Comments for an Analysis of Eyes Wide Shut, Part 8

Part 8 is here.

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

If you are inclined to leave a comment, please keep it civil and relevant. I moderate.

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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".

2 thoughts on “Comments for an Analysis of Eyes Wide Shut, Part 8”

  1. Hello, Ms! You are incredible. I leave a bundle of questions on this page: On your page discussing the end, with Helena trailing off in the background — where is she going? To check out some more toys, or to the elder men who are there? Were those men part of the orgy club? Doesn’t Helena look an awful lot like Vivian Kubrick at the same age (easily compared in the videophone sequence in 2001)? Has Bill lost Helena to ‘Scientology/Illuminati/Bohemian-Grove-Orgy-People-or-whatever’, and is the orgy club of powerful men the Scientologists? If Alice (in the first scene) is coming home from an orgy, taking off an orgy dress (as some commentators have suggested: Perhaps the wife is involved with the orgy club, providing wealthy men with women in need of money for drugs etc, without Bill knowing — but suspecting all along something isn’t right); is the choice of Cruise/Kidman a way of (not) telling Cruise and the world that Cruise is entrapped by a body of powerful mind control – Bill may be losing Lucy and/or Helena to the sect?

    Cruise later discharged Nicole allegedly stating their marriage was a Mission Impossible. Nicole wasn’t active enough in the Scientology organization. Kidman also lost Cruise to Scientology, like Stanley had lost Vivian. But I don’t know when Vivian joined the Scientologists; some say as late as 1998 and 1999, some say 1995. Would Stanley have had time to plan and arrange the film to portray his views on powerful mind control? And he had been wanting to film the story for some thirty years. So at what point could the film take on the subtext of losing Vivian to mind control powers, if at all possible?

    1. Fredrik, I don’t get into any speculation on Scientology. He was already working with the idea of mind control much earlier, in “A Clockwork Orange”, which is part of his interest in fate as vs. free-will, which he has in every single film, The tyranny/thuggery of the state and class is also in all his films so it would be impossible for me to tease out anything to do with Scientology if there’s anything specific about it in here.

      I don’t have at all the feeling that Alice is involved in Somerton. And I think of Somerton. And, as far as Somerton goes, the audience is going to have as much trouble as Bill in trying to sort out what is real and what is symbolic. It takes place in the same territory as “Fear and Desire”, which isn’t real, is more magical, in a kind of enchanted forest (Lolita) that doesn’t exist, much the same as the forest hemming in the enchanted lodge in “The Shining”.

      At the beginning of “Fear and Desire”, we have this narration:

      “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.”

      This pertains to many of Kubrick’s films (perhaps all) and fits in very well with Alice and Bill considering what is real and what is dream at the end of this film.

      Most films that put one in mythical/fantastical territory do so forthrightly. Kubrick was more clever about it and made his films look realistic when they aren’t. He made them feel realistic in this way.

      So, there are no easy, pat answers. Where is Helena going? To me, she’s the next generation of this repetitive spiral of life which chafes against the mechanistic universe, people looking for the hole in the loop that will make an exemption of destiny for them. That is why she exits with these two men who entered the party with Bill and Alice. I really do see the ending in this manner because it fits in so well philosophically with Kubrick’s other films.

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