Eyes Wide Shut – Music from the Motion Picture
Sunset/ Reprise Records
Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski
nearly interminable wait of several years, Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut
has finally arrived, and, with it, a soundtrack album CD from Warner/Sunset/Reprise Records.
The CD is
entitled simply--Music from the Motion Picture Eyes Wide Shut—there is no
mention of Kubrick on the CD cover— possibly because he died before the album may have been assembled. A recent photo of Kubrick does, however, grace the back cover of the album, and, make no mistake, the music
he has selected is very Kubrickian indeed.
is also eclectic, as eclectic as his music choices for A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and 2001 to name a few.
For Eyes Wide Shut, his tale of jealousy and sexual obsession Kubrick has
drawn on a wide range, from classical composers Shostakovich and Liszt, classical avant-garde composer Gyorgy Ligeti, to film
composer Jocelyn Pook. He also selected dance music by Duke Ellington, Oscar
Levant, Victor Young, Eddie Snyder and others, as well as a pop song by Chris Isaak.
is perhaps slightly more subtle and relevant than Kubrick has used in the past but no less effective.
contain original music by Jocelyn Pook whose contribution is eerie and atmospheric, and whose underscoring of the film’s
central orgy sequence is evocative of a black mass.
numbers are used during the film’s opening party sequence and a later masked ball.
The big band era style and the general demeanor of the guests at these two events
are reminiscent of the ghosts in The
Shining— and indeed, this film’s other worldly dreamlike quality in general is enhanced by the music used.
is famous for his eerie atonal compositions used to striking effect in 2001. In Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick employs a piano
piece by Ligeti and the simple, persistent, pounding two- or three-note piano motif creates an incredible underlying tension.
along with a Shostakovich waltz used may be the music choices best remembered from the film.
Kubrick has always had a knack for selecting music which no one else thought of using and which fits in an unusual
and striking way. Eyes Wide Shut is
no exception and alongside its music are images as brilliant as any Kubrick has offered---images which continue to haunt the
viewer long after the film has ended.
soundtrack CD of Eyes Wide Shut, is a splendid, if unevenly assembled, souvenir
of a strange and remarkable film, the concluding opus of Stanley Kubrick whose sudden, unexpected passing was but a prelude
to the release of his final haunting cinematic masterwork.