By Gyorgy I think I got it!
(too old to reply)
2008-09-24 07:36:27 UTC
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Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.

2008-09-24 08:37:37 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.

Alice was an art curator....

and from Brooklyn

2008-09-24 08:39:42 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Post by kelpzoidzl
Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.
Alice was an art curator....
and from  Brooklyn
Open Society Institute

2008-09-24 09:03:29 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Post by kelpzoidzl
Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.
Alice was an art curator....
and from  Brooklyn
Ovid Technologies, Inc. has announced that it has added medical and
nursing journals to its aggregated ***@Ovid full-text database,
bringing the total number of journals in the database to 363.

The new titles are AIDS Patient Care & STDs, published by Mary Ann
Liebert, Inc.; Critical

Article by Susan Weber Soros published in WAG,

publisher Mary Ann Lieber http://www.liebertpub.com


Books by Susan Weber Soros
2008-09-24 09:07:54 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Post by kelpzoidzl
Post by kelpzoidzl
Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.
Alice was an art curator....
and from  Brooklyn
Ovid Technologies, Inc. has announced that it has added medical and
bringing the total number of journals in the database to 363.
The new titles are AIDS Patient Care & STDs, published by Mary Ann
Liebert, Inc.; Critical
Article by Susan Weber Soros published in WAG,
publisher    Mary Ann Lieber  http://www.liebertpub.com
Books by Susan Weber Soroshttp://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-auth...- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
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2008-09-24 09:33:49 UTC
George Soros
NEIL CLARK / New Statesman 2jun03


Soros and Georgia


2008-09-24 19:40:55 UTC
a bio:

George Soros is a Hungarian immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1956, at
age 26, and made his fortune as an international financier.

His father, who was born into an Orthodox Jewish family, changed the
family name from Schwartz to Soros in 1936 - a move that enabled the
Soros family to conceal its Jewish identity and thus survive the Nazi
Holocaust. In 1947 the family emigrated from Hungary to England, where
an event occurred that greatly influenced the development of George's
personality and worldview. He broke his leg and was cared for by
England's National Health Service, free of charge, while the Jewish
relief agencies of that era did not offer him the help he believed
they owed him. In that convergence of events was born Soros' favorable
opinion of Democratic Socialism, and his negative view of many Jewish
groups.In 1956 Soros started life in America with very little money
but a well-developed knowledge of investing, thanks to his education
at the London School of Economics and his experience working for a
London stockbroker. He transformed his meager seed money into a huge
fortune by becoming one of the world's leading hedge fund investors
and currency traders.

In 1969 he started his enormously successful Quantum Fund, which, over
the ensuing three decades, yielded its long-term investors a four
thousand-fold increase on their initial 1969 investments. During his
career, Soros has orchestrated some extremely risky, ethically
questionable deals. For instance, in a $10 billion 1992 deal whose
success was contingent upon the devaluation of the British Pound, he
earned himself a $1 billion profit and the title, "the man who broke
the Bank of England." Over the years, he has amassed a personal
fortune of some $7 billion.In 1979 Soros founded the Open Society
Fund, and since then has created a large network of foundations that
give away hundreds of millions of dollars each year, much of it to
individuals and organizations that share and promote his leftist
philosophy. He believes that in order to prevent right-wing fascism
from overrunning the world, a strong leftist counterbalance is
essential. Asserting that America needed "a regime change" to oust
President Bush, Soros maintained that he would gladly have traded his
entire fortune in exchange for a Bush defeat in the 2004 election. In
a November 2003 interview with the Washington Post's Laura Blumenfeld,
he stated that defeating President Bush in 2004 "is the central focus
of my life". . . "a matter of life and death."

"America under Bush," he said, "is a danger to the world, and I'm
willing to put my money where my mouth is." Claiming that "the
Republican party has been captured by a bunch of extremists," Soros
accuses the Bush administration of following a "supremacist ideology"
in whose rhetoric he claims to hear echoes from his childhood in
occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or
against us,' " he explains, "it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures
up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (The
enemy is listening). My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have
sensitized me."Soros pledged to raise $75 million to defeat President
Bush in the 2004 Presidential election, and personally donated nearly
a third of that amount to anti-Bush groups (see The Shadow Party). He
gave $5 million to MoveOn.org, the group that produced political ads
likening Bush to Adolf Hitler. He also contributed $10 million to a
Democratic Party 2004 get-out-the-vote initiative called America
Coming Together, whose directors include representatives from the AFL-
CIO, the Sierra Club, the Service Employees International Union, and
EMILY's List. He further pledged $3 million to the Center for American
Progress (CAP), a think-tank headed by former Clinton chief-of-staff
John Podesta. PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and
Democracy President Bill Moyers is a trustee of the Open Society
Institute's Board of Directors. The network of Soros foundations - the
most prominent of which is the Open Society Institute - supports a
wide array of leftist groups and causes.In August 2006 Soros wrote a
Wall Street Journal piece titled "A Self-Defeating War." The article's
premise is that "the war on terror is a false metaphor that has led to
counterproductive and self-defeating policies." "Five years after
9/11," Soros elaborates, "a misleading figure of speech applied
literally has unleashed a real war fought on several fronts -- Iraq,
Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia -- a war that has killed thousands
of innocent civilians and enraged millions around the world. Yet al
Qaeda has not been subdued.

" According to Soros, "[T]errorism is an abstraction. It lumps
together all political movements that use terrorist tactics. Al Qaeda,
Hamas, Hezbollah, the Sunni insurrection and the Mahdi army in Iraq
are very different forces, but President Bush's global war on terror
prevents us from differentiating between them and dealing with them
accordingly. It inhibits much-needed negotiations with Iran and Syria
because they are states that support terrorist groups." "The war on
terror," adds Soros, "emphasizes military action while most
territorial conflicts require political solutions. ... [It] drives a
wedge between 'us' and 'them.' We are innocent victims. They are
perpetrators. But we fail to notice that we also become perpetrators
in the process; the rest of the world, however, does notice. That is
how such a wide gap has arisen between America and much of the world.

Taken together, these factors ensure that the war on terror cannot be
won. An endless war waged against an unseen enemy is doing great
damage to our power and prestige abroad and to our open society at
home." In December of 2006, Soros met with Democratic presidential
hopeful Senator Barack Obama in his New York office. Soros had
previously hosted a fund-raiser for Obama during the latter's 2004
campaign for the Senate. On January 16, 2007, Obama announced the
creation of a presidential exploratory committee, and within hours
Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount
allowable under campaign finance laws. Later that week the New York
Daily News reported that Soros would back Obama over Senator Hillary
Clinton, whom he had also supported in the past. Soros's announcement
was seen as a repudiation of Clinton's presidential aspirations,
though Soros said he would support the New York senator were she to
win the Democratic nomination.

In early January 2007, Soros was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer of CNN.
Blitzer began the interview by asking Soros about the following quote
that appears in Soros's newly published book, The Age of Fallibility:
"The Bush administration and the Nazi and communist regimes all
engaged in the politics of fear. Indeed, the Bush administration has
been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and Communist
propaganda machines by drawing on the innovations of the advertising
and marketing industries." When Blitzer asked him to defend that
assertion, Soros replied: "You actually picked out the most incendiary
part of the book, and I am very careful to draw a clear distinction
between the Nazi regime and our open society, because we are a
democracy. But there are some similarities in the propaganda methods,
which I pointed out. ... I think there are some serious arguments
about our open society being endangered by the policies followed by
the Bush administration. The war on terror, which does not have an
end, changes, it leads to an undue extension of executive powers. It
has stifled debate. Criticizing the president is considered
unpatriotic, and as a result, we have been following policies which
endanger our traditional [unintelligible].""A lot of people will agree
with you on that," said Blitzer.

"But where they will starkly disagree is to then bring in the whole
Nazi and Communist comparison." Soros replied: "Actually, it's a valid
point, and maybe I did go over the line, but I think that on the whole
my assessment is a balanced one. And frankly, when President Bush
said, 'you are either with us or you are with the terrorists,' that's
when I was reminded. But I should have probably kept it to myself.
"While criticizing the Iraq War for the benefit of reporters at the
January 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros
unburdened himself of the view that Nazis were now running the United
States government. "America needs to follow the policies it has
introduced in Germany," Soros explained. "We have to go through a
certain de-Nazification process." Lest there be doubts that Soros was
actually likening his adoptive country to the Third Reich and the Bush
administration to the Nazi nomenklatura, a Soros spokesman, Michael
Vachon, moved quickly to dispel them. "There is nothing unpatriotic
about demanding accountability from the president," he said of Soros's
appeal for de-Nazification. "Those responsible for taking America into
this needless war should do us all a favor and retire from public

"In the April 12, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros
penned an article titled "On Israel, America and AIPAC," wherein he
derided the Bush administration for "committing a major policy blunder
in the Middle East" by "supporting the Israeli government in its
refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes
Hamas, which the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist
organization." In Soros' calculus, "This precludes any progress toward
a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem
could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East."
"Israel," said Soros, "with the strong backing of the United States,
refused to recognize the democratically elected Hamas government and
withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on
its behalf. This caused great economic hardship and undermined the
ability of the government to function. But it did not reduce popular
support for Hamas among Palestinians, and it reinforced the position
of Islamic and other extremists who oppose negotiations with Israel.

[Hamas] was not willing to go so far as to recognize the existence of
Israel but it was prepared to enter into a government of national
unity which would have abided by the existing agreements with Israel.
But both Israel and the United States seem to be frozen in their
unwillingness to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes
Hamas. The sticking point is Hamas's unwillingness to recognize the
existence of Israel; but that [recognition] could be made a condition
for an eventual settlement rather than a precondition for
negotiations. The current policy of not seeking a political solution
but pursuing military escalation—not just an eye for an eye but
roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one—has
reached a particularly dangerous point."

