Vigilant Citizen — July 8, 2013
Eyes Wide Shut” was promoted as a steamy, suspenseful movie starring the “It” couple of the day: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. While the actors were prominently featured in the movie, it is everything around them that told the true story of “Eyes Wide Shut”. Stanley Kubrick’s attention to detail and symbolism gave the movie an entire other dimension – one that cannot be seen by those who have their eyes wide shut. This multiple-part series will look at the hidden symbolism of Kubrick’s final film.
I remember when I first watched Eyes Wide Shut, back in 1999. Boy, did I hate it. I hated how slow everything was, I hated how Nicole Kidman tried to sound drunk or high and I hated seeing Tom Cruise walk around New York looking concerned. I guess I reacted the same way critics did at the time the movie came out and thought: “This movie is boring and there is nothing hot about it.” More than a decade later, equipped with a little more knowledge and patience, I re-watched the movie … and it blew my mind. In fact, like most Stanley Kubrick films, an entire book could be written about the movie and the concepts it addresses. Eyes Wide Shut is indeed not simply about a relationship, it is about all of the outside forces and influences that define that relationship. It is about the eternal back-and-forth between the male and female principles in a confused and decadent modern world. Also, more importantly, it is about the group that rules this modern world – a secret elite that channels this struggle between the male and female principles in a specific and esoteric matter. The movie however does not spell out anything, like all great art, messages are communicated through subtle symbols and mysterious riddles.
Stanley Kubrick unexpectedly died only five days after submitting the final cut of the movie to Warner Bros, making Eyes Wide Shut his swan song. Considering that Eyes Wide Shut portrays an occult secret society that eliminates those who cross its path, some theories arose about Kubrick’s death and its suspicious nature. Did he reveal to the public too much, too soon? Maybe
Let’s look at the main themes of Kubrick’s last creation.
The Modern Couple
The stars of Eyes Wide Shut were the “It” couple of 1999: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Those who were expecting the movie to be a sort of voyeuristic experience showing hot scenes of the couple were probably very disappointed. The audience rather got a cold, egoistic and profoundly unsatisfied couple, one that seems to be tied together not by pure love, but by other factors, like convenience and appearances. While the couple is very “modern” and “upper-class”, the forces that keep it together are the result of basic, primal and almost animalistic behavior. If we look at the instinctive behavior of humans and animals, males primarily look for females that have good child-bearing qualities while females look for a strong provider. Remnants of this behavior still exist today as males tend to display wealth and power to attract females while females showcase their beauty to attract males. In Eyes Wide Shut, the couple perfectly follows that instinctive script.
Tom Cruise’s character is called Dr. Bill … as in dollar bill. Several times during the movie, Dr. Bill either waves his money or his “doctor badge” at people to get them to do what he wants. Bill is part of the upper class and his dealings with people of the lower class are often resolved with money.
Played by Nicole Kidman, Alice lost her job in the art world and is now fully supported by her husband’s salary. While she lives very comfortably, Alice appears to be extremely bored with her life as a stay at home mother. The name Alice is most likely a reference to the main character of Alice in Wonderland – a fairy tale about a privileged girl who is bored with her life and who goes “through the looking glass” to end up in Wonderland. In Eyes Wide Shut, Alice is often shown staring at the looking glass – grooming herself or … maybe looking for something more to life.
While the couple shows signs of fatigue, Bill and Alice put on their “happy masks” when it is time to attend social events. Like the elite people they socialize with, there is a big difference between the facade they put on and reality.
Brushing With the Elite
Bill and Alice go to a classy party given by Victor Ziegler, one of Bill’s wealthy patients. Judging from Victor’s house, he is not simply rich, he is part of the ultra-elite. While his party is very elegant and is attended by highly cultured people, it doesn’t take long for the viewers to realize that this facade hides a disgusting dark side. Also, small details inserted by Kubrick hint to a link between the party and the occult ritual that occurs later in the movie.
Knowing Kubrick’s attention to detail, the inclusion of the star of Ishtar in this party is not an accident. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war and, mostly, sexuality. Her cult involved sacred prostitution and ritual acts – two elements we clearly see later in the movie.
“Babylonians gave Ishtar offerings of food and drink on Saturday. They then joined in ritual acts of lovemaking, which in turn invoked Ishtar’s favor on the region and its people to promote continued health and fruitfulness.”
- Goddess Ishtar, Anita Revel
Ishtar herself was considered to be the “courtesan of the gods” and had many lovers. While inspired in bed, she was also cruel to the men that got attached to her. These concept will constantly reappear in the movie, especially with Alice.
During the party, Bill and Alice go their separate ways and are both faced with temptation. Alice meets a man named Sandor Szavost who asks her about Ovid’s Art of Love. This book, written during the times of Ancient Rome, was essentially a “How to Cheat on Your Partner” guide, and was popular with the elite of the time. The first book opens with an invocation to Venus – the planet esoterically associated with lust. Interestingly enough, Ishtar (and her equivalents in other Semetic cultures) was considered to be the personification of Venus.
Sandor’s name might be a reference to the founder of the Church of Satan: Anton Szandor Lavey. Is this Kubrick’s way of saying that this man who urges Alice to cheat on her husband is a part of the occult elite and its decadent ways? The Hungarian man is apparently skilled in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) as he keeps nearly hypnotizes Alice with well calculated phrases about the futility of married life and the necessity of pursuing pleasure in order to get her to cheat on her husband.
Meanwhile, Bill is discussing with two flirtatious models who tell him they want to take him to “where the rainbow ends”. While the meaning of this enigmatic phrase is never explicitly explained in the movie, symbols talk for themselves.
Rainbows and multicolored lights appear throughout the movie, from the beginning to the end.
As if to emphasize the theme of multicolored rainbows, almost every scene in the movie contains multicolored Christmas lights, giving most sets a hazy, dreamy glow.
These lights tie together most scenes of the movie and makes them part of the same reality. There are however a few select scenes where there are absolutely no Christmas lights. The main one is Somerton palace – the palace where the secret society ritual takes place.
In Eyes Wide Shut, there are therefore two worlds: The Christmas lights-filled “rainbow world”, where the masses wander around, trying to make ends meet and the other world… “where the rainbow ends”- where the elite gathers and performs its rituals. Simply by seeing the contrast between the two worlds, we sense an almost insurmountable divide between them. Later, the movie will clearly show how those from the “rainbow world” cannot enter the other world.
So, when the models ask Bill the go “where the rainbow ends”, they probably refer to going “where the elite gathers and performs rituals”. It might also be about them being dissociated Beta Programming slaves. There are several references to Monarch mind control (read this article for more information) in the movie. Women who take part in elite rituals are often products of Illuminati mind control. In MK Ultra vocabulary, “going over the rainbow” means dissociating from reality and entering another persona (more on this later).