Comments for An Analysis of Eyes Wide Shut – Part Seven

Part Seven is here.

Having moved the body of the post to html, am restoring for the comments on the section.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

35 thoughts on “Comments for An Analysis of Eyes Wide Shut – Part Seven”

  1. After the Masked Ball party when Bill goes to visit the people and places from previous the night just before he gets out of the cab or is walking by pay close attention to the extras around behind him reacting to his arrival (some of them look at Bill then look at each other then leave excatly at the same moment bill arrives or they are looking at a store or magazine and seem to leave once Bill arrives) This could imply that he is being followed by more than one person.

  2. 431 LS Exterior of the Harford’s residential building. (1:51:58)

    The men on the bench could also represent Stanley Kubrick (silhoutte kinda looks like a doppleganger of him) observing his own film (The man is looking up at window to bill apartment/watching the scenes)

  3. Notice how the morgue resembles the kitchen in The Shining. Same “L” shaped room, lots of industrial steel, scale in same position as clock … and cadavers placed in same position as the meat locker. There’s even a black man opening doors.

  4. I see a connection between the doctor office “number 7” painting and this scene:×463.jpg

    The painting and the above screenshot both share a group of figures appearing down a “road” flanked by buildings. Above the group is the number 7 in the painting and in the screenshot, Christmas lights which appear to form two connected number 7’s (or a lightning bolt; Quabalist tree of life?). Bill obviously would be represented by the other lone figure in the painting. Note the 3 christmas trees depicted in the office and the one along the building, screenleft. Lastly, note that the Yalies talk about a red rose (and the rose shop just around the corner, and so on) and there is a rose imprinted on Bill’s office wall just beside the tree.

  5. I’ve written on the rose (Rosa and Roz, Nipped in the Bud and the idea of the Mexican lap dancer and the Mexican restaurants, these things forming repeated patterns) in section three, but I’d never noticed that it’s a rose on the wall beside the Xmas tree in the office? That slipped by me. I could see a plant stem and leaves but never realized it was a rose.

    Can see the possibility of the Tree of Life lightning bolt–especially with the tree painted on the neighboring building.

  6. Hah! Great catch! When Bill arrives at the Nathanson’s, we don’t see this as the “eye” is carefully blocked by a ceiling light. We don’t see it when Carl arrives as we have an opposing view of the hall. But we finally see it here.

  7. “470 LS The bald man rounding the corner on Benton Street. (2:02:37)
    The mail drop box has changed again and is like the ones viewed earlier in the day, though only presenting a portion of the graffiti.”

    Again as before when Bill visited Milcih Kubrick is using the tagged blue postbox to indicate that he is being followed/observed.

    1. Phil, perhaps you are referring to Domino’s dress? We never do see Amanda clothed. In the bathroom at Ziegler’s we never see anything but lingerie.

  8. I knew about the newspaper article saying she took off her clothes for Leon and how it is badly written (dream logic?). I suppose you cannot have a comment for everything (I was hoping for one though!).

  9. When the bald man is crossing the street in front of the Verona Restaurant, notice the letters that spell out : ERO ARES AURA (these are in red and the rest of the letters are a pinkish)

  10. I recently discovered this myself. Have been wondering since how that could be incorporated, so when I read your analysis, it completely made sense. Wonderful analysis.
    I’d always also thought that the “a hint of lace” just at the corner before the full shot of the “Verona Restaurant” could possibly mean “a hint” , as the screen follows the bald man crossing the street and revealing this.

  11. Excellent work Juli with this and all your other Kubrick analyses!

    I’ve always wondered about why the Christmas tree is all battered on Bill’s second visit to Domino’s apartment. Then I realised it relates to another theory where Sally is meant to represent Domino not all dressed up, like the Christmas tree. This comment posted on another site highlights this:

    “Essentially, Sally is meant to represent Domino unmade up and natural. However, Bill does not recognize that the woman facing him is really Domino. Sally does not recognize Bill’s inability to see that she is really Domino, and thinks that Bill is just playing around with her, perhaps as a game leading to another sensual escapade. Alternatively, Bill not recognizing Sally is really ‘daytime’ Domino, thinks that Sally is flirting with him and trying to wean him off Domino. When Sally makes up the HIV story to further the game, Bill believes it and is not able to continue the game. However, Sally misinterprets Bill’s rejection as his sense of guilt (cheating on his wife), similar to the event the evening before. Both characters in essence, have their ‘eyes wide shut’, communicating but not connecting possible due to their personal biases, experiences and prejudgments.”

