Uploaded on Oct 18, 2011
"America was all he ever talked about. It was always on his mind, and in his blood." -Michael Herr. Kubrick (Grove Press, 2001)
The real key to unlocking Eyes Wide Shut is on the poster to the movie. For it is related to the Great Seal of the United States. With the big clue being, the number 13.
For there are at least 7 or 8 number '13s' on the seal:
1) 13 steps on Pyramid
2) 13 letters in ANNUIT COEPTIS
3) 13 letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM
4) 13 vertical bars on shield
5) 13 stars
6) 13 arrows
7) 13 leaves
8) 13 fruits
And the key to the movie is this: all of Bill Harford's (Tom Cruise) most significant encounters in the movie, with women or relating to women, occur at intervals of 13 minutes, or in multiples of 13 minutes.
The total length of the movie is 159 minutes.
And 13 minutes x 12 + 3 minutes = 159 minutes
(13 x 12 = 156; 156 + 3 = 159)
"Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) = NEUROTIC view of the world.
This is most certainly NOT a "normal" movie and Stanley Kubrick was not just any filmmaker!
In short, the title "Eyes Wide Shut" refers to the NEUROTIC interpretation of this movie that Stanley Kubrick KNEW IN ADVANCE would be the preferred one among most people, because of the troubling and suggestive nature of the film - but it is also the inaccurate one. The movie title in fact describes the mindset of the average viewer and the ESCAPIST and OVERLOOKING TENDENCIES they will have when trying to interpret this disturbing film.
And this is in direct contrast to the uncommon and troublesome - but nevertheless accurate interpretation of this film - which is the TRAUMATIC one. The result and effect of THAT interpretation - for the viewer - would be the EXACT OPPOSITE of the title that the movie has - which is that of setting the viewer's eyes wide OPEN !
That's the reason Stanley Kubrick made this movie in the first place. His final movie and 12 years after his previous one. The point here is that he didn't make this movie and choose this subject matter and include the disturbing scenes that are in it - on a WHIM! Kubrick was well known for being the most meticulous and obsessive director in film making history. And he also used the quote, "Observancy is a dying art".
He most likely made this film to open up the viewer's mind (and eyes) to the possibility and probability of the strange and occult events that it depicts. Particularly the Ritual scene at the masked ball and another scene describing incest (played by Leelee Sobieski and Rade Sherbedgia) - both of them TRAUMATIC events. The incest scene also goes completely unexplained to Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and by extension the viewer and therefore becomes a disturbing memory (for an attentive observer) even after finished seeing this film.
This is probably why Kubrick cleverly chose the short novel "Dream Story" by Arthur Schnitzler as the official basis of the film. "Dream Story" in original German is actually "TRAUM-novelle". Just like the English word for TRAUMA !
So then, "Eyes Wide Shut" = comforting, incorrect & NEUROTIC interpretation of the film, and in extension: of the world. versus "Eyes Wide Open" = disturbing, accurate & TRAUMATIC interpretation of the film, and of the world - in extension.
"Kubrick was not anti-American and thought that America was a good country, though he did not think that Ronald Reagan was a good President." -Stanley Kubrick: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2001)
This movie also includes several real life events described in the book "Trance Formation of America" written by 'trauma based' mind control victim Cathy O'Brien in 1995. For instance, the only US state mentioned in the film is Michigan and she just happens to be from Muskegon, Michigan as well.
As it has been said before, "Truth is stranger than fiction".