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Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

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Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Old 02-14-11, 09:26 PM
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Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I was going to come in here and just ask one question, and figured there's probably a lot of stuff that can be picked over with this movie, as so much of it is shrouded in mystery. What things mean. What Kubrick intended. What was unfinished after he died. Those darned digital human-shaped censor bars. Cruise and Kidman divorcing almost immediately afterwards.

I've got two topics, so far, that I'd love to hear more thoughts on.

1.) I keep hearing repeated as fact that Bill Harford was deliberately named after Harrison Ford. However, I don't know where this "fact" came from, never heard Cruise mention it, or really anyone verify that Kubrick himself said this. Anyone know if this is just an oft-repeated myth or something verifiable?

2.) The lost Sydney Pollack commentary track. When Warners was advertising the re-release DVD's of the Kubrick films a few years ago, all the publicity materials included an Eyes Wide Shut commentary track by Sydney Pollack. All indications are that it was almost certainly recorded. However once the DVD's came out, it was inexplicably absent. No comment has ever been issued from Warner's that I know of, and Pollack is dead now. Anyone hear anything else about this track and why it was removed?
Old 02-14-11, 09:45 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

This is a random one, but left me scratching my head even back in High School...Tom Cruise enters the bar and says "I'll have a beer." My friend and I looked at each other after that...Uh...what kind?! Kubrick was all about detail, so this was kind of funny, though maybe there was a reason for it.
Old 02-14-11, 09:49 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I haven't seen the movie in several years, but always recall the precisely positioned graffiti'd mailbox in several scenes (to remind us it took place in NYC).

I'm a big fan of the movie and will attempt to defend it to anyone (though it's not without its flaws).
Old 02-14-11, 09:55 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I've never heard that Cruise's character was named after Harrison Ford.
Old 02-14-11, 09:57 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
This is a random one, but left me scratching my head even back in High School...Tom Cruise enters the bar and says "I'll have a beer." My friend and I looked at each other after that...Uh...what kind?! Kubrick was all about detail, so this was kind of funny, though maybe there was a reason for it.
Well, the movie is a
Spoiler:
dream
after all.
Old 02-14-11, 10:19 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
This is a random one, but left me scratching my head even back in High School...Tom Cruise enters the bar and says "I'll have a beer." My friend and I looked at each other after that...Uh...what kind?! Kubrick was all about detail, so this was kind of funny, though maybe there was a reason for it.
It seems to me that the VAST majority of the time when a movie or tv character orders a beer, he/she simply says beer. I find it really annoying. I'd love to see the look on the bartenders face if I walked into a bar and said "I'll have a beer" especially since most places nowadays seem to have at least 10 different beers on tap and at least another 10 in bottle. Hell, some bars have a hundred different choices. Maybe I'm just too anal, but any time somebody orders a "beer" (which is seemingly 99.9% of the time) it takes me out of the scene for a second because nobody in real life does that.

Another thing that irritates the Hell out of me, and now that I think about it I'm pretty sure I even brought it up in this forum sometime in the past, is the fact that nobody ever finishes their drink. I guess I'm not talking about a bar situation...more like when one character offers another character a drink (coffee, tea, cocktail, beer or whatever) The person always accepts, maybe takes one sip of it and then typically leaves. Why accept a drink when you know you're going to leave in a minute?
Old 02-14-11, 11:47 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Whoopdido, you'll appreciate this recent Cracked article!

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-produc...ist-in-movies/
Old 02-14-11, 11:49 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

They probably can't mention a real beer by name without some sort of licensing arrangement, and to order a fictional beer would be just as bizarre. ("Bartender, give me a Schnitz!")

But yeah, it always takes me out of the movie, too. The only time it makes sense is if the character is obviously in a bar that he frequents. Then he could order just "a beer", and the bartender would probably know what his usual beer is.
Old 02-15-11, 03:12 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I remember reading about Sydney Pollack's commentary when the disc was first announced
Old 02-15-11, 03:43 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
They probably can't mention a real beer by name without some sort of licensing arrangement, and to order a fictional beer would be just as bizarre. ("Bartender, give me a Schnitz!")
I dunno. I can think of a bunch of examples where beer and liquor are identified by name in movies.

Did David Lynch need to consult with corporate to have Dennis Hopper shout "Pabst Blue Ribbon!" in Blue Velvet?

Did The Shawshank Redemption's mention of Black Label have to be cleared with Carling?

I recently watched the HBO biopic Gotti, Armand Assante as John Gotti walks into a bar and orders a glass of Dewars and a glass of Boodles. He could have just said "whiskey" and "gin."