  12. Interesting. I’m still confused on the matter of whether Alice’s dream was real or not though. Waiting for the 8th part.

  13. Hello all,

    I’m hoping someone with a keen eye can please tell me if one of the streets in the movie is called “Glover St.” or ‘Glover Rd’ or “Glover Ave”. I believe it is shown briefly when Dr. Harford was returning the costume to Milich. I believe the street is parallel to Benton St? Can anyone with “zoom” ability on video tell me this? Thanks.

  14. Hello, for the shot 543, if you are searching the 4th band rubber, see the left hand of Bill. What is the rubber band then?

      1. Thanks, I like your work about Kubrick’s movies, I am reading all actually.
        About the rubber band around the hand of Dr Bill, what can we think? It is sexual symbol? Or he just play with the band?

        1. I personally stay away from most sexual interpretations because I don’t see any reason for Kubrick to play around too much with sexual metaphor. Why should the sex be sublimated here?

          Instead, I’m more inclined to examine Kubrick’s conspicuous use of the pen here as compared to his use of the pen in “2001” and in “The Shining”. What strikes me is if one compares the image from shot 117 in the below link…

          …with the image from shot 453 in “Eyes Wide Shut”…

          …there is a certain resemblance between the two, with the way Bill is situated in respect of the computer monitor and the way Heywood is situated in respect of the window. In both scenes, pens are conspicuous. In “2001” the pen has been aloft while Heywood takes a nap, slowing spinning in a circle, except for one shot (113) where it rests parallel the floor, unmoving, which many would see as being a possible error but I don’t see how it could be. Consistently in “2001” we have Kubrick doing flip horizontals. In that particular section he exhibits these flip horizontals by having the space station spinning in one direction then changing it so it’s spinning in the alternate direction. Variations on this theme continue throughout the film and I examine this in my analysis of the film and how in that film, at least, it ties in with the chess game and HAL’s reverse orientation during that. We have much the same thing with the pen in “The Shining”. It keeps changing direction on Ullman’s desk so it does the same flip. We have also a kind of horizontal flip with Bill holding the phone in his right hand while Carl (who is a kind of twin of Bill) holds it in his left. The pen doesn’t flip here as it does in “The Shining”, it doesn’t turn in circles as it does in “2001”, but we have the circle symbol with the rubber bands and a kind of horizontal flip with the phone being in Bill’s right hand while it is in Carl’s left.

          Also, with the rubber bands, if we consider in these bands possibly a thread back to the band aid box taken from the mirrored medicine cabinet, when we see the bedroom before that scene it has a white phone on the right of the bed (our left), then after the band aid box scene, while Alice and Bill are getting high, there is instead a black phone on the left (our right) of the bed. So, again, the horizontal flip, that time in conjunction with a change from white to black. Which again takes me back to the role the chess game plays in “2001”.

          There are perhaps some other things at play here but, as I said, one way is to examine these things in respect of the chess game and its prominent reversal. My primary interest is going to be in demonstrating the possibility of links between these scenes.

          1. I also remark a fact, Dr Bill played with two rubber bands, the rubber band may mean zero, the pen mean 1, see the fingers of the right hand of Dr Bill, he sign a 2. Can we see 2001 here?

  15. Hello,
    I would report some aspects of the Nathanson’ house
    When Dr Bill enter we see a statue in the background, it seems like a modern stylisation of Horus (beak).
    When Carl Nathanson returns home, we see the oher side of the room, and over the door we see two wings (are they Isis?)
    When Rosa goes to open the door we see walls of carved wood wich are the same we see in Ziegler poolroom.
    I have some others things but (I am french) I do translate all.
    Concerning my last post I think we have a misunderstanding, my question should have been “With the rubbers, the pen and the fingers of Dr Bill, can we not see the number 2001?”

    1. I’ve written here on observing the same woodwork in both places. Very interesting that Kubrick would, in this manner, forge that connection.

      The statue in the background is well deserving of attention, but what it signifies I don’t know. Is it a clock? Conspicuous is the left-pointing beak-like detail at the top, and I wish we’d some info on it. It reminds me a little of Brancusi’s birds.

