.

    Many years later, we became aware of all this when sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and then “suicided.”

    Jeffrey Epstein was a friend to global elites – the Clintons, Bill Gates, British royal family, Hollywood celebs, elite media, Ivy league academics, famous scientists, politicians, etc. They went to his mansion partkies, flew on his jet (“Lolita Express”), and took vacations to his Satanic island.

    Why did Jeffrey Epstein (with the help of Ghislaine Maxwell and businessman Leslie Wexner) do this? It was an Israeli Mossad blackmail op. Using surveillance equipment that was installed behind the walls, Jeffrey Epstein made sex tapes of all these powerful men who attended his sex parties and had sex with his prostitutes. The tapes taken back to Israel. These elite men were then blackmailed for money and favors. For example, Epstein extorted millions out of Bill Gates.

    Epstein trafficked females of all ages, including many adolescents and even children. So he was a perverted man with even more perverted elite friends.

    Epstein is basically the same as Ziegler from “Eyes Wide Shut.”

    Epstein, interestingly, also was a huge fan of the occult. He kept pictures of the Occult entity “Baphomet” around the house.

    Here’s a picture from his house. See the eerie red light. Almost Satanic.

    View post on imgur.com

    Then there’s his Satanic temple, with an animal on top and gremlins around the place.

    Stanley Kubric was trying to tell us about all this with “Eyes Wide Shut.” Unfortunately, right after he completed his film, he died mysteriously.

    • Replies: @WhiteWinger
  68. @JohnnyWalker123

    The above 2013 picture was taken from the Instagram account of Rachel Chandler. Chandler previously supplied girls to MC2 Modeling, which was owned and financed by Jeffrey Epstein. MC2 apparently was a front for trafficking girls to Epstein.

    According to QAnon, the above picture (from Rachel Chandler’s Instagram account) is the security footage of the rooms underneath the temple on Epstein’s island. Some believe children were being kept there.

    If you look at the pictures, you’ll see the cameras were recording activities in various bedrooms. You’ll also see pictures of adolescents (lower left-hand image on Channel 10) in one room. There are extensive stairs present in some of the images.

    If you recall, Epstein used to include hidden cameras in bedrooms and secretly record orgies that his famous guests engaged in (the recordings were used for blackmail). So if we assume this security footage was really taken from Epstein’s island, it makes sense why there were cameras in bedrooms.

    Admittedly, there’s no way to prove where the security images were taken from. However, if we assume that the images aren’t from Epstein’s island, we have to ask where the images are from. We have to ask who would put security cameras in bedrooms!

    For some odd reason, Rachel Chandler is friends with the Clintons. Here’s a picture of Rachel Chandler with Bill Clinton.

    Courtney Love may trafficked girls to Epstein. According to her father (Hank Harrison), Epstein often disposed of “worn out” prostitutes.

    There seem to have been underground rooms on the Epstein island. What was going on in those rooms?

    Why did Epstein have that temple on his island? What was happening on that island? Why did Bill Clinton go there?

    “Eyes Wide Shut” offered a disturbing glimpse into the world in which Jeffrey Epstein (and many of the global elites) operated.

  69. CMC says:
    @Priss Factor

    Priss,

    Your oct Lynch comment linked here got into male female alpha beta hypergamy stuff. Real civilization and its discontents Fight Club (the movie) type analysis. Forgive me for just alluding to it here. But then anon 238 below linked to a Yggdrasil review that made me think of something to maybe add which is also on point with the opening essay:

    After the visit, he takes a walk and is accosted by a prostitute on the street. He goes with her to her apartment and is interrupted by a cell phone call from Kidman wanting to know if she should wait up. He says no, but the mood is spoiled so he leaves.

    The watershed in that? Cell phones. They weren’t exactly new. Since we’re talking movies, remember late 80’s Wall Street where Gekko has a new fangled cell phone the size of a half gallon of milk? But when EWS came out, cell phones were just going hockey stick exponential everyone has to have one.

    So what?

    So it’s further civilization. Further talk talk. Further closing of the frontier, man! (Pardon, couldn’t resist. But you know I’m onto something.) It’s further domestication. Do alpha males pick up the call? Check their messages? Is he saved by the bell of the cell or further walled in?

    I’m not arguing that the cell phone was the real watershed of the whole movie. Just that in that one little scene, one more thing was there about alpha vs beta, male vs. female, control vs. freedom (or would it be freedom vs. control?).

  70. Getaclue says:
    @gay troll

    On point as to the Apollo “Moon Shot” Wikileaks releases video that the “Moon landing” was filmed in the Desert in the USA….This would tend to give some weight to those who contend it was a hoax and Kubrick was involved in setting up the filming perhaps?: https://stateofthenation.co/?p=43296

  71. Getaclue says:
    @gay troll

    I also read that there was more of an Elite “Pedo” theme to the movie that was edited out…this would have made it much more accurate as to the real state of things….Sounds like Kubrick was no longer useful to the “Elite” and a possible problem….

