Books and Movies Reviews

Eyes Wide Shut

Like any film that is carefully constructed, Eyes Wide Shut is the sum of its elements and of the ways by which these interact with each other. The most significant elements of the film are color, (particularly red, blue and yellow) sound (such as voices plus external and internal music) and the repeated figures of the Female Nude and Masks.
Eyes Wide Shut can be divided into three parts, each of which contains the elements mentioned above. Part I introduces the main characters and their relationship towards each other. Dr. William Harford and his wife Alice attend a party where pianist Nick Nightingale (Todd Field), an old acquaintance of “Bill” and a pivotal character for the plot, provides the music. The Harford’s friend and host Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), introduces his wife to his guests and later solicits Bill’s medical attention to save the overdosed prostitute and “beauty queen” Mandy (Julienne Davis), who is sprawled naked on a divan in an upstairs room of the mansion, while Ziegler nervously gets dressed. On the wall behind her hangs a large painting of a female nude. In this manner, the figure of the Female Nude is introduced as having a dual significance: as a measure for risk and fatality (Mandy), and as a representation of aesthetic beauty (the painting.)This is a modern representation of the medieval view of women, who were once stereotyped into one of two roles.Thefirst was Eve (the temptress, who was associated with the serpent and the fall of Man) and the second was Mary (the mother, who was associated with redemption and the birth of Christ.)
In the meantime, Alice drinks several glasses of champagne and dances with a pressing suitor. Upstairs, Bill in a demanding staccato calls out to Mandy’s dying ear: “Mandy…can you hear me? Can you hear me…Mandy? Look at me…Mandy." In both cases, Alice’s drunkenness and flirtatiousness, and Bill’s tense, yet hopeful tone produce slowness in their way of…

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