I’m not here today to tell you that Eyes Wide Shut was not one of his finest hours. I’m here to simply remind you of his brilliance. The man was a genius, no doubt going through an artistic, internal struggle throughout his film-makng career. Intricate story-telling, immaculate tracking shots, the slow-burning tension and emotion – Eyes Wide Shut for all it’s apparent flaws, had all of this.
What the movie also brought consistently throughout its enduring running time, amidst all the suspense, the eerie, the nudity, the intrigue, the character suffocation – was Christmas. Throw a rock into the world of Eyes Wide Shut and you guarantee to hit something festive. At a beautiful home, at a lavish party, at the office, the city streets or store windows, a costume shop, a bar entrance way, hotel lobby – there are multi-colored lights, sprawled out garlands, dangling baubles, presents being wrapped, toy stores to browse – and Christmas trees seemingly everywhere – seriously, go count them.
As hauntingly enticing as the movie is, it is actually one of the most eye-catchingly Christmassy films you’ll encounter. You just hardly know it. That whole concept plays like a trick of the eye or mind. A secret layer of festive beauty. Go now and see for yourself, I plucked a mere 33 examples of Christmas to turn your attentions from the likes of Tom and Nicole. And you thought Stanley the Great didn’t pay attention to detail.
Merry, Merry Christmas, Mr. Kubrick.