Soros and his foundations have had a hand in funding a host of leftist
organizations, including the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the
National Organization for Women; Feminist Majority; the American Civil
Liberties Union; People for the American Way; Alliance for Justice;
NARAL Pro-Choice America; America Coming Together; the Center for
American Progress; Campaign for America's Future; Amnesty
International; the Sentencing Project; the Center for Community
Change; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Human Rights Watch; the Prison
Moratorium Project; the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; the National
Lawyers Guild; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Coalition for
an International Criminal Court; The American Prospect; MoveOn.org;
Planned Parenthood; the Nation Institute; the Brennan Center for
Justice; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Security Archive
Fund; the Pacifica Foundation; Physicians for Human Rights; the
Proteus Fund; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Urban Institute; the
American Friends Service Committee; Catholics for a Free Choice; Human
Rights First; the Independent Media Institute; MADRE; the Mexican
American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Immigrant Legal
Resource Center; the National Immigration Law Center; the National
Immigration Forum; the National Council of La Raza; the American
Immigration Law Foundation; the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; and
the Peace and Security Funders Group.
2008-09-25 03:52:30 UTC
Some more tidbits to add to the absurdity

"He was convicted in 2002 of insider trading in France and fined $2.2
million. George dismissed this finding as "a queer decision" and said
that he would file an appeal. The French courts are still waiting


What did Soros do on Black Wednesday
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"The director of Tides (owned by Soros) is Wade Rathke, who is also
president of the radical Service Employees International Union and the
founder of ACORN."



"In Asia, populations of entire nations, including Malaysia,
Indonesia, and South Korea, have seen their living standards, built up
over decades, decimated overnight by pirate currency speculators like
George Soros, and their national sovereignty destroyed by the
International Monetary Fund."


Soros deviating from Karl Popper---arguments


Not So Distant Mirror
The Lessons of the Fourteenth-Century
New Dark Age
by William F. Wertz, Jr.
From FIDELIO, Volume VII, No. 3 - FALL 1998 [Fidelio is the Linden
LaRouche Jouranal]

To quote from the speech by George Soros at the Berlin conference:
“The European Union was brought into existence by a process of
piecemeal social engineering, the method Karl Popper considered
appropriate to an open society. The process was directed by a far-
sighted and purposeful elite which recognized that perfection is
unattainable. It proceeded step by step, setting limited objectives
with limited timetables, knowing full well that each step would prove
to be inadequate and would require a further step. ”

'Bill Gates is just a figurehead. I am actively engaged'.(George Soros
COPYRIGHT 2006 The Spectator Ltd. (UK)
In the bookcase in George Soros's South Kensington drawing-room,
neatly lined up beside works on Kant, Adam Smith and Karl Popper, are
multiple copies of Open Society, written by one of today's aspiring

Soros himself. The literary line-up is testament to the
HungarianuAmerican billionaire's search for something that money can't
buy - acceptance at the same table as these great thinkers. But his
cash has paid for a place on the same shelf, at least in his own home.
And last week Soros was in London to talk about his latest book, The
Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror (Weidenfeld).

Despite giving away $5 billion of his personal fortune to propagate
his beliefs, Soros will always be remembered for the $1 billion he
made from the crisis in which sterling was forced out of the European
Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992. He became known as 'the man who broke
the Bank of England' and the tag has overshadowed everything he has
done since. 'I'm very happy to have had that billion dollars, ' he
says, 'and it hasn't done Europe or Britain any damage. I'm actually
very pleased with that particular incident.'
In the Bethovensky hall of the Bolshoi theatre the new seasonal cycle
has come to the end "Chamber evenings: password Fidelio"
You were very kind to me once. Only once? That sounds like a terrible
oversight! I was doing a photo session in Rockefeller Plaza... ...on a
very windy day...? - And you got something in your eye. - Just about
half of Fifth Avenue. You were such a gentleman! You gave me your
handkerchief... ...which was also clean. That is the kind of hero I
can be sometimes.
I think that's my glass. I'm absolutely certain of it. My name is
Sandor Szavost. I'm Hungarian. My name is Alice Harford. I'm American.
Delighted to meet you, Alice. Did you ever read the Latin poet Ovid on
The Art of Love? Didn't he wind up all by himself... ...crying his
eyes out... ...in some place with a very bad climate? But he also had
a good time first. A very good time.
Are you here with anyone tonight, Alice? With my husband. Oh, how sad.
But then I'm sure he's the sort of man who wouldn't mind if we danced.
What do you do, Alice? Well, at the moment... ...I'm looking for a
job. I used to manage an art gallery in SoHo. But it went broke. What
a shame. I have some friends in the art game. Perhaps I can be of some
help. Thank you. Someone you know? My... ...husband. Don't you think
one of the charms of marriage... ...is that it makes deception a
necessity for both parties? May I ask why a beautiful woman... ...who
could have any man in this room, wants to be married? Why wouldn't
she? Is it as bad as that? As good as that.
You know why women used to get married, don't you? Why don't you tell
me? It was the only way they could lose their virginity... ...and be
free to do what they wanted with other men. The ones they really
wanted. Fascinating.
I love Victor's art collection, don't you? It's wonderful. Have you
ever seen his sculpture gallery? I haven't. He has a wonderful
collection of Renaissance bronzes. Do you like the period? I do. I
adore it. The sculpture gallery is upstairs. Would you like to see it?
I can show it to you. We won't be gone long. Maybe... ...not
just... ...now.
I think I've had a little too much champagne. I think I have to go and
find my husband now. But I'm sure he'll be all right on his own a
little longer. Yes... ...but will I? Of course you will. I really have
to go. I have to go. You don't, you know. Yes, I do. I must see you
again. - That's impossible. - Why? Because... ...I'm married.
Anyway, who was the guy you were dancing with? A friend of the
Zieglers. What did he want? What did he want? Sex... ...upstairs. Then
and there. Is that all? Yeah, that was all. Just wanted to fuck my
wife. That's right. Well, I guess that's understandable.
Good evening. Can we be of any help? I suppose you'd like the
password. If you'd like, sir. Fidelio. Thank you, sir. We'll run you
up to the house. Good evening, sir. Good evening. Password, sir?
Fidelio. Thank you, sir. I'm not sure what you think you're doing. But
you don't belong here. I'm sorry, but I think you've mistaken me for
someone else. Please! Don't be foolish. You must go now. Who are you?
It doesn't matter who I am. You are in great danger. You must get away
while there's still a chance. Would you be so good as to excuse us for
a moment? Have you been enjoying yourself? Well, I've had a very
interesting look around. Do you want to go somewhere a little more
private? Private? That might be a good idea. Here you are. I've been
looking all over for you. May I borrow him for just a few minutes? I
promise to bring him right back. I don't think you realize the danger
you're in now. You can't fool them for much longer. You've got to get
away before it's too late. Why are you telling me this? It doesn't
matter. Who are you? You don't want to know. But you must go. Now!
Will you come with me? That's impossible. Why? Because it would cost
me my life and possibly yours. Let me see your face. Go! Excuse me,
sir. Are you the gentleman with the taxi waiting for him? Yes. Your
driver's at the front door and would urgently like a word with you.
Please, come forward. May I have the password, please? Fidelio. That's
right, sir. That is the password... ...for admittance. But may I ask,
what is the password for the house? The password for the house? I'm
sorry, I.... I seem to have... ...forgotten it. That's unfortunate.
Because here, it doesn't matter whether you have forgotten it... ...or
if you never knew it. You will kindly remove your mask. Now... ...get
undressed. Get undressed? Remove your clothes. Gentlemen, please....
Remove your clothes. Or would you like us to do it for you? Stop! Let
him go. Take me! I am ready to redeem him. You are ready to redeem
him? Yes. Are you sure you understand what you're taking upon
yourself... ...in doing this? Very well. You are free. But I warn
you... ...if you make any further inquiries... ...or if you say a
single word to anyone... ...about what you have seen... ...there will
be the most dire consequences for you... ...and your family. Do you
understand? What is going to happen to that woman? No one can change
her fate now. When a promise has been made here... ...there is no
turning back. Go!




And no conspiracy theory is complete without this timeless classic

The Biggest Secret



Soros: Is he a god or a madman with money?
Houston Chronicle ^ | 10/8/04 | RACHEL EHRENFELD and SHAWN MACOMBER
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 1:56:26 PM by freespirited
''Frankly, I don't think I'll need to do a lot more," Democratic
philanthropist George Soros bragged to USA Today just a few months
ago. "I now take the defeat of Bush more or less for granted."
Unfortunately for him, that defeat no longer seems so certain, so the
billionaire, who had spent more than $15 million in an attempt to get
John F. Kerry elected, is now trying to protect his earlier
investments by throwing in an additional $3 million.
"America, under Bush, is a danger to the world," says Soros. To save
the world and prevent the re-election of George W. Bush, Soros has
dedicated extraordinary amounts of time and money because defeating
Bush, he says, is his "central focus." His motto, "If I spend enough,
I will make it right," is the essence of his articulated ideas about
changing society.
It seems that Soros believes he was anointed by God. "I fancied myself
as some kind of god ... ," he once wrote. "If truth be known, I
carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood,
which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in
When asked by Britain's Independent newspaper to elaborate on that
passage, Soros said, "It is a sort of disease when you consider
yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel
comfortable about it now since I began to live it out."
Since I began to live it out. Those unfamiliar with Soros would
probably dismiss the statement out of hand. But for those who have
followed his career and sociopolitical endeavors, it cannot be taken
quite so lightly.
Soros has proved that with the vast resources of money at his command
he has the ability to make the once unthinkable acceptable. His work
as a self-professed "amoral" financial speculator has left millions in
poverty when their national currencies were devaluated, and he pumped
so much cash into shaping former Soviet republics to his liking that
he has bragged that the former Soviet empire is now the "Soros
Now he's turned his eye on the internal affairs of the United States.
Today's United States, he writes in his latest book, The Bubble of
American Supremacy, is a "threat to the world," run by a Republican
Party that is the devil child of an unholy alliance between "market
fundamentalists" and "religious fundamentalists." We have become a
"supremacist" nation.
During a speech at Columbia University's commencement ceremonies,
Soros said, "If President Bush is re-elected, we must ask the
question, 'What is wrong with us?' " He has written that he always
"felt that modern society in general and America in particular suffer
from a deficiency of values."
Bush's aggressive waging of the war on terrorism has only increased
these feelings. "When President Bush says, as he does frequently, that
freedom will prevail, in fact he means that America will prevail,"
Soros writes. Who would Soros prefer to see "prevail"? Saddam Hussein?
Osama bin Laden?
Despite his reputation as an international philanthropist, Soros
remains candid about his true charitable tendencies. "I am sort of a
deus ex machina, " Soros told The New York Times in 1994. "I am
something unnatural. I'm very comfortable with my public persona
because it is one I have created for myself. It represents what I like
to be as distinct from what I really am. You know, in my personal
capacity I'm not actually a selfless philanthropic person. I've very
much self-centered."
Soros was more succinct when he explained his life philosophy to
biographer Michael Kaufman. "I am kind of a nut who wants to have an
impact," he said.
But the speculator's visions don't end there.
"Next to my fantasies about being God, I also have very strong
fantasies of being mad," Soros once confided on British television.
"In fact, my grandfather was actually paranoid. I have a lot of
madness in my family. So far I have escaped it."
In his book, Soros on Soros, he says: "I do not accept the rules
imposed by others. ... And in periods of regime change, the normal
rules don't apply."
Clearly, Soros considers himself to be someone who is able to
determine when the "normal rules" should and shouldn't apply.


