Kubrick’s relations/obsession (Svetkey, 1999). As Kubrick had

Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut represents his entire
filmography. This is because the film is based on the 1926 Arthur Schnitzler
novel, Traumnovelle (Dream Story.
Kubrick’s father was considered to be a cosmopolitan man, who owned a large
library, this in turn influenced Kubrick throughout his early life as he was
well read. Whilst there are many conflicting stories, it is known that Kubrick
had read Traumnovelle around the same
time that 2001: A Space Odyssey was
being produced. Kubrick obtained the filming rights to the book in the 1960s,
and had always had the idea to make a film about sexual relations/obsession
(Svetkey, 1999). As Kubrick had read the book so early on in his career, and
already formed the idea to turn it into a film. The themes of the book and this
future film were consistently in the back of his mind as he continued to make
films, and thusly then underpinned all the directorial choices he made in each
film subsequently.

Eyes Wide
Shut begins in a bathroom, and immediately reveals a truth about the
main character Bill Harford (Tom Cruise). It is then known from the start that
Bill takes his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) for granted, ‘As in Lolita, this bathroom is a space where
marital intimacy is revealed as problematic’. (White in Kolker, 2006). But this
is not the only bathroom in which negative traits are revealed, In Ziegler’s (Sydney
Pollack) bathroom, after Bill helped an overdosed Mandy (Julienne Davis), the
audience is exposed to the underbelly of Ziegler’s life, with Kubrick
emphasising that regardless of his wealth and sophisticated lifestyle, Ziegler
lusts after much younger women and nonchalantly commits adultery against his
wife, and this revelation happens to take place in a bathroom, noting that
Mandy dies from an overdoes towards the end of the film helps to reiterate that ‘the ugliness of Victors room
parallels the polluting substance in Mandy’s body and can contribute only to
death.’ (Rice, 2008: 203), also noted by Webster who confirms, ‘the ubiquitous
use of such scenes in Kubrick’s films, serves to offer a reminder, in
metaphorical form, of the clear linkage between sexuality and intimation of mortality’.
(2011). This link between sex and death is also apparent in Full Metal Jacket, where the bathroom scene
before Pyle kills himself and the Sergeant, the cadets are discussing who they
would like to have sex with. And within Spartacus
in which Crassus (Laurence Oliver) discusses preferring oysters or snails with
his slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis).

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Additionally, Kubrick reveals to
the audience that this apparent act of confidence between Bill and Ziegler has
unleashed Bill’s yearning to operate in social circles that are out of his
league. As described by Julian Rice (2008) the bathroom is ‘where the
“crazy” secret resides.’, as well as the prostitute, Domino’s (Vinessa
Shaw) apartment has a ‘kitchen containing a bathtub, as if to express
immaturity and underlying confusion.’ (Rice, 2008: 203). From that point
onwards, Bill begins to use his bland behaviour to mask his
newfound desires and motives, and he is willing to risk everything to climb the
social ladder. Similarly,
to how Grady lured Jack into a false sense of security in a bathroom in The
Shining, Bill is likewise manipulated in the bathroom during Ziegler’s
party into believing he has Ziegler’s confidence meanwhile ignoring the true
price of getting involved. Both characters share this similarity that whilst
they both believe they are closer to power than they were previously through
deals made in bathrooms. However, both men are being played by more
experienced, powerful men. Another interesting thing to note is
that Bill is seemingly unaffected by what takes place in Ziegler’s bathroom,
suggesting that he has always been corrupted and open to darkness from before anything
had happened. Using bathrooms to reveal true nature is also seen when it
becomes apparent that Alice hides marijuana in a band aid box in the bathroom
cabinet. Alice is also standing in the doorway of the bathroom when she reveals
her sexual fantasy about to Naval officer to Bill, breaking the foundation on
which their marriage rested. Bills journey into darkness begins in the bathroom.


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