Friday One Sheet: EYES WIDE SHUT
Yes, this has been floating around movie-nerd internet for some time, however, in the tradition of this column, that the last Friday before Christmas shall be an alternate Eyes Wide Shut poster, here we are.
This 'Hallmark Christmas Movie' spoof was created for a screening of the film at the Bíó Paradís cinema in Reykjavik by Icelandic comedian, illustrator, and cartoonist Hugleikeur Dagsson. Using the more or less forgotten Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon holiday vehicle, Four Christmases, as a template, Dagsson not only subverts the 'lazy holiday-themed content' trend that has been exploding on various streaming platforms in the past few years, but it also foregrounds Stanley Kubrick's feature-length emasculation of super-star Tom Cruise by emphasizing the height difference between himself and ex-spouse Nicole Kidman at every opportunity in the film.
Cruise and Kidman did several films together in the 1990s, including Far & Away and Days of Thunder, where both Ron Howard and Tony Scott make serious effort to not show the significant difference in physical stature. Kubrick was trucking no such nonsense, and he fits the actors in body length mid-shots every chance he can get.
That is not to say that Eyes Wide Shut exists solely to undermine Cruise's movie persona. Albeit he also never gets sexual gratification in a movie with a lengthy orgy set piece, and many women (and Alan Cumming) throwing themselves at him over the course of a strange few days of holiday parties, doctoring, and Christmas shopping. Eyes Wide Shut has much more going on narratively, thematically, and technically, and yet it is a bizarre, schadenfreude surface reading of the film to watch the film undermine a marriage that would crumble following a shorter span of time after its 1999 release date, than the length of time it took to shoot the film.
The tagline here is brilliant in its banality (and its weird allusion to the story here), in the most boring typesetting possibly. I have nothing against the clarity and ubiquity of Helvetica, but nonetheless, it does offers the certain kind of clean vacuous vibe ("live love laugh") that this poster is aiming for.
In the final word uttered in this film, and Kubrick's superb cinematic legacy: "FUCK."