Saturday, December 20, 2014


From The Simpsons Episode 151: Much Apu About Nothing
So I finally made it to the Toronto edition of the Deutsches Filmmuseum's world-traveling Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, and to call it a success, or "impressive", is just a massive understatement. I am not a photo bug. I rarely take pictures. But today, I took over 130, and I still feel as though I missed out on a ton of great stuff and need to go back. I'll have more to say about the exhibition over the next couple days, but for now, I wanted to bring to your attention what may be the makings of a new "Kubrick conspiracy theory".

Let me explain.

Earlier this evening, while carrying on an email discussion with documentary filmmaker Scott Noble (my recent concordances for his films The Power Principle I: Empire and II: Propaganda, are at my Useless Eater Blog), we found ourselves discussing Eyes Wide Shut

Scott wrote:
"I think Cruise and Kidman were chosen precisely because of their seeming vacuity (Christian Bale modelled his performance in American Psycho after Tom Cruise, who also appears in the book). Kubrick was reportedly a HUGE Simpsons fan (in its early years), and there's a line in one of the episodes where Apu, attempting to become more "American" to avoid deportation, hides his Ganesha statue; ashamed, he states, "Who needs the eternal love of Ganesha when I have Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman staring at me from the cover of Entertainment Weekly with their dead eyes!" Perhaps I'm reading too much into this."
Reading too much into it? Perhaps... but something about what Scott wrote gave me pause. 

You see, part of the Kubrick Exhibition is devoted to his unfinished projects. It includes part of the notorious Napoleon archive, and paperwork from The Aryan Papers. However, it also included unused marketing materials, including two posters for Eyes Wide Shut that had been commissioned and printed, but which were ultimately nixed.

Here... have a look:

Rejected "Eyes Wide Shut" Poster

Complete Set of Rejected "Eyes Wide Shut" Posters

Rejected "Eyes Wide Shut" Poster

So... what do you think? Do their eyes look "dead" enough to you? Indeed, is it possible that these posters are evidence that Stanley Kubrick - a "massive Simpsons fan" - was trying to have a go at his movie's top stars?

I have to admit, the idea of Kubrick turning the tables and referencing The Simpsons - a show that has referenced his work more times than even an obsessive like me can count - is somewhat of a mind-blower. It even exhibits a Kubrickean symmetry of sorts, mirroring the way Kubrick's artistic visions have been mirrored and refracted through the popular culture by thousands upon thousands of imitations, homages, rip-offs, etc...

So what do YOU think? Was Kubrick taking the piss? Did he have The Simpsons in mind when he commissioned this disturbing promotional artwork? What were Tom and Nicole's reactions like when they first saw these posters? And was the decision to scrap these posters made before or after Kubrick's untimely demise more than three months prior to Eyes Wide Shut's premiere?

I have a lot more digging to do on this story, consulting with fellow scholars of the occult and reviewing my extensive files on Scientology's secret teachings to see if there might be any hidden significance to the unique, bristling color palette used by the artist, or anagrams of anything of a paracultural nature worth mentioning. 

Keep watching this space.

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