Originally Posted by blarg_
Fair enough. Seems like the same type of criticism often linked to 2001. Long, unmoving and ponderous is subjective to the interpreter, but I do think that Eyes Wide Shut expresses far more than meets the eye. (hence the title)
The orgy scene is a replication of the Kabbalistic Sex Magick ritual that dates back to Babylon. In the movie, the ritual is performed as an affirmation of the global elite's power over their sex slaves by casting "Telesmic images" (the process of creating a telos, a mind enduced spell through harnessed sexual energy) into their slaves by means of ejaculation. It sounds fucked up, but the entire movie is soaked in esoteric symbolism of the occult which was Kubrick's artistic expression.
Eyes wide shut isn't for everybody, but the more you delve into the study of ancient schools of thought and secret societies, the more fascinating this movie becomes and starts making more sense. The overlying theme of the movie (Cruise's relationship troubles with Kidman)is only an allegory that ties into Kubrick's bigger picture. If you're looking at the movie hoping for a straight forward narrative then you'll be disappointed, if you're looking for an exciting buildup to some crazy climax then you'll be disappointed as well. It's a complicated movie with cold characters, but it needed to be to get it's message across as realistically as possible. When you start understanding what's going on, some of the scenes (particularly the ritual scene) hits you like a ton of bricks.
I admire your passion for the film but it didn't hit me in that way at all. A movie needs to make you feel something before you start applying thought to it because you only think deeply about something when you care about what you're watching.
I can understand people feeling the exact same way about 2001 and if it wasn't for the jaw dropping visual effects I would be inclined to make the exact same comments.
@asdf - I don't understand what is hypocritical about the ending to Paths of Glory. It's a woman signing sweetly to a group of hardened soldiers who just for a moment manage to lose themselves in the innocence of her voice. It's an exceptional piece of cinema.
I'll give you the hammy acting of Nicholson though horror movies can get away with that sort of thing a lot more than other genres can. The quiet moments with his character in that film however like the scene with him and Danny in the bedroom and when he talks to Lloyd the caretaker are exquisitely acted.