Who are Soros’s business partners at the Carlyle Group?
one of the world’s largest private equity funds, which makes most of
its profit from defense contracts. And which therefore grows richer
the more wars the US president starts. Both Pres. Bush were/are
affiliated to it. Other participants include the former secretary of
state James Baker and Frank Carlucci, former defense secretary, and
“until recently", Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of Osama Bin Laden. In
fact Shafiq bin Laden and Bush sen. were together at a Carlyle
Investor meeting on 9/11.
"Soros has invested more than $100 million in Carlyle."

2008-09-25 13:36:55 UTC
The "Mystery Man" blog post on EWS was reposted with new comments


The original post and comments:


2008-09-25 13:46:21 UTC

Eyes Wide Shut - An Essay by Jamie Stuart

BACKGROUND: When Eyes Wide Shut opened on July 16, 1999, it was
greeted with much the same reaction that all of Stanley Kubrick’s
films had received: polar opinions followed by discussion. Like those
other films, now that the controversy has faded, and it can finally be
dissected via video and DVD, it’s reputation has been slowly building.
Part of the initial problem for many of the film’s viewers was that
Kubrick had made so few films in the last two decades of his life.
During this time the world of film had been significantly augmented by
three developments: home video, CGI digital effects and the rise of
the blockbuster above all else. For myself and an entire generation,
we grew up watching Kubrick’s films on a TV screen. Although I did see
Full Metal Jacket during its original run in theaters at the age of
twelve, what we were experiencing, for the most part, were waves
created some time ago during the initial impacts of his work. When
Eyes Wide Shut’s production was announced in 1996, we were thrilled,
yet skeptical. One friend, upon learning it would be starring Tom
Cruise, commented that it was the equivalent of Alfred Hitchcock
returning from the grave to direct a Nike commercial. As the shooting
schedule wore on, our anticipation increased. Then, on the evening of
March 7, 1999, only months before the film’s release, we were shocked
to learn Kubrick had passed away. We were in a state of disbelief. For
the younger generation of filmmakers and enthusiasts coming of age
now, it’s difficult to explain our reaction. For those who “got”
Kubrick’s work -- the methodical compositions, groundbreaking
narratives, revolutionary techniques, uncompromising intellectual
concepts and, above all, his complete control over his productions --
it was like losing a symbol. One need only locate and read many of the
obituaries published at the time to get a glimpse. There was nobody
else like him, and there never would be again. He was quite
misunderstood, even by his admirers. I was aghast at reading post-
mortem critical evaluations of his work, which seemed void of any
comprehension. One analysis actually proclaimed the most brilliant
aspect of Barry Lyndon was that Kubrick presented the title character
as a “dullard.” 1999 was the peak of the ‘90s media avalanche, as this
was the year of the “dot.com.” The media, which K. had all but avoided
for nearly a quarter century, quickly began spinning stories based on
mistruths perpetuated by people who’d never even met him. And
certainly didn’t understand his films. Eyes Wide Shut’s entire
production was controversial. The lack of public knowledge, mixed with
the length of the shoot, stirred much public interest -- not the least
of which was centered around the film’s married couple Tom Cruise and
Nicole Kidman. All we were told was that the narrative centered itself
around sexual obsession. Later, it was suggested to be based on Arthur
Schnitzler’s Traumnovel, however, no copies were in print because
Kubrick had bought them all years earlier. As with any ambiguous
rumor, given enough time it will take on a life of its own and lose
any semblance of realistic proportion. The press made the film sound
as if it would be like Basic Instinct. Everything was hyped beyond
belief, as our piranha media configuration called for. AOL kept asking
on its homepage whether it would be the sexiest movie ever, and
advertised: “Tom & Nicole: Will they or won’t they?” (AOL subsequently
purchased Warner Bros., who released it.) For those who were actually
interested in the reality of Eyes Wide Shut, there was a real
controversy. It was well known that Kubrick had been a perfectionist,
with final cut over all of his work. In fact, he’d even recut 2001: A
Space Odyssey and The Shining after their premieres. Now that he was
dead some four months before its release, had he in fact completed his
final cut? History indicated that he most likely hadn’t. Then, as the
reviews began coming out, not withstanding Alexander Walker’s self-
aggrandizing jump of the gun, yet another issue came to light.
Apparently, in order to secure an R-rating, which Kubrick was
contractually obligated to deliver to Warner Bros., CGI effects were
exercised to alter a specific scene. Critics were shown both versions.
INITIAL IMPRESSION: I saw Eyes Wide Shut several days before its
release at a preview screening. The audience was anxious and on edge.
The film began and after a few moments we all realized the picture
quality was grainy, looking like a rough cut. There was whispering.
The story unfolded, and my initial reaction swayed from nervous
numbness to curiosity, to thinking it was the worst thing he’d ever
done and an embarrassment, to thinking it might be the best.
Afterward, I left without much of an opinion. I needed to mull it
over. I thought, perhaps Kubrick wasn’t dead after all. Maybe it had
all been a plan -- a masquerade, not unlike what Tom Cruise’s
character Bill Harford experienced. It was certainly ironic that
someone known for portraying stories in which plans go astray -- while
finishing his first film in a dozen years, living an anonymous
lifestyle that he knew had furthered his reputation, and amidst the
media maelstrom for which he had finally prepared to break his silence
-- died of natural causes. His body simply stopped on him. It couldn’t
have been more Kubrickian. Most people were unable to determine how
they felt about it after only one viewing. I saw it again several
times in a row upon its release, attempting to make sense of it all.
Certain aspects had caught my attention, and it was readily apparent
that many things which seemed so on the surface all but evaporated
upon closer inspection. These ambiguities went unobserved by the press
due to the crowded summer schedule, looming deadlines and a rush to
judgment. But perhaps the greatest reason for this critical folly was
that Kubrick spoke in a language of cinema, not literature. By this, I
mean, most people were so unskilled at understanding film language,
that they were unable to follow his intricacies and, therefore, judged
it a mess. Kubrick’s consistent intent was to create visual
experiences that avoided literary pigeonholes. You see, most critics
enjoy intelligent films, or so they tell themselves -- but usually
dislike intellectual films. They like to watch well-made and well-
thought-out work, yet disdain anything which will require them to
think a great deal about what they’ve seen after the fact. Another
culprit was that many claimed to have read the Schnitzler, when all
they’d read was Frederic Raphael’s brief synopsis in his published
memoir Eyes Wide Open, about his screenplay collaboration with
Kubrick. Many hadn’t even done that. That said, they were following an
unreliable surface guide and were unable to distinguish between the
differences. And so began the debate. Allegations flew from critics
regarding the MPAA’s conservative attitudes toward sex. After all, the
world outside North America saw the version without the CGI
alterations. These alterations, which occurred in a single scene, in
the form of what became known as "Digital Fig Leaves", were figures
imposed over certain sex acts to obscure their sight -- not unlike
MTV’s practice of blurring various unsuitable elements in hip-hop
videos. (The subsequent video release also had an alteration: the
reflection of a sound man was removed in one scene -- something I
believe to be intentional, not an error.) Also, because this was
apparently done just before its release, questions surfaced as to what
else Warner’s might have done. Many refused to accept this as a final
cut. One critic actually had the audacity to accuse Steven Spielberg,
without any evidence, mind you, of reshooting the final scene. Jan
Harlan, Kubrick’s brother-in-law and executive producer, subsequently
made it clear that the cover-ups were Stanley’s unequivocal intention
if it received an NC-17, as opposed to recutting it. I firmly believe
that most of the confusion was the result of the writers’ inability to
understand Eyes Wide Shut, and their refusal to admit so. After all,
many critics are the ultimate armchair warriors, smug with feelings of
superiority and incredulous that anyone, particularly Stanley Kubrick,
could ever be more intelligent or better read than themselves. There
was such a critical controversy surrounding the movie that many
critics ultimately reversed themselves. Janet Maslin of The New York
Times left her position shortly after its release, and it has been
suggested that the media’s close-minded reaction was the final straw
for her. Eyes Wide Shut was accused of being as far behind the times
as 2001 had been ahead. That’s already been proven incorrect, as its
ideas have been absorbed, most recently by Wes Anderson’s The Royal
Tenenbaums, which also featured a stylized version of New York.
However, where Kubrick was charged with inaccuracies, Anderson was
praised for originality. ZEITGEIST: Eventually, Eyes Wide Shut
vanished from the scene and 1999 seemed to be a year that declared the
arrival of younger talents. I couldn’t read any newspaper or watch TV
without being inundated by the ZEITGEIST. For some Being John
Malkovich summed up the moment. Others thought it was Magnolia. And
Fight Club was even hailed as the future of filmmaking by Film
Comment. It wasn’t that Kubrick’s style was so out of touch with
today’s expectations. He never made films that worked like anybody
else’s in any decade. His films were outside of time, designed to
stand out. Designed to last. Yet subject to the tools and knowledge of
their times. Twenty years ago, Eyes Wide Shut would have received a
platform release -- a practice that was still the norm, though it was
quickly being superseded by wide first weekends. Nowadays, only movies
outside the mainstream that need to build interest, such as art films,
are released in stages. Most films are front packed, giving nobodies
like Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations Monday morning press an
undue influence. Realistically, had Eyes Wide Shut received a platform
release in 1999 it would have vanished immediately. It dealt with
issues of infidelity that made most couples squirm, and the aesthetics
were organic -- a far cry from the quickening Avid-edited pace of most
films. Not even the star power of Tom Cruise, who at the time had the
greatest box office track record ever, with five consecutive $100-
million grossing films, could have saved it. In fact, by front packing
it, Cruise led the film to gross fifty-percent of its total $56-
million U.S. box office take in its first weekend. Worldwide it capped
at roughly $150-million -- not bad, but unspectacular compared to
average blockbusters. The film was designed to catch its audience off
guard. It was full of tricks. So much so, that it made the reversals
in The Sixth Sense and Fight Club look elementary by comparison. Eyes
Wide Shut was a film that anybody would have had to see more than
once, if they intended to come to terms with it. It was not easily
digested. It was not mindless entertainment or a fun date movie. (It’s
amusing to think what might have happened to a guy taking out a girl
to see this, with the intention of getting laid afterward.) Eyes Wide
Shut is a series of reversals and dashed expectations. The title
itself is a contradiction. Some suggested it was a reference to the
“dream logic” the narrative followed. It’s intentionally ambiguous and
many correlations can be found between it and aspects of the film. I
believe the title is suggesting people have an inherent inability to
actually observe and comprehend what is before them. That people
