Eyes Wide Shut
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson,
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Schnitzler’s Traumnovelle—literally “dream story”—involves a married couple, played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who free fall through a psychological landscape of libido and longing. Kubrick does away with the easy oppositions of fantasy and fact, favoring instead a more polymorphic perversity where pleasure penetrates all. At a masked ball, Cruise seeks in anonymity a source for his arousal as a murky rite with sex as its sacrament transpires around him. Or does it? And he is not alone behind his mask, or so Kubrick would tell us. In this carnal construction we call life, we conceal our true faces.