"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Eyes Wide Shut

06 Apr 2002

Stanley Kubrick,
Making Me Wait

I saw the first screening of Eyes Wide Shut in Kitchener yesterday. I've only been waiting for 12 years. Well -- two, really. That's when I first head that Kubrick was making this film.Was it worth the wait?

Before I answer, I have to confess my biases. One of the first serious films I remember seeing was 2001: A Space Odyssey. For me, that's been the canonical form for movies. I've seen everything Kubrick has made back to Spartacus, and I don't think there's a bad film in the lot. So I guess what I'm saying is that in my mind, Kubrick can do no wrong. But what does he do right? He lets the scene play out. He doesn't cut back and forth from one thing to another as if he was making a rock video. He cuts out the chaff. He's not afraid of letting his actors act. And he doesn't feel compelled to beat me over the head with some sort of message in his films. If I get something, I get something. But if I don't have the wherewithal, he's not going to browbeat me. (Spike Lee: take note.)

Obviously, I am thumping my fist on an electric lectern here, my robes flying.

You don't have to like Eyes Wide Shut. As one screening of it ended, a man sitting behind me moaned to his companion, "There's two and a half hours of my evening wasted." Pal, you've never had it wasted so well.

Was it worth the wait? Of course it was. I was entranced for 2 1/2 hours. That's not bad. But I urge you to go and make up your own mind. Your opinion is as valid as anyone's.

Related Sites

Eyes Wide Shut Official Site