create dream worlds for themselves, and all too often accept surface
presentations instead of searching the depths which create such
illusions -- a paradox. It was also a dry commentary on the audience’s
inability to comprehend what they were viewing. Needless to say, most
audience members who had mentally salivated at the prospect of wall to
wall sex with Tom and Nicole were disappointed. And that was the
point. Michael Herr, Kubrick’s friend and collaborator, noted that
Kubrick must have been severely out of touch if he thought he could
get away with that type of marketing campaign in today’s culture.
Ticket prices were high, and people just wanted to escape life for a
couple of hours, maybe get a little aroused. Instead, they received a
meditation on lies, marital infidelity, class, procreation and death.
PRESENTATION: The narrative of Eyes Wide Shut is assembled in the same
way as most of Kubrick’s post-2001 films, in that it’s a series of
episodes placed together without any overt exposition to bridge them.
This format had many accusing it of being plotless. It isn’t plotless
-- the problem is that 99% of all movies follow the same structure, so
people have been conditioned from Day One as to how a movie’s plot is
supposed to play out. When viewers don’t receive what they expect at
any given moment, they become dislocated from the material, because
they’re no longer on a treadmill and have to think for themselves --
not unlike humanity's predicament in Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake. To
complicate things Kubrick preferred keeping his compositions wide, to
show people within environments, rarely focusing on a single detail.
This created a web of ambiguity for viewers unaccustomed to this,
since it’s less obvious what the important pieces are. It also
diminishes the emotional states of the characters. This was quite out
of step with 1999. One example of his ambiguous compositions in Eyes
Wide Shut is his use of establishing shots, usually of certain areas
in New York. Instead of focusing on the street signs, which might have
been more helpful to anyone unfamiliar with the environments, the
shots are left wide. They don’t always match the following action with
Dr. Bill -- a tactic used to mock television’s use of establishing
shots for shows shot on sound stages miles away from the actual
locations. Also, Dr. Bill never appears in them. This was done to
diminish this self-centered character’s plight, as were the outward
zooms used in Barry Lyndon. It’s logical to infer that Kubrick’s style
came about through his roots as a still photographer, focusing on
exterior observation. By focusing on characters’ actions rather than
attempting to justify their motivations, he was accused by some of not
being a psychological director. This is incorrect; he just factored
more into his observations than the illogical nature of mere human
emotions -- such as temporal and spatial time, natural sciences and
laws of physics. He preferred sociology to psychology. His characters
didn’t exist in their own worlds where everything was justified to
their emotional needs; they existed within a physical universe and had
to maneuver through an existence often at odds with their motivations.
And to make matters worse, he often chose the point of view, some
would say, of that physical world, reserving any compassion or
sympathy for his characters’ plights. The Sixth Sense, released the
same summer, differs from Eyes Wide Shut in its use of lies in a
fundamental way. In The Sixth Sense, as with Fight Club, the main
character could only have existed within the scenes dramatized,
otherwise the illusion would’ve been shattered. AESTHETICS: Kubrick’s
use of exposition and mise en scene differs greatly from a more modern
director like Martin Scorsese. Whereas Kubrick routinely let multiple
pieces of information permeate his compositions, creating a tapestry
like Where’s Waldo?, Scorsese has the tendency to focus on only one
thing at a time. With Scorsese, the viewer is never at a loss as to
what’s going on. He’s constantly freezing his narratives and
fracturing time just to explain the details, as if he’s showing off
how much he knows. Kubrick, on the other hand, dramatized scenes as
they might actually take place, allowing the characters’ actions to
justify the pacing, letting them speak for themselves. Eyes Wide
Shut’s main character, Bill Harford, is constantly entering into
situations that existed before him, and will continue once he’s gone.
Bill is traveling through a series of future light cones, and touring
through the ripples of previous events, and the viewer, put in his
place, enters into these situations as blindly as he does. We’re given
no more exposition than the main character. Therefore, what Kubrick
has established is a method fundamentally at odds with Hitchcock’s
subjectivity. Hitchcock built suspense by granting the audience more
information than his characters through the use of cutaways, or, in
the case of Rear Window, panning away from a sleeping James Stewart to
show the murderous events going on across the courtyard. Kubrick, who
felt 20th Century art had become too subjective and was in dire need
of locating a sense of objectivity, would have none of that smugness.
The first three shots give us our conceptual setup. The film opens
with Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite, Waltz 2, playing over white on black
titles. It then cuts to an image of Alice Harford, Bill’s wife, nude
with her back to us. Alice slips out of her dress, letting it brazenly
drop to the floor. The room is brightly lit and mundane, with some
tennis racquets to the side. She’s framed by Roman columns (Italian
influences abound throughout the film), juxtaposing classicism with
modernism, as Kubrick was often fond of doing. This image is intended
to deceive, and it actually calls attention to where our minds are.
People seeing Eyes Wide Shut in the theater for the first time had
been promised a fair degree of titillation. The opening shot,
featuring a beautiful woman without any clothes on, altered none of
these expectations. (It’s integral to note that one’s reaction to what
follows would be fundamentally different seeing it on video than in a
theater. The difference between film and video, or DVD to be more
precise, is the picture quality. The actual film it was shot on,
Eastman 500 EXR, had been underexposed by two stops, then pushed
another two during development, creating a haze of grain that lent it
a documentary feel. The effect was rather like Suerat’s pointillism
meeting the warm interior lights of Latrec. It’s intimacy was almost
embarrassing. The DVD was cleaned up, slickening the presentation,
thereby making it more palatable to audiences. ) After the shot of
Alice another title card appears cleverly announcing the film’s title,
followed by a wobbly establishing shot of an apartment building on
Manhattan’s Central Park West. What we didn’t notice in the theatrical
release, during the first shot, was the picture’s grain -- we were too
fixed on the naked woman. Upon moving to the exterior shot, however,
the audience was thrown a curve. Not only was there a content contrast
between the two shots, but the picture was literally filled with
contrast. It looked cheap and amateurish. Another thing we were
distracted from, due to the image of nudity, was the attitude by which
Alice undressed. Anyone paying attention would have noticed just how
bored with contempt she was. She wasn’t even wearing anything below
the dress. It can be inferred, when placed within the context of the
following scenes, that Alice was unenthusiastically deciding what to
wear for the party she and Bill were to attend. Upon cutting from the
CPW establishing shot we find Bill in a tuxedo, standing where Alice
was only a moment before. There are major aesthetic differences to be
noted. First, the exterior was lit with street lights, which lent an
amber hue to the winter night. Inside, however, the light coming
through the window is blue. (The color blue will become an integral
part of the film’s mechanics as it progresses.) In one Stedicam shot,
with Shostakovich still playing on the soundtrack, Bill wanders
through the apartment searching for something. He calls to Alice who’s
off-screen, asking if she knows where his wallet is. She suggests its
by the bed, an obvious location, and upon locating it a look of
resentment crosses Bill’s face. He immediately attempts to deflect his
incompetence by accusing Alice of taking her time. (His wallet, as it
contains cash and his ID, will become another key motif, consistently
offering others his identity and a means of exchange.) Bill enters the
bathroom, and we discover Alice on the toilet -- a far cry from our
first image of her. Bill is oblivious and looks at himself in the
mirror. Alice wipes herself, then asks Bill how she looks. He
automatically replies without looking, telling her she looks
beautiful, which she scolds him for. He patronizingly tells her she
always looks beautiful, then kisses her on the neck. Bill walks back
into the bedroom and turns off the stereo, which it turns out was
playing the Shostakovich, tricking the audience who assumed it was
just the background score. (Jazz Suite, Waltz 2, will appear again
during the film as a theme for the routine of their lives. By using
music by both Shostakovich and Ligeti as its main themes, an
interesting layer has been added. Both were composers whose work was
done under the rule of Stalinist Soviet Union; both composers’ work
was therefore restricted accordingly. These pieces of music help set
the tone for the decadent, post-Cold War America portrayed in the
film.) What we have learned via these first three shots is that Bill
and Alice have been married for quite some time, and they’re wealthy,
living on Central Park West. Bill is absentminded and a bit of a boob
with things; he’s also extremely self-centered. Also, we should
prepare ourselves for a certain amount of nudity, and this narrative
is going to play mind fucks with us. One other piece of information
granted us during this setup shot is a window air conditioner seen
repeatedly as Bill passes it. It’s an extremely subtle element of the
mise en scene, but rather humorous, when considering the setting is
Christmas time, and the AC should have been removed a while ago -- it
isn’t a central air installation, but merely an appliance mounted to
the window. Later on, the AC is missing from the window; this is the
only time we’ll see it. The AC can be seen as symbolic of Bill and
Alice’s relationship, but it also plays into the film’s highly complex
use of mise en scene. As it’s never seen again, we can be left to
ponder whether it was a continuity error or whether it was
subsequently removed -- though if it was, Alice most likely did the
work, because we later see Bill as a lazy oaf after work the next
evening. The point is: we don’t know. CONCEPTUALLY SPEAKING: Bill and
Alice have been married for nine years at this point. Their daily
routine has become mechanized. It’s been suggested that Kubrick’s
central theme throughout his career was the contrast between things
which are mechanical and those which are spontaneous, contingent or
unforeseen. More can be made of this. I would like to suggest that the
underlying concept behind these themes are the perils resulting from
blind faith. Blind faith, by its very nature, requires a submission of
autonomy. Therefore, it lends itself to mechanization because it
eliminates the opportunity for someone to actually think and act
independently. (Think: The Ludovico Treatment, the Doomsday Machine,
HAL 9000 or even Redmond Barry’s devotion to his mother and her
advice.) Of course, there are pros and cons to both consistency and
spontaneity. Some said Kubrick mocked plans, but that would be an
incorrect conclusion based upon his widely reported meticulousness.
During the planning for a film about Napoleon, he even calculated the
size of the battlefields in relation to the number of soldiers, as
well as determining the speed at which a helicopter would have to fly
to pass over all the troops, and how long the shot would last. Without
computers. Whereas too much planning stagnates and creates an
appearance of lifelessness (which Kubrick’s work was certainly accused
of), too much spontaneity can lead to an inability to accomplish a
desired end. Kubrick believed that most people were incapable of
determining the methods by which they intended to accomplish their
