Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut represents his entirefilmography. This is because the film is based on the 1926 Arthur Schnitzlernovel, Traumnovelle (Dream Story.Kubrick’s father was considered to be a cosmopolitan man, who owned a largelibrary, this in turn influenced Kubrick throughout his early life as he waswell read.
Whilst there are many conflicting stories, it is known that Kubrickhad read Traumnovelle around the sametime that 2001: A Space Odyssey wasbeing 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, andalready formed the idea to turn it into a film. The themes of the book and thisfuture film were consistently in the back of his mind as he continued to makefilms, and thusly then underpinned all the directorial choices he made in eachfilm subsequently. Eyes WideShut begins in a bathroom, and immediately reveals a truth about themain character Bill Harford (Tom Cruise). It is then known from the start thatBill takes his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) for granted, ‘As in Lolita, this bathroom is a space wheremarital intimacy is revealed as problematic’. (White in Kolker, 2006). But thisis not the only bathroom in which negative traits are revealed, In Ziegler’s (SydneyPollack) bathroom, after Bill helped an overdosed Mandy (Julienne Davis), theaudience is exposed to the underbelly of Ziegler’s life, with Kubrickemphasising that regardless of his wealth and sophisticated lifestyle, Zieglerlusts after much younger women and nonchalantly commits adultery against hiswife, and this revelation happens to take place in a bathroom, noting thatMandy dies from an overdoes towards the end of the film helps to reiterate that ‘the ugliness of Victors roomparallels the polluting substance in Mandy’s body and can contribute only todeath.
‘ (Rice, 2008: 203). Additionally, Kubrick reveals to the audience thatthis apparent act of confidence between Bill and Ziegler has unleashed Bill’s yearningto operate in social circles that are out of his league. As described by JulianRice (2008) the bathroom is ‘where the “crazy” secret resides.’, aswell as the prostitute, Domino’s (Vinessa Shaw) apartment has a ‘kitchencontaining a bathtub, as if to express immaturity and underlying confusion.
‘(Rice, 2008: 203). From that point onwards, Bill begins to use his blandbehaviour to mask his newfound desires and motives, and he is willing torisk everything to climb the social ladder. Similarly, to how Grady lured Jack into a false senseof security in a bathroom in The Shining, Bill is likewise manipulatedin the bathroom during Ziegler’s party into believing he has Ziegler’sconfidence meanwhile ignoring the true price of getting involved. Bothcharacters share this similarity that whilst they both believe they are closerto power than they were previously through deals made in bathrooms. However,both men are being played by more experienced, powerful men. Anotherinteresting thing to note is that Bill is seemingly unaffected by what takesplace in Ziegler’s bathroom, suggesting that he has always been corrupted andopen to darkness from before anything had happened.
Using bathrooms to revealtrue nature is also seen when it becomes apparent that Alice hides marijuana ina band aid box in the bathroom cabinet. Alice is also standing in the doorwayof the bathroom when she reveals her sexual fantasy about to Naval officer toBill, breaking the foundation on which their marriage rested. Bills journeyinto darkness begins in the bathroom.