Wednesday, July 7, 2010
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971), EYES WIDE SHUT (1999)
The husband begins to administer smelling salts to his wife. It takes her a moment, but she does revive. She eyes him in disbelief as she becomes fully conscious.
Wife: Tape? My wrists! They’re taped! I absolutely can’t believe you’ve done this to me. What the hell is this all about?
Husband: No need to be hostile. I just want you to sit still to watch a movie and wanted to make sure I had your undivided attention.
Wife: Who the hell do you think you are? Wait! This isn’t one of those movies by that Russian. What’s his name?
Husband: Sergei Parajanov. No, not Parajanov.
Wife: As soon as I get out of this, there’s going to be hell to pay! Do you read me mister?
Husband: Calm down, my dear. We are going to watch or should I say re-watch Eyes Wide Shut. Widescreen and everything.
Wife: No! No! Not Eyes Wide! I’ll do anything. . I’ll watch Beloved…Mullholland Drive…Dogville…The Color of Pomegranates. Just don’t make me watch Eyes Wide!”
Husband: Don’t you understand I wouldn’t do anything to you that’s not for your own good?
Wife: (Crying). I can’t believe you’re doing this. It was one thing to be surprised by its awfulness the first time. But now that I know what to expect, how can I brace myself for this?
Husband: You’re angry now, but you’ll thank me later. Mark my words.
Wife: (Wiping away her tears) Fine, fine. Do your best. I can take it. Bring it on. I’m stronger than any painful movie is.
At this point the husband applies pinchers to his wife’s eyelids to keep them open. He administers a steady flow of eyedrops as she watches what comes before her.
Scene one has Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman talking about going to a society party in the first scene.
But then the film breaks into something different. The scene is now of random bunnies hoping back and forth. One of the bunnies seems to turn into chocolate and a little girl with a missing front tooth eats a bite of the candy and smiles, showing off that adorable gap in her teeth! Obviously it’s going to be a happy Easter! And don’t worry about that bunny. Its perfectly safe and hops onto the little girls lap. Obviously this happy little girl has a new pet! All of this goes on while Beethoven’s Ninth is playing in the background.
We go back to Eyes Wide Shut. We see the scene with Cruise and Kidman discussing her fantasy about a sexual relationship with a Navy officer.
Eyes Wide Shut is interrupted by a new scene with a young couple. Clearly not Tom and Nicole, but there is a resemblance between these two and the stars of the film. They are holding hands on a cruise. (No pun intended!) They are clearly in love. They can eat anything they want and not gain any weight! And it’s all free! And who is that performing in the ship’s lounge? Why for one night only, it’s none other than Ludwig Van Beethoven himself!
Back to Eyes Wide Shut. Cruise is in trouble. He has been discovered to not belong at the secret ritual party he is at. Conflict?
The Cruise look-alike appears in a similar scene. Everyone unmasks. They smile at him. He is welcome to go help himelf to hors d'oeuvres of his choosing. The music turns to the ninth. The man at the piano smiles as he unmasks. It is none other than---Ludwig Van!
Random scenes now appear on the screen.
Scene #1 A man drops out of a plane sitting on an atomic bomb. It plummets to the earth. He yells like a cowboy at a rodeo. The bomb drops to the ground. Clink! A perfect and safe landing! He jumps off the bomb just in time to join in on the weekly square dance!
Scene #2 A writer living in an isolated hotel takes a break. His wife picks up his rough draft while he leaves the room. The book is entitled All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy. She flips through the pages. She can’t believe her eyes…It is the greatest novel she has ever seen! It is bound to be a great success!
Scene #3 A group of young men in white outfits and bowler hats come across an old bum and they proceed to…feed him and help him find shelter…and a job!
Scene #4 Finally, to the tune of Strauss’s Thus Spake Zarathustra the universe opens up and everything becomes…clear. And it is good.
After the movie is over, the husband takes the pinchers off the wife’s eyes. And takes the duct tape off her wrists. She looks at him. He asks her what she thinks.
Wife: How did I not get it the first time? I can see that what lies beneath the surface is what’s important. The erotic tension inherent in Kubrick’s vision…I’ve never seen it portrayed like this before. Every other film dealing with any kind of relationship or marriage or social ritual seems suddenly empty, incomplete, and a sham. Oh, and the Ninth symphony. How beautiful! I tell you what. There are no two ways about it. I have seen greatness! Thank you for letting me embrace it.
Husband bends down and kisses his wife on the forehead.
Husband: (Checking her condition) Aren’t you glad we did this now? Your eyes look good. Might want to rub your arms where the tape was. I had it pretty tight. I’m just so happy you were cured.
Husband bends down and kisses his wife on the forehead a second time. He leaves the room to get her a glass of milk. As soon as he’s gone, she rubs on her wrists as her visage turns sour. The smile that reenters her face exhibits more than a trace of malevolence.
Wife: I was cured all right.