goals. He was able to acquire freedom from time constraints with his
work; the success of his films allowed him to take whatever time he
felt was needed, to create work which he felt most proud of. That way,
any malfunctions could be detected within time to be corrected. In the
end, of course, his time ran out. As Eyes Wide Shut unspools, Kubrick
begins filling our minds with strange inconsistencies, of which the AC
is only one. An obviously missing statue in one scene is an example; a
chair that comes and goes near Bill’s front door, which he likes to
place his coat on, is another. A few rough edits are even scattered
about. He’s calling attention to the medium itself, with its grain and
sloppy reel changes. He’s begging us to wonder whether these things
are intentional or not? Bill’s life is a dream, not the movie. When
Alice compares dreams and reality at the end, just before the return
of Jazz Suite, Waltz 2, she’s comparing her dreams to his reality.
Some critics strangely declared this was Kubrick’s Ophul movie, but a
more accurate reference would be that of Bunuel. It was Bunuel who
routinely satirized the bourgeois and their dreamlike removal from
reality in such films as Belle De Jour and The Discreet Charm of the
Bourgeois. Bunuel also chose a mundane aesthetic sensibility to
heighten the absurdity of the drama -- the outrageous presented
realistically. Bill is so out of the loop during the day of his
odyssey that the unfamiliar events which he stumbles through appear to
function with a dream logic. The events are too irregular, and his
lack of experience leads him to paranoia, linking incidents together
without any foundation -- just as the audience is pouring over the
continuity inconsistencies. Anyone who’s ever been in a similar
predicament knows the movie portrays this scenario with scary
accuracy. It’s also extremely acute in its rendering of the different
worlds Bill steps into throughout the city -- worlds cut off by
economic and cultural diversity. And like life, nothing ever seems to
fit together perfectly. No disguise is absolute, hence the disguise.
Such is Kubrick’s central theory on relationships: Trust is the glue
which holds all the loose ends together, yet nothing should be blindly
trusted...and the whole truth can never be known. SHADOWS ON THE
MIRROR: The secret to understanding the relationship between Bill and
Alice can be viewed during the mirror make out scene, accompanied by
Chris Isaak’s Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing (which we can assume is playing
on their stereo). We see Alice standing in front of a mirror with her
back to us. Her front side is represented by a mirror’s reflection.
Throughout the film we’re shown characters from behind, then from the
front, suggesting a denial of truth and reversal of perception -- and
an impersonal id attraction (rear), as compared to face to face truth
and conjugal intimacy (frontal). (Mirrors will be seen repeatedly in
the film as a hint of duplicity.) The reflection here offers our first
glimpse of Alice’s bare front, and it can be clearly observed that her
breasts are actually quite small. She was certainly wearing a push-up
bra beneath her dress earlier on to create an illusion, and our
previous glimpse of her nude body was from behind. As the camera zooms
in, Bill approaches from behind. He looks at her, then himself in the
reflection -- then begins passionately kissing Alice. We cut closer on
their reflected image. Alice’s eyes open, and a look of disappointment
crosses her face. Without resolution there is a fade to black.
Obviously, there’s a problem. The first thing to understand is that
they’ve been married for nine years. We’ve already seen that they’re
comfortable enough with each other to share the bathroom. Also, we
know that at the previous party Bill revived a naked woman who had
OD’d. He also indifferently (or trustingly) left his wife to fend for
herself at a party at which she didn’t know anybody, and didn’t want
to be. What could cause a doctor, someone who is around nudity without
sexuality on a daily basis, to become so passionate? The act of having
saved someone’s life. Bill is a 40-ish doctor with an overblown sense
of ego, and the ability to save someone’s life certainly fuels his God
complex. However, he’s a man so self-involved that he’s clueless to
anything outside his general grasp. He has everything he wants: a
beautiful wife and daughter, a general practice on Park Avenue and a
two-million dollar apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, which
contrary to some critical remarks, could easily be paid for with a
mortgage. There are several things worth noting about this scene. The
first, is that it’s incomplete. We don’t know the outcome. Kubrick
faded to black just as things seemed to be heating up. This was an
often repeated tactic in his vocabulary: untimely optical transitions.
(Think: the fade to black in 2001, just as Floyd’s recorded message is
nearing an end, or the dissolve from Mr. Touchdown giving directions
in Full Metal Jacket, to the actual scene of the crime -- or even the
fade out at the end of Part 1 in Barry Lyndon, while the Narrator is
still reading Sir Charles’ obituary.) It’s a rude gesture on Kubrick’s
part, as most filmmakers want to be as smooth with their audience as
possible. The integral piece of information has usually been
established, yet instead of resolving the matter at hand, this
technique leaves the ending loose, usually to have it played out in
the following actions, implying that nothing can be done to alter this
fate. The question must be begged, did they or didn’t they? From
everything we’ve seen about Bill prior to this -- from his
indifference to Alice on the toilet and an unflinching professional
demeanor when confronted with the nude woman, Mandy, at the party, to
his awful attempts at wit, as the two models, Gayle and Nuala, both
much more aggressive than he, propose to take him, “...Where the
rainbow ends...” -- we know he’s not exactly the hot blooded type. He
balks at the models’ invitation. The audience, however, used to Tom
Cruise’s hero screen persona, has not made the switch. There’s even a
line he speaks during the model encounter that pointedly mocks
Cruise’s image, when he insinuates, “Well, that is the type of hero I
can be sometimes.” The subsequent events of the story prove otherwise.
The second piece of information we’ve witnessed before Alice’s mirror
contradicts and bitterly fuels her position during their argument the
following night, when she argues that women want more than security. I
think the subtext here is that she is with Bill for reasons of
security. Bill is successful, yet boring. He lives his life in a
routine. All we know about Alice’s past is that she ran an art
gallery, which went bust -- if she even did and wasn’t lying to Sandor
Szavost, the guest at the party with whom she danced. But supposing
she wasn’t lying, we can easily assume she lived a rather different
life before Bill, as one involved in the arts certainly would have.
Besides revealing information about her managerial skills, it’s
obvious that Alice has given up on her own life outside the home, for
whatever reasons, and must harbor some resentment for this choice.
It’s obvious from watching her with Szavost, who’s practically
drooling during their dance, this woman is quite sophisticated. She’s
been around. Although Szavost initially appears to be the forward,
dominant wolf in a tuxedo, we quickly learn that it’s Alice who’s
really in control of the situation, subtly manipulating him through a
series of flatteries and refusals. In the end, she firmly denies him
and shows him her ring finger, adorned by both an engagement and
wedding band. Alice, a woman of experience and liberalities, has
chosen safety over freedom, and it is her situation which serves
symbolically as humanity’s predicament throughout the film: security
over freedom. Marriage, as portrayed in Eyes Wide Shut, is not merely
a psychological game of love or emotional manipulation or deceit, but
primarily serves as an evolutionary function for the species. It’s a
matter of survival; it provides structure for society, financial
security for individuals, maintains population control to an extent,
and subdues to the varying effects that marriages succeed, the spread
of disease. The problem is not in the intellectual concept or morality
of one man and one woman, but in the reality of actually applying it
to real people. It’s often a case of trying to fit a circle (humans:
living things capable of choice and emotional response), into a square
(marriage: a rigid structure). The make-out in front of the mirror
perfectly illustrates Bill and Alice’s dilemma, in that he’s someone
who’s very surface oriented and self-centered, and because of this
he’s blind to what’s going on beneath Alice’s exterior. As long as
everything seems to be in place, he’s content. Ultimately, Alice’s
argument built up over a period of time and was sparked by something
insignificant: Bill couldn’t tell his wife the truth, because of his
hypocratic oath. What happened between he and Ziegler was in strict
confidence. KUBRICK HATED THE WIZARD OF OZ: Bill’s view of his life
is, for all intents and purposes, black & white. This is visually
played out in several ways: when Bill and Alice initially arrive at
the Zieglers’ party, the floor beneath their feet is checkered black &
white; the following room they enter is decorated with colorful
Christmas lights. During Bill and Alice’s argument, he’s wearing black
shorts and she white lingerie, and he even dubiously states, “Well, I
don’t think it’s quite that black & white...” At the party Bill is
paired against his dopelganger Nick Nightingale, and he’s wearing a
black jacket, while Nick is wearing a white jacket. The newspaper in
which Bill reads about Amanda Curran's overdose is black ink printed
on white paper. Most tellingly, we see Bill’s jealous fantasies of
Alice with the Sailor played out in his mind in black & white. The
black & white motif is used to directly counter the “rainbow” of
colors awash throughout most of the film. There is a logic to the use
of colors which goes as follows: blue represents an artificial or
mechanical surface; red represents an internal entry, Eros, or the
life instinct; orange represents normalcy and familial warmth; and
yellow represents unreliability and a lack of control. (Vittorio
Storaro would be proud.) A good key for these colors comes during the
opening party, while Bill is assisting Ziegler and Mandy in the
bathroom. A sculpture of a dragon lines the fire place. The dragon’s
eyes are black & white, it’s exterior scales are blue, it’s mouth is
red, and its spikes are golden. Red and blue are seen most frequently,
often paired within the same shot to contrast each other. Kubrick
paired these two once before during the opening titles of A Clockwork
Orange, and a clockwork orange is, of course, somebody who appears to
be living yet is really mechanical. Our first introduction to blue is
during the tracking shot of Bill at the beginning; there’s a cold blue
light seeping through the window he’s at. As the film progresses, blue
begins coming through more and more windows, brighter and brighter,
illuminating what we can obviously tell is a false exterior set,
literally illustrating the false exterior. As that first shot ends,
the lights in the room have been turned off, leaving only two sources
of light: the harsh, artificial blue coming through the window and the
warm orange lamp light from the hallway. Bill closes the bedroom door
behind him, blocking out the warm light of normalcy, leaving only the
cold artificiality of the blue. (The cut comes just before the warm
hallway light is completely shut by the door.) Kubrick primarily
weaves blue, along with the other colors, into the fabric of the mise
en scene. Blue is used as a tile on the wall when Bill negotiates
entry into Rainbow Costumes, as a stage light at the Sonata Cafe, as
the door to Domino’s apartment, and so on. Red, constantly opposing
blue (the pairing is everywhere), is seen most prominently during the
orgy, where the carpet is bright crimson and the party’s chief is
appropriately called Red Cloak. This is where the id has been
unleashed, and Bill believes somebody might have given their life to
save his. It can also be found as a traffic light outside the window
of Rainbow Costumes, contrasting the blue tiles, on the neon lights
