Friday, October 06, 2006

Eyes Wide Shit

It is nice to know that Stanley Kubrick shares my opinion of his last film Eyes Wide Shut; according to an interview given to the Guardian by Kubrick's friend R. Lee Ermey (he who played the colourful drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket), Stanley thought that it was 'a piece of shit' that had been ruined by the interference of its two stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Ermey also claims that Kubrick was a shy timid man who allowed himself to be swayed. This might be the case but I also remember seeing him bullying Shelley Duvall in a particularly mean fashion on the set of The Shining. I am also well capable of believing Kubrick's claims of interference by Cruise and Kidman but to be totally honest, despite all the talent involved in the film, Kubrick himself, screenplay by Frederic Raphael and source text by Arthur Schnitzler, the finished product looked like it had a lot more wrong with it than self-indulgent performances. And surely Kubrick could have cast the film otherwise.

The funniest thing to be read in the Guardian article is Kidman's standard luvvy declaration of her love for working with Kubrick: "it was incredibly rewarding, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat." In the trailers for Lars von Trier's Dogville, there is a scene where Kidman, out of character, says the same thing in the video confession booth that von Trier had set up. As is well known, on the set of that film, von Trier answered Kidman's anguished query "How can I make you love me, Lars?" with "Let me fuck you and give me all your money". Life brings its own rewards.