Prompt: “Could I request a lovely Bones/Reader where they are in an
established relationship and she/he goes on an away mission and gets kidnapped?
major reader whump major worried bones rescue hero kirk fluffiness abounds?” - Anon
Word Count: 2,793
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence and gore.
Author’s Notes: So, in hindsight I think I read “major reader whump” and ran with it. The “lovely” and “fluffiness abounds” parts got a little lost along the way; I think that’s why I ended it the way I did. Dearest Anon, if you are dissatisfied in any way with how this turned out, please let me know and I’ll see about writing a less serious/gory story.
It’s really long, but not long enough that I felt compelled to split it into two fics.
The aliens are supposed to be a little on the hard side to read, because of their accent. If anyone needs a translation, let me know and I’ll post something.
Aside from that, I’m proud of how it turned out, and I really hope you all enjoy!
*REQUEST* Seungri Scenario - ‘Giving him a handjob’
Requested by a lovely anon <3
Feel free to send in requests guys! We do Reactions, Preferences, Fake Texts, and Scenarios! Just tell us who you want, what you want, and how you want it! <3(MalexFemale, MalexMale, FemalexFemale)
*Don’t own the gif yo*
“Jagi, please, I have to get to work soon-“
Seungri pleaded with you as your butt sat squarely in his lap, your hands
trailing up and down his torso, unbuttoning his shirt. You pressed your mouth
to the hot skin of his collar bone and felt his chest rising and falling
rapidly. Even though he had begged you to stop only a moment ago, his fingers
had a bruising grip on your thighs.
don’t really want me to stop, do you, baby?” You purred into his ear just as
you shifted on his crotch, feeling the telltale bulge underneath you. He stiffened
for a second before giving a shaky reply.
grinned madly, grinding down harder onto him. His hands snapped up and took
your face, bringing it to his in a sloppy kiss. He pulled away after a minute,
his cheeks flushed, piercing you with dark eyes.
know if we’re gonna have time for much, though, Jagi.” His voice was so husky
with lust it made you shake. That voice alone could wreck you.
ok. I’ll just take care of you now Ri, and you can take care of me later.” Your
voice was breathy and light as you lowered yourself down onto the floor between
his legs. Your hands grabbed at the crotch of his pants so aggressively that it
made him jump.
You undid his pants and shimmied them, along with his boxers, down his hips and
his thighs, his hard on springing free of its confines. You didn’t waste time
as you took hold of him, already feeling him twitch in your hand. You made
direct eye contact with him as you started pumping, your other hand massaging
other places. His breathing got harder and faster as his eyes never left you,
groans and quiet grunts escaping his mouth occasionally. One of his hands
gripped your wrist, helping you to move it slightly faster as his hips bucked
up to meet you with tiny thrusts.
doing such a good job, baby, a really good job. Makin’ me feel so good…” His
voice was deeper than it ever was and you felt your own legs shake as your core
heated up and let loose a million butterflies in your stomach. You wanted badly
to touch yourself but you focused all your attention on him. You could clearly
see he was getting close and you pumped faster, squeezing a tiny bit tighter.
He let out a weak whimper as his head fell back and his free hand gripped the
couch so hard that his knuckles went white.
down, you kissed his tip and a second later he came, shooting a little bit on
your face, surprising you a bit. You grinned again as you watched him writhe
under your touch, working him through his orgasm. You let him go and rested
your hands in your lap, looking up at him with innocent doe eyes. He glanced
down at you with tired eyes, taking in how pretty you look with cum on your
worry, Jagi, just sit pretty like that until I get home tonight. I’ll take care
Centrefire four-barrelled Large Frame Holster Model Thorn patent pistol by Charles Lancaster, circa 1881
A.A.Thorn Patent oval bore single trigger four barrel pistol. The single-trigger action operates a rotating firing-pin. A side lever operates a dolls head barrel lock on the top of the frame (known as a 1st type locking latch). Plain finish with much original bluing stamped with Birmingham proof marks. The square shaped chequered walnut butt has provision for a rod butt extension and a lanyard-loop. The hinged barrels are bored with Charles Lancaster’s patent oval bores and have open-sights and a German silver foresight. The barrel cluster is fitted with a self-acting extractor star. The assembly number, 22, is stamped on the bottom of the frame.
In 1878, the firm of Charles Lancaster Gunmakers, previously run by C.W. Lancaster who died in that year, was acquired by Henry A.A. Thorn from his widow. In 1881 Thorn patented an action for two and four barrel guns, he would subsequently use this patent in the manufacture of both shotgun/rifles and pistols.