that decorate the Sonata Cafe, as well as its dark interior upon
Bill’s entrance. There’s even a red neon sign that says EROS in one
scene. Orange is the color emitted from all of the normal functioning
lights in the film’s settings, as it would be. In this way, orange is
natural and de facto in its representation of normalcy. Yellow, the
final major recurring color, is prominent because of the taxis taken
by Bill that are everywhere throughout the city. Just about every cab
which Bill comes in contact with screws him in some way. This is the
result of his abandoning control to let somebody else manage his means
of travel. TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: With the exception of the noticeably
artificial blue exteriors, the color scheme is blended into the film
by motivated objects. The most obvious of these objects are the
Christmas tree lights (Christmas trees are everywhere as a symbol of
fantasies and self-delusions, namely by celebrating the birth of a man
who purports to offer eternal life). This brings up another aspect of
Kubrick’s filmmaking, which, with the exception of Barry Lyndon’s
candlelight sequences, has gone criminally unsung: source lighting.
While examples can be viewed in his work as far back as Killer’s Kiss,
most of Kubrick’s interiors from 2001 on were lit by actual sources,
instead of sculpting the light with multiple hidden sources and cut
with flags the way most films do. This approach was logical (Where
exactly do rim light’s come from, anyway?), and created a beautiful
naturalism to his work. It also affected the light timing, in that
because we were actually experiencing incident light from definable
sources, with the light correctly fading to darkness the farther the
rays fell away from the bulb, a truer, more inhabitable space was
created around the characters. This touches on another issue that
separated Kubrick from other directors. While many ambitious directors
strive to use and experiment with the latest technologies, Kubrick
personally oversaw the creation of new technologies for his films.
Kubrick personally acquired the NASA Zeiss lenses and figured out the
means by which they could be attached to the Mitchell BNC cameras for
the afore-mentioned Barry Lyndon. Also, if you watch the credits for
2001, he is listed as the director of the film’s special photographic
effects, which won him his only Oscar. (It was all done in-camera;
there was no such thing as digital back then.) And for everybody who
loves Scorsese’s or Paul Thomas Anderson’s Stedicam shots, check out
The Shining, done a decade before Goodfellas. It is not without good
reason that everyone from Arthur C. Clark to the myriad of rocket
scientists who advised 2001, hailed him as probably the single most
intelligent human being they’d ever personally known. This
intelligence, while a gift, also made his films difficult to
comprehend for most people; an avid chess player, he was always a few
steps ahead of the audience. For example, in Barry Lyndon -- a film
littered with tiny, often insignificant details -- one character asks
Barry if he knows, “Gustavus Adolphus, the 13th Earl of Wendover?”
Barry does not. In the next scene, we meet Lord Wendover, yet never
hear his given name again. Barry has, in fact, been hoodwinked -- and
the ignorant audience, as foreign to society as he is, misses the
detail: Gustavus Adolphus was actually a 16th Century Swedish king.
METHOD: Eyes Wide Shut is difficultly filled with obscurities. God is
in the details. One sequence, in particular, displays Kubrick’s deft
use of mise en scene to illuminate or mask information: When Bill
first meets Domino, he has just come from the Nathanson’s. Bristling
in the cold night, he reaches a street corner and waits for the light
to change. Domino approaches, dressed in a black & white faux fur coat
and a short, tight purple dress (purple being the combination of red
and blue). In the background we can see the red and blue neon sign for
an XXX video store, subliminally planting sex in our minds. She asks
him for the time, which he gives her. As the light changes, we switch
to a reverse angle, leaving the image of the video store for that of a
hardware store, grounding us back in the mundane world. Bill starts
across the street, and Domino starts coming onto him. Bill’s initial
impression of her, as is most people’s, is that she’s a prostitute --
however, we’re getting details which subvert this initial reaction.
For example, the aggressiveness in which she propositions him seems
quite unprofessional. Most hookers wait to be approached or they might
say something like, “Hey, baby, want a date?” But they certainly
wouldn’t play so hard as follow somebody and walk in front of them,
not letting them out of their grasp. Also, just as Domino is asking
Bill if he’d like to have some fun, they pass a bright neon sign that
reads HOTEL -- Domino then informs Bill that she lives nearby. Now,
I’m not exactly an expert on prostitution, but it seems unlikely to me
that a woman would come on this strong and invite a john back to her
apartment. Prostitution is a business. It’s not personal. It’s selling
an image, not a reality. It’s Bill’s lack of experience that leads him
to assume her identity. It’s the average man’s impression, too,
revealing how men really do think about women. Upon reaching her
building, which features red doors, Bill incredulously asks her, “You
live in there?” He finally agrees to go inside with her, and we cut to
the interior lobby of the building, as they enter. This is typical in
that the camera never follows Bill through any doorways; he’s followed
directly up to doorways, then picked up from the reverse side, as he
enters into a different world. In the corner of the lobby next to
Domino’s door is an abandoned blue baby carriage, mockingly
juxtaposing women’s sexual role as existing solely to reproduce, and
Bill’s declaration that women just want security. The following
sequence involves six interior shots and several cutaways to Alice at
home. The placement of the camera is central to Domino’s true
identity. We start with the camera’s back to the apartment, focused on
the front door. The door opens and Domino enters, followed by Bill.
The camera tracks backward with them, as they walk into the apartment.
Bill comments that her small, undernourished Christmas tree is “nice,”
for lack of anything better to say. Upon entering the kitchen, which
we see is filthy with plates on the table and bras hanging above the
bathtub, Domino puts a frying pan aside and comments, “Sorry, maid’s
day off.” This is a marked contrast from the Nathanson’s apartment
where Rosa, the maid, let him in and took his coat. The next shot is a
reverse-angle 2-shot of Bill and Domino. We can see more dishes and
food on the table, as well as the bathtub in the kitchen, contrasting
Ziegler’s luxurious bathroom from the party. A room can be seen in the
background, though its details are unassuming. Bill asks Domino if
she’d like to talk about money. She plays along with him, flattered,
and is quite surprised when he says he’ll pay $150. She sweetly tells
him that she won’t keep track of the time, a dead-on clue. Domino’s
expressions and facial reactions are highly important in this scene.
We now cut away to Alice at home, staying up to wait for Bill, so they
can resolve their argument. Bathed in blue light, she’s eating
Snackwells and watching Blume in Love, by Paul Mazursy, who starred in
Kubrick’s first feature Fear and Desire. Bill, however, in the
apartment of a beautiful and willing young woman, is oblivious. We
return to Bill and find him in a tight 2-shot with Domino in her
bedroom, as they kiss -- another give away. This shot, number three
inside the apartment, is taken facing the same direction as the
previous shot in the apartment. Bill’s cell phone rings. (His cell
phone, in fact phones in general, reoccur as a motif of communication.
Kubrick was always fascinated by human communication, from the
military jargon used in Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket -- the
total manipulation of facts through the disguise of coded language --
to the use of long distance contacts in 2001. It’s all about
distortions, timing, time and space, and the way technology has made
communication faster and easier, yet fabricated walls through
mechanized conditioning at the same time.) With the ring of the phone,
we move to a wider shot. This is now shot four of the apartment, and
it is from the same direction as the previous two shots. We learn that
Bill was seated on the bed with Domino kneeling above him -- as if
he’s the patient to her doctor. The camera tracks with Bill, as he
steps away, maintaining the same direction. Bill turns off the stereo
and answers the call. Two books can be seen on the shelf, one more
obvious than the other. The book in plain view is humorously titled
Introducing Sociology. Is Domino a student? The second book, lying
down and difficult to make out is Shadows on the Mirror, a novel about
a successful woman attorney at a prestigious firm who keeps lonely men
company at night...until she’s implicated in the discovery of a corpse
-- a perfect parallel to the film’s plot, both thematically and
narratively. This is what I’m talking about with regard to Kubrick’s
use of detail. You’d better believe that book is intentional. This is
why his films took so long to shoot -- he was making sure that
everything within every scene and within each frame played out exactly
the way he wanted it to. After a series of cross-cuts between Bill and
Alice, as he lies to her about his whereabouts, we cut to shot five, a
medium close-up of Domino reclining on her bed. “Was that...Mrs. Dr.
Bill,” she asks with a touch of subversion. This shot is from a
different position, yet varies by only ninety degrees to the left.
Bill exhaustedly sits on her bed in shot six, and we’ve finally gone
to a reverse angle on our final shot. And what do we see? A room
behind Bill and Domino. And what room is it? The kitchen. We’ve now
seen the entire layout of the apartment. There are only three rooms: a
small living room which they initially entered, the kitchen and the
bedroom. Therefore, Domino’s “roommate” is certainly a bit more than a
roommate. This final shot of the sequence with Domino contains a
subtle zoom, indicating that we’ve just received an important piece of
information. (The zoom appears in the film at several integral
moments, in varying degrees of size and length.) Bill offers to pay
Domino anyhow, though she refuses -- yet another clue. He insists and
places the money in her hand. Surprised and flattered , she thanks
him. Everything in this film is specific -- camera directions and
dramatic locations alike. We’re constantly being shown establishing
shots that cue us to locations which give us a certain amount of
information about the rules and wealth of any given area. It also
helps drive home how people in New York, like Dr. Bill, live their
lives in a routine that takes them to the same locations within the
city on a regular basis. Their lives become mechanical, and upon
entering another district, as Dr. Bill does by wandering Greenwhich
Village, he becomes lost in another world -- that could happen to
anybody unfamiliar with Greenwich Village. Kubrick’s films were
visually tight. So much so, that he was praised as much as he was
criticized. He never storyboarded, though. His feeling was that until
he was on the set and staging the scene with the actors, there was no
way to know where the camera should be. The camera’s function for him
was to document, not dictate. GREATEST AMERICAN HERO: Bill is a boob.
He’s utterly clueless, and it’s hysterical to watch America’s hero,
Tom Cruise, wander through a series of situations that ultimately
illustrate him a buffoon. For example, after Nick Nightingale tells
him about the orgy, there is a cut to Bill’s cab arriving at Rainbow
Costumes (he mistakenly calls it Rainbow Fashions). Bill thanks the
driver and tells him to keep the change, then rings the buzzer and
asks for Peter Grenning, a patient of his. Mr. Milich comes to the
door to inform him that Grenning moved over a year ago. This scene
features one of the funniest moments in the film. As Mr. Milich steps
out of his apartment, we can see some lights reflected on the glass
door of the building. These lights are the neon signs in front of
Sonata Cafe and Gillespie’s Diner. Upon cutting to a reverse we can
see both buildings directly behind Bill. He hired a cab to drive him