It just seems unlikely to me that there'd have to be an agreement for every casual reference to a real product.
Old 02-15-11, 08:42 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

For someone as notoriously picky as Kubrick, though, it does seem a little odd.
Old 02-15-11, 09:14 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I can remember how disappointed I was in this film when it was first released. I had eagerly anticipated its release for a few years.

Now that I've seen it 8 or 9 times, I really enjoy it.

I would give anything to hear that Pollack commentary track.

Do you think they might be saving it for yet another Eyes Wide Shut release down the road?

I hate to buy movies more than once, but I would shell out the cash to get it for the Sydney Pollack audio track.
Old 02-15-11, 09:17 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
For someone as notoriously picky as Kubrick, though, it does seem a little odd.
His notorious meticulousness seems to me to be a clue that this was intended.
Originally Posted by Throwing Copper View Post
I can remember how disappointed I was in this film when it was first released. I had eagerly anticipated its release for a few years.

Now that I've seen it 8 or 9 times, I really enjoy it.

I would give anything to hear that Pollack commentary track.

Do you think they might be saving it for yet another Eyes Wide Shut release down the road?

I hate to buy movies more than once, but I would shell out the cash to get it for the Sydney Pollack audio track.
I'd double-dip for that commentary also. Don't know why they would have held out, though, considering they lavished the other titles in that set with commentaries and documentaries. Seems to me there must be more to it than just waiting several years for a double-dip. Either Pollack's commentary scared off the producers or perhaps it was never recorded. I really don't know. I would think though, since they were advertising it up until the last minute, that it must have been recorded. I wish someone in the know would say something, or kind of accidentally leak it online...
Old 02-15-11, 09:20 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by lamphorn View Post
His notorious meticulousness seems to me to be a clue that this was intended.

I'd double-dip for that commentary also. Don't know why they would have held out, though, considering they lavished the other titles in that set with commentaries and documentaries. Seems to me there must be more to it than just waiting several years for a double-dip. Either Pollack's commentary scared off the producers or perhaps it was never recorded. I really don't know. I would think though, since they were advertising it up until the last minute, that it must have been recorded. I wish someone in the know would say something, or kind of accidentally leak it online...
But they could always "edit" out any comments from Pollack that they felt uncomfortable with. Maybe he mentions in the commentary that Kubrick really wasn't finished with it or something.

I would rather have an "edited" commentary with great info on the Kubrick process than nothing at all.
Old 02-15-11, 10:16 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by lamphorn View Post
His notorious meticulousness seems to me to be a clue that this was intended.

I'd double-dip for that commentary also. Don't know why they would have held out, though, considering they lavished the other titles in that set with commentaries and documentaries. Seems to me there must be more to it than just waiting several years for a double-dip. Either Pollack's commentary scared off the producers or perhaps it was never recorded. I really don't know. I would think though, since they were advertising it up until the last minute, that it must have been recorded. I wish someone in the know would say something, or kind of accidentally leak it online...
IF he did do one...I think that is why. If he didn't...well...he didn't.

Originally Posted by Throwing Copper View Post
But they could always "edit" out any comments from Pollack that they felt uncomfortable with. Maybe he mentions in the commentary that Kubrick really wasn't finished with it or something.

I would rather have an "edited" commentary with great info on the Kubrick process than nothing at all.
That's bullshit. You might as well not release it at all. You don't censor a commentary from someone like Pollack for something he says that may be viewed negatively.
Old 02-15-11, 10:45 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Regarding the commentary track, I just dug up this 2007 interview with Jan Harlan. He's asked point blank about this track, and gives a very nice non-answer.

Q: What happened to the Sydney Pollack commentary that was originally supposed to be included on the “Eyes Wide Shut” disc?

Jan Harlan: I am glad there is no commentary on “Eyes Wide Shut.” The film is complex. Stanley Kubrick worked on the script, on and off, for three decades. Explanations are bound to fail. Every viewer will be an expert on sexual fantasy and jealousy and will find his or her individual connection to this complicated film–or not, as the case may be. Let it suffice to say that Stanley Kubrick considered “Eyes Wide Shut” his greatest contribution to the art of the cinema. Let the audience try to tune in to Kubrick’s frequency–it’s worth the trouble. It may take two or three viewings, though.
http://www.timessquare.com/Film/Film..._On_New_Ideas/
Old 02-15-11, 11:07 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Yeah, that is a great big non-answer.

Commentary track? You don't need no steenking commentary track!

