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Idea's on Kubrick's EYES WIDE SHUT & Lynch's Mulholland Dr. (1 Viewer)

ShawnCoghill

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Apr 16, 2002
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Ryan do you think I started this thread to get info for a project,like in school or something? I don't understand what you mean by homework? I am not in any school,no high-school,no college,no film school,Nothing,I just was interested in other peoples views,I had my own views and just wanted to hear what other people thought. I happen to like both of these films,that's it,,Besides I would hardly need other peoples thoughts on film to do a comprehensive breakdown of "meaning" for a paper or whatever else.
 

Mike Broadman

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Hmm, I'm actually starting to buy the "dream" explanation now. If not a dream specifically, than a fantasy, thought process, or some combination of both. It could be like the end of 2001, where it's some unknown combination of reality, symbolism and fantasy. The details aren't clear but they aren't important- you get the point.

If it's just a dream, than it's a pretty lousy one for Bill. He never gets any action, everything is awkward and silly, and he has to wear a stupid mask.

Btw, if it was a dream, how was the mask there at the end?
One answer I came up with is that they already owned the mask and that image was in Bill's mind when he dreamed his dream.

Question: can someone please provide examples of when Bill uses his doctor card to get into places? I don't remember that.
 

ShawnCoghill

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hey uses it to get into the Rainbow costume shop,,to validate his remarks to the owner so he believes him,and also gets the waitress at the coffee shop to tell him where Nick Nightingale is staying.
 

Darren H

Second Unit
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May 10, 2000
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Oh, what the hell, if Luc gets to post his paper, I'll do the same. ;)
http://www.longpauses.com/eyes_wide_shut.htm
I only hesitate to call Eyes Wide Shut a "dream film" because doing so tends to start debates over when the dream began, when it ended, what's real, what's imagined. I would, instead, call it a psychological film, in that it's deliberately concerned with the psychology of human sexuality. The narrative itself, I think, occupies some allegorical space, employing the logic of dreams and the marked symbolism of analysis. My paper's full of psychobabble, but I think it works.
Mulholland Drive is at the top of my NetFlix queue.
 

MartyD

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Feb 9, 1999
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As far as EWS is concerned and the dream theory you all need to remeber that the story is based on Austrian Arthur Schnitzler's Traumnovelle (Dream Novella), which you should read in order to understand where Kubrick comes from in EWS.
The story is basically the same just moved into modern day NY instead of 19th Century Vienna. In the book a married couple struggles to distinguish between dream and reality which is exatly what happens in EWS. The original is a very good and short read.
 

Darren H

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[Shameless plug]
Read my essay to learn more about Schnitzler and Traumnovelle (and Jacques Lacan and James Joyce).
[Unplugged]
 

Paul-Gunther

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EWS is a waking dream. That is, everything is real, but in a dream-like state.

Mulholland is more complicated, precisely because it has no meaning. Trying to make sense of it is precisely the wrong thing to do.

In Mulholland, the actors are not playing characters: they are musicians playing musical instruments. Like a fugue, an instrument begins playing a theme, but then that instrument disappears; the theme, however, is picked up by another instrument, yet played in variation.

After the box is opened, all of the actors, like musical instruments in a fugue, are playing variations on the part they were playing in the beginning of the film, only we've jumped back to earlier in the timeline, to see how events got to the point where we first came in.

It's like a jazz piece. But like music, it's not meant to have a literal intrepretation, and any made is inherently incorrect. The film, like any piece of music, means something different to everyone. Anyone who tries to tell you what Mulholland is about (and includes salon.com) is wrong, because the film is about only what you yourself think it is about.
 

Seth Paxton

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Where was it that I heard Lynch or someone else key to Muholland Drive basically verify what I had been saying MD was all along (which differs from Salon's version).
The whole film occurs right after Diane pulls the trigger but before she dies. He basically said that exact thing. The rest of the film has her conscious mind trying to reach into her dreams and push her back to face the reality of herself dying, which is the sudden rush back to the body at the end of the film
I'm sorry that I can't remember the source, but when I heard/read it I basically said "I knew it". Maybe a cable channel interview perhaps.
Anyway, the masturbation is part of the dream, not when the dream is occuring.
Jack, your point has been made before but the arguement that then gets put against that fact is that Kubrick had not lived in NYC in 40 years. So are those the streets of NYC circa 1960??? Perhaps they are. Of course when he was in NYC he made his living as a photographer, so he was very familiar with the look of the city then at least.
I always have felt that EWS is about a naive man awakening to the sexual world around him. Until Nicole drops the bomb, Tom is unaware of the amount of sexual opportunities before him on a daily basis (nor those available to his wife). He is naive to this aspect of life (promiscuity).
The 2 models, the woman at his office, he looks past the real threat/opportunity such situations present. Think of how professional and non-chalant he is about the naked overdose victim for example. But after Nicole admits her fantasy to him he suddenly goes into hyper-aware mode.
Now he sees it EVERYWHERE, though it was always around him. I have no doubt that a handsome young doctor would bring out the desires in a sad and desperate woman. She is feeling the need of love at that moment and he is an obvious object of desire. That's not "dreamy weird" in the least to me.
And each step along the way he find these enticing sexual opportunities or situations. Even the young girl comes on to him though she is being protected when he first meets her.
But once he goes to the house all of that Oz-like world of sex suddenly takes a dark turn. It becomes tainted. Then as he retraces these paths he went down the opportunities have become ugly, like the woman in the bathroom in The Shining for example. At one point he is even hit on by a gay man (nothing wrong with that per se, but it is the opposite of appealing to a straight man). It's like this sexual world has now become twisted.
So first he discovers the rabbit hole and goes about finding all this fantastic world, but then it turns into the Queen of Hearts trying to cut his head off, if you will.
His journey is like walking through hell to come out the other side changed. In his case the change he needs is to lose his naivite and be able to accept his wife and her natural sexual nature. That is why she can be so course and blatant at the end with him, he has now come to the other side where he can be comfortable with knowing his wife in that manner, rather than having her in some ivory tower of purity.
His journey was not about whoring about, but learning to accept a more open sexual attitude in a monogomous relationship. He must come to understand the difference between a sexual "pre-vert" ;) and healthy open sexuality.
So I don't really think it's just a dream (despite the Alice reference) because I think the world he encounters is not far off normal. His night might be a bit more jam packed than normal, but even the extreme stage of a sex club is not really all that absurd.
And no, I do not think Nicole was at the club. I just think she opened the desk and found the mask in there (I'm sure she could get the key for it, perhaps each had a copy even). It's not like he hid the mask in the dumpster 6 blocks away. :D
 