to a destination that was right across the street from where he was.
The cabby most likely drove around, then dropped his clueless
passenger off. Another neon sign behind Bill is red and says EROS.
This sign is contrasted by the blue arrow for Gillespie’s Diner. Now,
here’s a curve ball. The next day when Bill returns to Sonata Cafe and
finds it’s closed, he steps back and looks around the block. In the
background, we can see the building with the storefront that’s
supposed to be Rainbow Costumes, however, it’s been stripped of any
visible identification, save the marks of where the Rainbow sign was.
What’s going on? Is this intentional? Poor production values? No. Once
again, it’s intentional. Like the AC. Like the missing statue. The
reason Kubrick has Bill step aside to look around is to deliver this
information. It leaves a feeling of incompleteness; just when we
thought we knew what was up, the playing field has been shifted.
Kubrick is refusing to grant us the slightest bit of endearing
resolution. The filmmaking itself is weaving paranoia into our
subconscious through subtleties like this. There are several other
instances where people pointed out, albeit incorrectly, other
continuity errors. For example, the two times Bill arrives at
Somerton, the location of the orgy, it’s from opposite directions. If
you pay attention it’s because he takes two different routes. A cab
drives Bill the first time. The location of the party is Glenn Cove.
The cab turns off the highway, and we see a series of shots of the cab
riding through a town and a dark rural road, before it arrives at the
gated driveway. Bill has been too consumed by feelings of jealousy to
pay much attention. Upon arriving, the cabbie tells Bill he owes
$74.50. Well, Glenn Cove is only ten miles from Manhattan, and there’s
no way a ten mile cab ride costs $74.50. On the second occasion, Bill
drives himself in the movie’s only scene involving his car. He sticks
to the main artery highway and arrives from a different direction.
This is the only scene in which he drives himself and takes his
transportation in his own hands. NOTHING’S SHOCKING: Many people felt
that Kubrick had lost his touch, that there was nothing adventurous
about his filmmaking anymore. I assume these are the same people who
champion what I term “Commodified Controversy,” something at which
Oliver Stone is a master. “Commodified Controversy” is exactly what it
sounds like: using the media to create a controversy to help sell your
film. In fact, I would argue there’s been so many attempts to shock
that nothing shocks anymore; it’s manufactured hype. The corporations,
in my opinion, are quite happy with this. By legitimizing rebellion,
rebellion is no longer rebellious. Stanley Kubrick was the original
independent film prodigy, another concept that’s been exploited to the
point of being meaningless. He started on his own, without a college
diploma, and shot two low-budget features funded by relatives, Fear
and Desire and Killer’s Kiss, before Hollywood took notice and gave
him his break. Controversy nowadays takes the form of Fight Club or
Natural Born Killers -- both topical and against the grain, but
unlikely to shift the playing field and unwilling to risk commercial
losses through bans. Of course, the climate is different today than in
Kubrick’s heyday. A director like Stone can afford to release NBK as
an R-rated film in theaters, then promote an unrated “Director’s Cut,”
for home video. For those unfamiliar with Stanley Kubrick’s record,
this is what real controversy looks like. His 1957 film Paths of
Glory, which depicted the French Army’s execution of its own soldiers,
was actually banned in France. Dr. Strangelove, released in 1964,
depicted an American General launching a nuclear strike against the
Soviet Union -- it came out four months after JFK’s assassination, and
less than two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis. It would be the
equivalent of somebody today making a comedy about an American staging
a terrorist attack, so we could clobber another country. In 1971, he
released A Clockwork Orange, one of only two X-rated films to ever
receive an Oscar nomination for best picture. After a series of death
threats made against him and his family, he chose to withdraw it from
theaters in Great Britain, and it remained that way until after his
death. There are two aspects of Eyes Wide Shut that I’d like to bring
up at this point: First, the digital fig leaves, and second, the orgy
scene, in terms of drama. I believe that Kubrick was well aware his
film was going to garner an NC-17 rating, as he’d cut it. He knew that
the fig leaves would have to be imposed to get an R rating. And I
firmly believe the reason these fig leaves have not been removed in
the North American market -- the only market worldwide bearing these
alterations -- is to demonstrate American censorship. Period. Kubrick
probably contractually obligated Warner Bros. to not offer the
American public the natural version if, indeed, the alterations had to
be made, as a protest. This is something most people probably haven’t
conceived of, since most filmmakers simply don’t have the clout to
make such an arrangement. Kubrick did. His contract with Warners,
supervised by Bob Daly and Terry Semel, specified that he would make
whatever film he wanted, when he wanted, and he had complete creative
control over it. Period. Dramatically speaking, the orgy is the
penultimate sequence of the movie, conceptually speaking. You want
balls? How many major filmmakers would put a twenty-minute sequence in
the center of their film that makes no sense to the average viewer?
Dr. Bill wanders into an environment that’s as alien to him as to the
viewer. He doesn’t belong there. He doesn’t know the rules -- and
since he’s our guide, neither do we. All we can do is try to put the
pieces together and, like much of the film, it’s an exercise in
comprehension skills. What I can tell you is this: the party is a
variation on Venetian masquerades, Bill’s mask is not Venetian, both
Gayle and Nuala are in attendance, Ziegler is in attendance, but I
have yet to confirm that Mandy is, since the role of Mandy and the
Mysterious Woman are credited to two different women. This might be a
trick, however -- the Mysterious Woman is credited to Abigail Good,
which reminds me of Vivian Kubrick’s alias Abigail Mead, who scored
Full Metal Jacket. The jury’s still out on that one. Detractors
commented that the scene had poor sound quality. I’m not sure what
they meant by that. Did they want the dialogue to be more stylized? It
was lurid melodrama played out by naked people wearing masks. It was
funny and scary at the same time. The masks and costumes created a
sense of fantasy, yet the plain, earnest voices coming from under the
masks was comical in its juxtaposition. Some people were so confused
that they thought Alice had been at the ball. For the record, she
wasn’t. GOD’S IN THE DETAILS: While I’ve already pointed out that
every detail in a Kubrick film was meticulously arranged, it goes
deeper than most imagine. For example, when Dr. Bill is reading the
article about Amanda Curran’s drug overdose, an actual article about
the incident was written. If you freeze-frame your DVD you can read
it. You’ll notice that the two final paragraphs read as follows: AFTER
PERFORMANCES. Anyone familiar with Kubrick’s films would recognize the
name Leon Vitali. He was Kubrick’s personal assistant for the last
twenty-five years of his life. He played Lord Bullingdon in Barry
Lyndon, and also Red Cloak in Eyes Wide Shut. I’d also like to point
out a scene in which the mise en scene gives us a clue to a
character’s motivation: Bill’s visit to the Nathanson’s. This use is
simple and logical. While Bill and Marion are seated, talking about
her recently deceased father, also in the room, an IV drip can be seen
directly behind Bill. Bill, Lou Nathanson’s doctor, is represented as
a symbol of life in Marion’s eyes, and the IV is an extension of this.
Just before Marion deliriously kisses Bill and tells him she loves
him, he leans forward and obscures the IV machine, effectively
becoming one with this device. Bill, however, is not a machine, just a
human. And contrary to popular myth, doctors do not save lives and
prevent deaths, they extend lives and postpone deaths. REQUIEM: With
Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick created a film so layered with
meaning, from his use of music (Mozart’s Requiem), to the use of
varying architectural aesthetics, that it perfectly encapsulated a
modern society so overloaded with conflicting and referenced culture
that it’s lost its meaning. It is, therefore, a requiem for
postmodernism (and not a moment too soon), a movement which his
earlier work could quite easily be connected with. This film
dramatizes the ultimate effects that postmodernism has had on our
culture, and its reception perfectly illustrated this. We’ve
degenerated from a culture which embraced intellectual adventurism and
new ideas, making not only critical, but commercial successes out of
films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, to one which
criticizes films for being adult and dark, as Jeffery Lyons did to the
Kubrick/Spielberg collaboration A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. We no
longer make choices based on weight or depth, but aesthetics. Our
current culture is disposable. And time will render it as such.
Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic legacy will continue to grow. His position
as a 20th Century master is assured. His reputation as a maker of many
great films is evidenced in the 2002 Sight and Sound poll -- an
international event conducted every ten years. The poll is divided
into two sections, one by directors, the other by critics. While most
directors were lucky to have one film on either list, and a few were
lucky enough to have the same film on both lists, Kubrick had a
different film on both lists. The critics chose 2001: A Space Odyssey,
and the directors chose Dr. Strangelove. I don’t know what the future
holds for the medium of film. I see mixed messages. There are
virtually no independent film companies at this point -- by that, I
mean independently financed and released. While most films are
independently produced, they’re being released by studios -- and that
means the studios have final say over which films get distributed and
what they’ll look like. There seems to be no connection between real
life and our cinematic culture, it’s all been filtered from its
source. The studios seem intent on producing big-budget special
effects epics without much plot or character -- and as long as
audiences choose to see these behemoth, soulless shit festivals, I
suppose we’ll be forced to endure them. I don’t mind this stuff. It’s
how the industry has always functioned. There just needs to be room to
breathe, that’s all. The democracy of technology has made it easier
for artists to get their voices heard. Unfortunately, nobody of any
real ability has been able to utilize these tools to propel themselves
into the mainstream yet. Means of distribution will eventually change
that. Either through the home manufacturing of DVDs or by the
internet. At this point, though, we’re just not there. I’m also
pleased that some of the filmmakers who’ve come of age lately have
begun inserting a more intelligent point of view into their work, such
as Wes Anderson and Darren Aranofsky, while older holdovers like the
Coen Brothers continue to go strong. It’s dispiriting to see an entire
generation raised on postmodern notions of repetition and borrowing --
one without an intellectual center, since everything seems to be
“relative.” The intellectual fault of this is that it has no
foundation; it borrowed a scientific premise based on mathematically
observed facts, and incorrectly applied it to everything in life,
rendering it valueless and indefeatable. And much worse, it’s the
perfect tool for the corporations bent on feeding us numbing product.
The greatest act of rebellion anyone can ever hope to achieve -- and
Stanley Kubrick was a prime believer in this -- is to actually break
the mold and THINK for yourself. If you’ve actually taken the time to
read this essay to learn about an important modern work of film, I
suppose you’re on the right track. THE END -Copyright 2002 by Jamie
2008-09-25 14:05:18 UTC
Oddly the name Sandor Szavost translates using online translators


