Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut:
The Film's Internal Logic for the Discovery of the Mask on the Pillow

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As to the *how* of the mask resting on the pillow. It has been there all along, at least in the logic of the movie. The first time we saw Bill's office, the second night after the party, there is no cabinet against the right wall in his office beyond the living room. Instead, there is an easy chair and a cabinet in the corner that is taller than the chair rail.

Then, later that same night (early in the morning), when Bill returns home from the "orgy", he places goes to the office where there in place of the tall cabinet and the easy chair there is now a long, low cabinet, the top of which is just below the chair rail. He first approaches the cabinet by bending over it and touching it, rather than crouching.


He removes an accordion folder from the cabinet, ostensibly making room for the bag, which he then tucks into the cabinet and locks it.


As Bill is placing the bag in the cabinet, Kubrick begins a crossfade to the bedroom.

The crossfade merges the cabinet with the headboard of the bed and has Bill, in effect, placing the bag holding the mask on his bed. Note how the lines of the folder atop the cabinet form also a kind of duplicate headboard in conjunction with the corner of the room fading in.

The perspective lines of the folder fit in with the headboard of the bed and the picture frame.


The perspective lines of the cabinet fit in with the perspective lines of the shadows from the blinds.


Here we see the crossfade completed.


The camera now pulls back as Bill comes around the bed. Rather than simply lowering himself and sitting upon it, his actions replicate those in the office, as he approaches the bed by bending over it, placing a hand upon it. The thing is, he didn't have to bend over the cabinet, place his hand on it, then crouched before it. He could have simply crouched before it. Again, in the bedroom, he didn't have to first bend over the bed and place his hand upon it (as he had done with the cabinet), he could have simply sat down. The connection with him before the cabinet is being reinforced. Compare with the crossfade and he has been placed approximately in the same area as Bill in the office within the frame of the bedroom door.

He then seats himself and Alice awakens.

When Bill enters his room the third night, he sees the mask on the pillow.


570 words or 1 single-spaced pages. A 5 minute read at 130 wpm.

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