Matt Giggey

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I saw it pretty clearly as us being in on Bill's fantasies, until he can express them which saves their marriage.

The opening scene is reality and it sets up the rocky ground that Bill and Alice's marriage is on. They are both tempted by others, and although neither goes the distance, the come pretty close and it shows that it is inevitable in the future.

Back at the apartment, Alice, framed in blue, shares a deeply personal fantasy with Bill. Bill never says a word in response.

This is where his fantasy begins. First he visits the women whose father died. Again she is framed in the blue window, but even more obvious is the dialogue. She says the exact same thing that Alice said (that she is willing to give up everything for one night with him). Bill isn't jealous of Alice but of the sailor; he wants her to feel that way about him. Bill's fantasy is to have a women want him so badly she would sacrifice her life. This is carried out even more dramatically in the mansion scene where a women literally does give up her life for him (in his fantasy, of course).

When he "gets home," Alice reveals another deeply personal fantasy, again with the room in blue, and again, Bill doesn't say anything. He still can't communicate like she is able to, and that is the root of the problem. This film shows Bill's journey to getting past this. She says some really hurtful things in her revelations to him, but this is just an exaggeration showing how she is trying to reach out to him.

Then it goes back to Bill's fantasy as he becomes more and more paranoid and realizes something is very wrong. He realizes how much he needs his wife and that in order to keep her, he must reach out to her. He "gets home" again, and finally opens up to her. The blue light is gone and their marriage is saved.

That's how I see it.
 

Matt Giggey

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Btw, if it was a dream, how was the mask there at the end?
In my mind that just confirms that it was fantasy and not reality. Alice doesn't even acknowledge it at all. It is simply the last remaining mark of his fantasy. Sort of like the two worlds are colliding at the end, and Bill, finally able to share his fantasies with his wife, gets past that world for good.
 

Mike Broadman

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Hmm, I don't remember her reaction (or lack thereof) to the mask. Thanks.
Because of this thread, I want to see this film again. Blast you all. :)
 

Rob Lutter

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My theory of Mulholland Dr. is that the entire movie is a
masturbation fantasy that turns into reality after climax (I can't believe I just said that... :) )
talk amongst yourselves :D
 

Richard Kim

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At one point he is even hit on by a gay man (nothing wrong with that per se, but it is the opposite of appealing to a straight man).
It seemed to me that Bill was pretty oblivous to the hotel clerk hitting on him, as he was paying more attention to the info he provides. I could be wrong though.

EWS has one of the most striking use of color I've ever seen in a film. When Bill and Alice argue in the bedroom, the room is dominated with warm colors, but Alice is framed in cooler colors of the bathroom, symbolizing the breaking of the security in Bill's sex life when she confesses. Later on, when Alice tells him her dream, it's the exact opposite, with the bedroom surrounded by blue with only the room in the backround containing warm color. Bill has now fallen into the abyss so to speak, in his psychosexual journey.
 

Jack Briggs

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I always have felt that EWS is about a naive man awakening to the sexual world around him. Until Nicole drops the bomb, Tom is unaware of the amount of sexual opportunities before him on a daily basis (nor those available to his wife). He is naive to this aspect of life (promiscuity).
Hey, Seth:

I have stressed that in many an EWS thread. Essentially, Mr. Kubrick is putting a new spin on an old adage: When one actively seeks a forbidden fruit, it's more easily denied. But when one goes about his or her daily business with no ulterior motives regarding those forbidden fruits, said pleasures practically throw themselves at him or her.

It's one of the film's most salient points.

As for NYC's portrayal: I feel pretty certain the director possessed a good understanding of contemporary life in the city. I still stick by its presentation as a somewhat fantastical, borderline surreal place.
 

JonZ

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I agree with Seths Eyes Wide Shut theories.

Much more articulate than I could ever be.
 

Quentin

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Great points on EWS, Seth. I too think EWS is more of a "dream state" film rather than an actual dream.

As for MD...I think the dream begins when she hits the pillow and ends when the Cowboy wakes her up. But, I also don't think this is the first time she's had the dream. Which is why I think she masturbates so vehemently...it's a sexual "there's no place like home" nod from Lynch. She's trying to masturbate her way back into the fantasy where it all works out.
 

Bill J

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I still don't buy the interpretation that the sexual odyssey in Eyes Wide Shut was all a dream.

I agree with Seth 100% on this.
 

Luc D

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I really think that looking at the film, or any interpretation of the film with too literal an eye really hurts it. I would just like to also re-iterate that it's not so much that what's happening in EWS is a dream, but that Kubrick's intention was to create a world much like one of a "waking dream" or fantasy (it's just not nearly as explicit as Mulholland Dr). What he wanted to do was take you to a place where you can't be sure of anything. So I think that trying to rationalize the inexplicable, such as the issue with the mask, is perhaps selling the film short.
 

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