      I suppose it stands to reason that we could look at the doorway opposite (with the Broken Pediment) as complementary (we have a certain symmetry with the floral arrangements on each side) and the one speaking to the other. How this is so, I don’t know. Also, that door is open and we see a painting. What that painting is, I don’t know. The room out of which Rosa exits connects with Ziegler’s. Does this room also connect with another? I’ve not seen it thus far.

      Yoyonovitch, I did understand that you were asking if we could be seeing the number 2001 in the two fingers, the pen and the rubber band, and I said it’s possible. I don’t know. But it’s possible. It could be we are seeing that and other things as well. I certainly do think the scene needs to be examined in connection with the pen scene in “2001”.

  16. I wanted to point put that the music playing at Sharky’s is actually part of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ – Rex tremendae majestatis.

  17. Forgive me if I’ve missed it; but I get frustrated at the number sequence in the morgue. Not having a head for maths or chess, I can’t figure it out. But what else can we make out of the number “19” above Amanda? And who is she? As you say, The room, and possibly Bill’s mind, get somewhat enlightened by the dead Amanda. But considering the fact Amanda does not really look like she did before, what connections can there be between Amanda the living and Amanda the dead? I think there is something to this, and either to the number 19, or the number 10 (or both) together with the encircled board letters.

    Are there missing pieces? There still is no director’s cut out there, is there? Is the film shorter than it should be? How many minutes are missing? If so, how win a chess game without enough pieces on the board? Or am I just too dumb!?

    1. Fredrik, actually, I think one of the more important things is accepting the high level of ambiguity, in that the Amanda question is something that can’t be interpreted by normal, everyday logic, trying to rationalize who she is and what is happening with her. On the surface level it at first seems to be set up as a kind of mystery where logic must prevail and will if the right piece is found, which is how most people do approach the film, but here there’s no Agatha Christie kind of reveal where all the pieces fall in place. Amanda functions like a brain irritant that makes the viewer question what’s going on and then keeps pushing questions because there is no Agatha Christie reveal. She is part of a mystery. Kubrick used certain schemes in creating his mysteries and from film to film he has some reliable elements that set the stage.Those missing pieces are spread throughout his films, but, again, there is no Agatha Christie missing piece to the puzzle that creates “if a and b then c” logic.

      Go back almost all the way to the beginning, to “Fear and Desire”, and it opens with the statement, “There is war in this forest. Not a war that’s been fought, or one that will be, but any war. And the enemies who struggle here do not exist, unless we call them into being. This forest, then, and all that happens now, is outside history. Only the unchanging shapes of fear and doubt and death are from our world. These soldiers that you see keep our language and our time, but have no other country than the mind.” Kubrick then had characters who met their doubles in an underworld kind of land which looked like a normal forest. Here, too, we deal throughout with doubles, not just in the case of Amanda, but Amanda stands out as they point of entry to questioning. The essential ideas in that initial statement in “Fear and Desire”, what is occurring at a deeper level in the story being “outside history”, applies to every single one of his films.. Kubrick’s similar statement at the end of EWS is the characters being uncertain as to what is dream and what is reality, that dreams have something of the real in them and reality has something of the dream. The film becomes a kind of brain irritant that stirs, with its ambiguities, the sense of that mystery in the viewer.

      As far as how the numbers function that surround Amanda, they needn’t have been what they were, they could have been anything, they serve as a re-expression of certain stagings for these mystery stories of Kubrick’s and exist in other forms in the film.

      If one examines Kubrick’s work he tends to have “centers” with the doubles on either side, negative and positive, but like a chess board those opposites are checkered, are yin-yang. The most obvious visual depiction of this is in “The Shining” with its world maze. That image applies not only to “The Shining” but all Kubrick’s films.

      Y’know those circled board letters? I think there’s something going on there, too, but I’ve yet to be able to interpret what they express.

  18. Did anyone notice that as Bill is exiting the hospital via the hallway with the paintings, the left side of the screen has a 3 paneled, folding painting that mimics the 3 paneled mirrored closet doors from his own house (discussed heavily earlier in this series)?

    Does anyone know why that shows up here, or what it means? It must mean something. It’s very peculiar and uncommon to see a painting like that.

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