After his wife, Alice, tells him about her sexual fantasies, William Harford sets out for a night of sexual adventure. After several less than successful encounters, he meets an old friend, Nick Nightingale--now a musician--who tells him of strange sex parties where he is required to play the piano blindfolded. All the men at the party are costumed and wear masks while the women are all young and beautiful. Harford manages to find an appropriate costume and heads out to the party. Once there, however, he is warned by someone who recognizes him, despite the mask, that he is in great danger. He manages to extricate himself, but the threats prove to be quite real and sinister.Written by
Though often referred to as Stanley Kubrick's "unfinished masterpiece", the final edit of the film was actually presented to Warner Bros. (by Kubrick) a full four days before his death, though the score and other aspects were not finalized. See more »
When Bill and Victor talk by the pool table, Victor's glass changes positions. See more »
Special thanks to the staff of Hamleys of London. See more »
The Europeans version is completely uncensored. The orgy scene was partially censored in the American release to avoid an "NC-17" rating. Computer generated people were placed in front of the sexually explicit action to obscure it from view. See more »
I remember when Kubrick passed away. I read it in the morning newspaper, and was struck with deep sadness I couldn't explain. Mind you, I was not even 12 years old at the time and had barely seen any of his films.
So I went to see "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) at the cinema. I credit it, along with Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" (1998), as an experience that ignited my interest in film, since they were both films like I had never seen before. Sure, there's that one reason why a young lad might be interested in this, but I was so struck by its atmosphere and narrative flow that I had to read Schnitzler's "Traumnovelle". And how disappointed I was in how unalike they were. The film was in a world of its own that had a sense of time that was its own, a sense of colour that was its own, a sense of light that was its own. Every movement was languid, every word deliberate.
I never really thought about the connection between this and Malick's film until now, but really, they both move in the realm of dreams and memories and projected, subjective realities – between something that did happen (to someone) and something that might have happened. There's ellipsis, ambiguity, metaphor. Both work their magic in visual terms. I'm soaked in that light from the ball even by recalling the images in my mind as I'm writing this.
Fidelio – enter.
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