ACT THREELooking for Nightingales. The Return to the Rainbow.
Act three begins with Bill's new hobby, searching for the clues behind what happened the previous night. He goes to the Sonata, which is closed, and then finds out (using his "doctor's privilege") from a waitress at a greasy spoon next door, (the "Gillespe Café," if that means anything to anyone) that Nick had been staying at a hotel. . .the name of which I am uncertain. Anyway, Bill travels to said hotel and approaches the desk, topped with a bouquet of RED flowers. Ahem. The clerk is a pretty blatantly gay guy (great performance, I must say) who removes Bill's clothes with his eyes and tells Bill that Nick left with two brutish looking fellows who must have roughed him up, what with the big shiner on his mug, and they said all of his mail would be picked up by someone "authorized to do so." This is a pretty good scene as Bill is oblivious to the clerk's obvious come-ons, though I'm not sure what Kubrick was trying to say here. Just more sexual confusion for your edification.

Bill returns to the Rainbow in an even weirder scene than the previous one there, (though there wasn't a HuggyBear wig this time) and it's beautiful when Milich's daughter flutters out of the blood red back room like Humbert's little nymph and sings "Hello!" to Bill, innocent as can be. Our Japanese friends from last night enter and talk about the deal they struck up with Milich, and Milich (who wears a dapper blue suit) offers his daughter for Bill's needs. It's interesting to think of what Milich must assume about Bill: he knows where Bill went the previous night; he knows Bill is willing to spend lots of money. The idea of taking this very young girl from right in front of her very odd father is almost titillating to Bill, but the scene ends before we really discover anything.

Another note -- with all of his agreed fees, Bill pays a whopping $375 dollars for one night's rental of the costume, plus one "missing" mask. Which shows more of the relationship money has to sex in this movie -- the wealthy at their parties engaging in their festivities, the fees Bill pays to get there. It's man's corruption of nature on a very subtle level. From the hurled femur and nuclear devices and homicidal computers of 2001 to the mechanizing process of the Marines in Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick has loved showing man's horrid domination over nature, but never has it been this keen.

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