  72. Getaclue says:
    @follyofwar

    Kubrick had edited it totally different — you didn’t see “his” movie — if you research you will see that the Studio was refusing to release it the way he wanted it, he had the power it seems to override them, he was dead within a few days thereafter and they did their hatchet job — so your not seeing his Edit your seeing something else, a hatchet taken to his work — I read they took out a great deal of “Elite Pedo” stuff….

  73. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I’m the other end on The Shining. I thought the changes Kubrick made were brilliant. Then I read the King book, the only one I’ve ever read of his–thought it was awful, not scary, and the ending Kubrick substituted instead gave ‘the devils’ still some of their power left, even if the mother and child got out–that makes for much scarier sensations than that ridiculously cornball Stephen King ending.

    I agree.

    Stephen King is a third-rate hack writer and The Shining is a terrible book. Somehow Kubrick managed to turn it into a great movie. One of the many examples of mediocre books turned into great movies.

  74. dfordoom says: • Website
    @restless94110

    I had never known Frederick Raphael co-wrote this. He’s one of the best screenwriters, from Petulia, Two for the Road, The Glittering Prizes, After the War, more…

    All obscure and/or mediocre films. Not a great CV.

    I seem to remember Petulia being quite good.

    I do not believe that evil should triumph in movies or in books.

    Life is not a fairy tale in which good always triumphs. Art should acknowledge that evil sometimes wins. Pretending that good will always triumph is a bit child-like.

    You are rooting for evil? You appear to like that evil triumphs and that Kubrick was evil in his intentions. I don’t see that as a good thing or worthy in any way.

    Acknowledging that evil sometimes wins is not the same as rooting for evil. That’s also a rather childish attitude.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  75. gepay says:

    Acknowledging that evil sometimes wins and bad things often happen to good people is one thing I really liked about Games of Thrones. For me it was much more entertaining and interesting to watch than Eyes wide shut. EWS did feel flat to me and unerotic. There was much nudity of women with attractive bodies but I had no interest in seeing the movie again. One thing that was interesting was how different the orgy party was from what most teenage boys would think when considering attending an orgy. (Kubrick was making a film about power and not sex) There is the speculation that Kubrick took part in making the Apollo photographs and movies. While I do believe that most of the moon shots were faked (I believe that none of the astronauts were even amateur photographers but many of the moon photos have the quality of a professional while allegedly being taken from a camera on their chest) I am an agnostic on whether the US actually went to the moon. (Why did the US get to the moon and the Soviet Union not? – the US had Hollywood) It is another coincidence like those that litter any conspiracy speculation that Kubrick died shortly after he submitted the film. Nobody disputes that the film shown was not the cut Kubrick gave but was edited by the owners.
    Kubrick did make a few good films but my opinion is that he is very over rated. Our opinions on films are so subjective as we like what we like and the reasons come later. For instance I think Polanksi was a better director – Chinatown has certainly passed the test of time. However he was not a man I would have liked my daughter to marry.In a much different way neither was Kubrick.

  76. @Notsofast

    Here’s a video that realistically portrays the type of ritual sacrifices that happen in elite circles. The intel agencies (CIA, FBI, Mossad, etc), Hollywood, and elite sex trafficking rings do this type of stuff in real life.

    The below video is absolutely frightening. So don’t click on it unless you have a strong stomach.

  77. @JohnnyWalker123

    Why did Jeffrey Epstein (with the help of Ghislaine Maxwell and businessman Leslie Wexner) do this? It was an Israeli Mossad blackmail op. Using surveillance equipment that was installed behind the walls, Jeffrey Epstein made sex tapes of all these powerful men who attended his sex parties and had sex with his prostitutes. The tapes taken back to Israel. These elite men were then blackmailed for money and favors.

    The same things have been somewhat said about the even-more evil, Hugh Hefner, and the Playboy Mansion, that it was “A CIA honey trap”

  78. @dfordoom

    Life is not a fairy tale in which good always triumphs. Art should acknowledge that evil sometimes wins. Pretending that good will always triumph is a bit child-like.

    Thanks for your condescension. As for evil triumphing, if it’s well done, I can take a bit of it. Chinatown comes to mind.

    The guys over at Elliott Wave Theory have said for years that when more films tend to the “evil triumphing” endings, it portends tough times just ahead.

    It’s not childish to prefer stories and films that celebrate and even exalt the good. It is, however, childish to believe that because there is evil in the world that we should all want to see it portrayed constantly in film.

    You are basically saying that you are the kind of childish person who prefers to stare at a squalid favela rather than the Mona Lisa.

    Knock yourself out, kid,. I’ll be at the Louvre with the enigmatic lady.

  79. It’s not an erotic movie. It’s about a wave of perverse evil that rolls across NY, finally coming to Cruise’s attention when it consumes his wife. It is supposed to disgust the viewer, not titillate him. To start with the premise that it is supposed to be sexy or erotic is to start falsely.

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