I'd wager that there was something on the commentary that ruffled somebody's feathers.
Old 02-15-11, 11:43 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Yeah, that's what I think as well.
Old 02-17-11, 05:17 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

I've said it probably a hundred times over the years, but I hated this when I saw it during its theatrical release, thinking it soft porn masquerading as high art. Over the years, though, with subsequent viewings I've come to love it. The last I saw, it was #9 on my Flickchart. Last year (or was it 2009?) I tracked down and read both a translation of Arthur Schnitzler's "Traumnovelle" ("Dream Story") and the screenplay written by Kubrick & Frederic Raphael. It's amazing how many details were lifted directly from Schnitzler, down to some of the specific uses of color in the film.

For anyone who hasn't given it much consideration, I would honestly suggest that the next time you sit down with EWS you make a conscious effort to note just the use of either blue or red. And, of course, it's those two colors that combine to make purple...which, of course, was the main color used in the poster designs for the film.

As for the beer line, I can only say that it's written that way in the published version of the screenplay (which is to say, it may have been different in an earlier draft). In the original short story, Fridolin (Bill Hartford in the film) encounters Nightingale at "a modest coffee house" rather than a night club and there's no reference to him ordering anything while there.

Lastly, regarding the commentary by Pollack, I can appreciate the logic behind not offering us one that doesn't come from Kubrick himself but I'd still like to hear it. The topic of recording our own commentaries has come up in a separate thread. If I ever take a stab at it, maybe this is one I might consider--though, of course, no one really cares what I have to say about it!
Old 02-18-11, 12:51 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

This talk of ordering a "beer" reminds me of Repo Man, where all the food/drink was generic.

Spoiler:
Old 02-18-11, 02:48 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

IMHO, if he had asked for a Miller Light, I would have thought blatant product placement. If he had asked for a Schnitz, I would be distracted by the fact that the brand doesn't exist. So by asking for a beer, the movie sneaks past two references that would have taken me out of the movie.
Old 02-18-11, 03:08 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
This talk of ordering a "beer" reminds me of Repo Man, where all the food/drink was generic.

Spoiler:

yeah people forget that every kubrick movie had dark comedy / satirical elements, even 2001 and eyes wide shut
Old 02-18-11, 03:15 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
IMHO, if he had asked for a Miller Light, I would have thought blatant product placement. If he had asked for a Schnitz, I would be distracted by the fact that the brand doesn't exist. So by asking for a beer, the movie sneaks past two references that would have taken me out of the movie.
"Blatant product placement" vs. "Obviously fake generic." It's funny how conscious we are of both of these. I don't envy movie makers who have to decide which way to go.

I remember reading Ian Fleming's remarks about why he named real products whenever possible, his reasoning being that they added an element of reality--hence, believability--to his otherwise fantastic stories. You may never be a Cold War spy, but you could actually buy the same fountain pen that 'M.' used to sign Bond's orders or the same snow boots that 007 wore, etc. It's funny how this works very well in Fleming's novels, but can be distracting in film. (Remember how glaring the ubiquitous 7-Up ads were in Moonraker?)
Old 02-18-11, 11:10 AM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
"Blatant product placement" vs. "Obviously fake generic." It's funny how conscious we are of both of these. I don't envy movie makers who have to decide which way to go.

I remember reading Ian Fleming's remarks about why he named real products whenever possible, his reasoning being that they added an element of reality--hence, believability--to his otherwise fantastic stories. You may never be a Cold War spy, but you could actually buy the same fountain pen that 'M.' used to sign Bond's orders or the same snow boots that 007 wore, etc. It's funny how this works very well in Fleming's novels, but can be distracting in film. (Remember how glaring the ubiquitous 7-Up ads were in Moonraker?)
I think there is a delicate balance here. If a recognizable product is in the background and not treated with any special attention, I'm less likely to think product placement than if the scene has a close-up of the product.

and speaking of 7-Up and Repo Man, the supermarket scene with all generic products also featured an employee singing a 7-up jingle. IIRC, Otto shut him up by sticking a price tag on his glasses. Aside from the 7-Up reference, I think all of the food in Repo Man was represented by generic products.
Old 02-18-11, 02:40 PM
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Re: Eyes Wide Shut- myths and minutiae

Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
IMHO, if he had asked for a Miller Light, I would have thought blatant product placement. If he had asked for a Schnitz, I would be distracted by the fact that the brand doesn't exist. So by asking for a beer, the movie sneaks past two references that would have taken me out of the movie.


That and most of the time people in movies order a "beer".

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