Squint Savoy (Savoyard)

squint·ed, squint·ing, squints.

To look with the eyes partly closed, as in bright sunlight.


2008-09-25 15:26:43 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Oddly the name Sandor Szavost translates using online translators
Squint Savoy (Savoyard)
squint·ed, squint·ing, squints.
To look with the eyes partly closed, as in bright sunlight.
So where would Sandor's last name come from and why would Kubrick
choose it?

Continuing to Connect the (tongue in cheek) Dots and assume the
omnipotence of each Kubrickian inside joke or allusion.

"Napoleon Bonaparte considered Eugene one of the seven greatest
commanders of history"

The Prince of Savoy, Eugene, a brilliant tactician, and victorious
general of Emperor Leopold's Holy League Alliance of Austria, Poland
and Venice to defeat the Ottomans, in the second seige of Buda in
1686, guaranteed the Hungarian throne to the Hapsbergs. The Holy
League's wiping out of both muslim Turks and Jews were accomplished.
Leopold's son Josef, was crowned king of Hungary.

"Zenta (Battle of Zenta-in Hungary) turned Eugene into a European
hero, and with victory came reward. Land in Hungary, given him by the
Emperor, yielded a good income, enabling the Prince to cultivate his
newly-acquired tastes in art and architecture (see below); but for all
his new-found wealth and property, he was, nevertheless, without
personal ties or family commitments. Of his four brothers, only one
was still alive at this time. His fourth brother, Emmanuel, had died
aged 14 in 1676; his third, Louis Julius (already mentioned) had died
on active service in 1683, and his second brother, Philippe, died of
smallpox in 1693. Eugene’s remaining brother, Louis Thomas –
ostracized for incurring the displeasure of Louis XIV – travelled
Europe in search of a career, before arriving in Vienna in 1699. With
Eugene’s help, Louis found employment in the Imperial army, only to be
killed in action against the French in 1702. Of Eugene’s sisters, the
youngest had died in childhood. The other two, Marie Jeanne-Baptiste
and Louise Philiberte, led dissolute lives. Expelled from France,
Marie Jeanne-Baptiste joined her mother in Brussels before eloping
with a renegade priest to Geneva with whom she lived, unhappily, until
her premature death in 1705. Of the other sister, Louise Philiberte,
little is known after her early salacious life in Paris, but in due
course she lived for a time in a convent in Savoy before her death in

The Battle of Zenta destroyed Turkish resistance, but Leopold’s
exhausted treasury, and the prospect that the Spanish throne would
soon become vacant, induced the Emperor to terminate the Turkish war.
[26] The Treaty of Karlowitz was signed on 26 January 1699."

So Squint Savoy, is modern day sleazeball, using Ovid in his pickup
lines, a Hungarian, descended from the House of Savoy 'the longest
surviving royal house in Europe," and perhaps, an expatriate, like
Soros, also with a deeper yet unseen ties to a diabolical secret


Soros the Guiltless


2008-09-25 16:07:43 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Oddly the name Sandor Szavost translates using online translators
Squint Savoy (Savoyard)
squint·ed, squint·ing, squints.
To look with the eyes partly closed, as in bright sunlight.
Sandor means squint? In what language?
2008-09-25 17:00:24 UTC
Post by MP
Post by kelpzoidzl
Oddly the name Sandor Szavost translates using online translators
Squint Savoy (Savoyard)
squint·ed, squint·ing, squints.
To look with the eyes partly closed, as in bright sunlight.
Sandor means squint? In what language?
Got to this online translator and type in Sandor from


make sure it is set to do hungarian to english

2008-09-25 17:10:55 UTC
Soros's family had changed their name from Schwartz to Soros to pass
as Gentiles.

"soros" is said to have a meaning of "next in line, or designated
successor" and literally, from hungarian, "rows, ranges"

"Savoy" is the longest european royal lineage.

certainly all fleeting coincidences........:)

2008-09-25 17:20:09 UTC
Wikipedia says that as of 1946:

"Under the Constitution of the Italian Republic, male descendants of
the House of Savoy were forbidden from entering Italy. This provision
was removed in 2002 but as part of the deal to be allowed back into
Italy, Vittorio Emanuele the last claimant to the House of Savoy
renounced all claims to the throne[3]."

"House of Savoy today

The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and the
neighbourhood are protected as a World Heritage Site. Although the
titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family have been legally
abolished, the remaining members of the House of Savoy still insist on
using various titles, including the Counts of Savoy, the Dukes of
Savoy, the Kings of Sardinia, and the Kings of Italy.

Currently the leadership of the House of Savoy is contested by two
cousins: Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, who used to claim the
title of King of Italy and Duke Amadeo of Savoy who still claims the
title of the Duke of Savoy. Their rivalry has not always been peaceful
- on May 21, 2004, following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of
Spain on the eve of the wedding of his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias,
Vittorio Emanuele punched Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, twice in the

The remaining members of the House of Savoy have been engulfed in
controversy in the twenty-first century. On June 16, 2006 Vittorio
Emanuele was arrested in Varenna and imprisoned in Potenza on charges
of corruption and recruitment of prostitutes for clients of the Casinò
di Campione (casino) of Campione d'Italia.[5][6][7] After several
days, Vittorio Emanuele was released and placed under house arrest
instead.[8] He was released from house arrest on July 20, but he had
to stay inside the Italian borders.

Vittorio Emanuele's son Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy works in Geneva as
a hedge fund manager. In 2007, lawyers representing the father and son
wrote to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano seeking damages for
their years in exile.[9] During a television interview, Emanuele
Filiberto also requested that Roman landmarks such as the Quirinale
palace and Villa Ada should return to the Savoy family. The Italian
prime minister’s office has released a statement stating that the
Savoys are not owed any damages and suggesting that Italy may demand
damages from the Savoys for their collusion with Benito Mussolini. The
Italian constitution contains a clause stripping the Savoys of their
wealth on exile.[10][11]"

2015-03-23 06:39:58 UTC
Post by kelpzoidzl
Alas! how difficult it is not to betray one's guilt by one's looks.
Oddly the name Sandor Szavost translates using online translators

Squint Savoy (Savoyard)

squint·ed, squint·ing, squints.

To look with the eyes partly closed, as in bright sunlight.


Yeah that is a strange coincidence.

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