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Craig's Letters to WB concerning the censored North American version of Eyes Wide Shut.

Warner Home Video 
40000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

Dear Sir or Madam, 
	Skipping introductions, I need not explain the utter horror 
and emptiness I was left with after viewing the terribly mangled 
version of Eyes Wide Shut.  For the thousands of American and Canadian 
Kubrick fans who waited twelve years to see what eventually became his 
ultimate and posthumously released film, the cinema version that was 
shown in North America was a complete outrage to both Kubrick's art and 
his legacy.  I've heard many rumors contrasting one another, some saying 
that Kubrick approved the changes, some saying that they were done after 
stepping over his dead body.  Either way, I think that the digitally 
inserted images were an abomination to the only true thing in cinema 
- a Kubrick film.  
	After all the glory Kubrick brought to Warners, after all the 
majesty that he represented, was there no one at your company to step 
in and preserve Kubrick's masterwork?  While I lack the actual information 
as to who approved the censoring, I place the blame on Warners either 
way: Kubrick by no means said "You know, this scene is a bit lurid. . .
it won't play very well in the states. . .let's mangle it a bit, shall we?"  
Kubrick learned long ago not to sell out in such a manner, when Kirk 
Douglas beat him over the head with his own "commercial" script, telling 
him that if that version of Paths of Glory was to be filmed, he wanted 
no part of it.  And since then, Kubrick never attempted to sacrifice art 
in order to play to a larger audience. Thus I have a hard time believing 
that he, in right mind and true heart, would have approved of these changes.  
If he had actually feared the NC-17 rating, I don't believe he would have shot 
that scene in the manner he did.  He incorrectly assumed that the MPAA 
would know art when it saw it and would be able to distinguish between 
that and pornography.
	The most interesting result of this overly bad decision was that, 
because it was covered up, the scene was looked at as a dirty thing, as 
something that needed to be blocked from our eyes.  However, the point behind 
the scene was that the sexual activity taking place wasn't titillating at all, 
and instead was devoid of any emotion.  However, I wouldn't expect a film 
executive to understand this, as he or she often has no knowledge of film and 
is nothing more than a businessperson in the guise of an art monger.  
These days, though, I expect more art to backwash out of my commode 
than to come to my local theater.  The film studios have brought the world's 
most complete art form to the level of a velvet Elvis painting, and the 
tradition continues with Eyes Wide Shut, leaving in the "acceptable" parts and 
mangling the rest.  I know the true blame goes to the MPAA, but my feeling is 
that Warner Brothers could have made the artistic choice to save this picture 
from the Puritanism of the MPAA, something Kubrick would have wanted.  
	The true purpose of this letter, though, is not to take the previously 
stated cheap shots at movie executives and instead to make a request on behalf 
of true Kubrick fans, who did not betray his greatest accomplishment like so many 
others did.  If you find it hard to believe that there are so many people who are 
angry about this, all I can say is go on the internet, see what the people think.  
We request that the video and DVD release of this film will be the original version, 
uncensored, with original soundtrack (including the shloka from the same scene): 
the "director's cut" that many other filmmakers get and would normally 
be redundant with a Kubrick film, but, in this case, is not.  The reasoning 
is simple: no person who would buy this videocassette or disc would want the 
disfigured version.  The majority of these people will be Kubrick fans, who want 
the director's vision preserved, and the other part simply won't care.  Let me 
just say that the fervor surrounding this picture would have been the same had it 
been rated NC-17, and the people who went for pornography's sake would have left 
it just as disappointed as they did the R rated version.  
	The request is simple: honor Kubrick's legacy, honor Kubrick's 
fans, and for God's sake, make the VHS letterbox.
	Thank you for your time.

Craig Johnson
Student & Creator of 
OPEN YOUR EYES - The Kubrick Website at http:/i.am/dr.strangelove

Warren Lieberfarb
Warner Brothers
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA  91522

Dear Sir, 
	I was recently disappointed with the news that your impending 
US release of Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut will be the same
adulterated version that was presented to the American public in July 
of last year, despite Kubrick's fans' attempts to sway your company to 
the contrary.  
	You have chosen to ignore a heartfelt letter-writing campaign, 
and by this you have chosen to let down the same people whom you let 
down with your mediocre, duplicitous "Kubrick Collection," which I was, 
like so many other fans, duped into buying by claims of a Kubrick-conducted 
remastering of original prints.  The Collection was, in essence, old 
videos in new boxes, or video-quality footage transferred to DVD, something 
that would never have happened had Kubrick truly overseen the project.  
	Again, I want to stress the existence of a collective disappointment 
among Kubrick's fans at Warner's abysmal promotion, handling, and distribution 
of Stanley's final film.  A movement to boycott the US release of both 
the DVD and video has begun.  We will use other means to procure home 
copies of Eyes Wide Shut; if Warner's insists on cheating consumers, I 
see no reason that consumers can't return the favor.  
Craig Michael Johnson