The pistols were designed to take a variety of calibres, but in the main they would be for the four barrel pistol .455 and .476 government cartridges and for the two barrel pistol the .577 short Snider or Boxer, they were also fitted with Lancaster’s oval bore rifling.
In all about 712 four barrel pistols and about 234 two barrel versions were produced between 1882 and 1897.
This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, known examples of Lancaster’s four barreled pistols.
Full sleeve. Thigh tattoo. Neck tattoo. Chest tattoo. One tattoo. A few here and there.Multiple.No tattoo. Monroe piercing. Nose piercing. Septum. Nipple piercing(s). Genital piercing(s). Industrial piercings. Earlobe piercing. Prince Albert piercing. Eyebrow piercing(s). Tongue piercing(s). Lip piercing(s). Tragus piercing. Angel bites. Labret. Stretches out ears. Navel piercing. Inverse navel piercing. Cheek piercing(s). Smiley. Nape piercing(s). No piercings.
Eyeliner. Light eyeliner. Heavy eyeliner. Cat eyes. Mascara. Fake eyelashes. Matte lipstick. Regular lipstick. Lipgloss. Chapstick. Red lips. Pink lips. Dark lips. Bronzer. Highlighter. Eyeshadow. Neutral eyeshadow. Smoky eyes. Colorful eyeshadow. Blush. Lipliner. Light contouring. Heavy contouring. Powder. Matte foundation. Shiny foundation. Concealer. Wears makeup regularly. Wears it from time to time. Never wears make-up.
Sorry that it took a while to get this done! Thank you for requesting xx
Jin: He was excited to go home, as he knew your were waiting outside so that you guys could stop by a café for your 6-month anniversary. When he finally got outside, though, he was just in time to see you punch some guy right in the face. He was stunned at first, so he didn’t do anything. But when you punched the guy again, he as snapped out of his trance and grabbed your wrist as you went in for a third. He dragged you along with him to the café without saying a word. When you had sat down at a table and ordered, he looked at you, clearly disappointed, and asked you why. When you quietly explained your past without looking at him, his expression softened. He took your hand and waited for you to meet his eyes before he spoke.
“You’ve done so well, so please don’t let this make you go back to that. Violence is never the answer, and I know that you know that, too. You know that I’m here if you need me.”
Suga: He wanted to surprise you for once, and come and pick you up at your job. But he was met by the sight of you slapping another girl, he wasn’t as happy anymore. He immediately hurried to you to drag you away from the girl. He was quiet all the way home, and looked angry. When you got home, he closed the door and dragged you along with him to sit down on the sofa. He was unnervingly calm. He looked at you, not a single emotion showing on his face.
“You should know better than to slap someone. Whatever that was about, you shouldn’t have turned to violence. I thought you knew that.” he says, clearly disappointed. When you explained how you used to be, he would nod and look a bit more like his normal self.
“Fine. But that isn’t how you are now, and I don’t want to see you hit anyone again. There’s other ways to vent if you’re angry at someone.”
J-Hope: When he saw it, he would be among the most disappointed members. He’d take you home in silence like his hyungs, but when you got home he would look more sad than anything because he thought you’d always be friendly and calm. Seeing you punch someone would make him feel like he needed to rethink everything he thought he knew about you. You would have to be the one to reassure him that it wouldn’t happen again. You told him that you were just having a really bad day, and that person just pushed you over the edge.
“If you ever feel like that, please tell me or punch a wall or something. As long as you don’t hurt another human being.”
Rap Monster: When he saw you punch that guy, he would jerk back a bit, because he never thought he’d see you do something like that. On one hand, he would find it kind of hot to see this side of you, but on the other hand he knew that he shouldn’t find it hot at all and would be slightly disappointed, too. He would walk up to you and quietly tell you that you guys needed to talk. He would have his arm around your waist and go with you to the closest café and sit down. He would look at you in silence for a while, before speaking.
“Y/N, I remember what you told me about your past and everything, and I know that sometimes it might be hard not punching some people in the face. Believe me, I really understand that. But please, think of other ways to solve it before turning to violence. It should never have to be the answer. There’s other ways to vent your anger. We could try the bedroom next time.”
Jimin: Like Hobi, he would mostly be sad. He would take you to a place where he could talk to you in peace, and feel almost a bit nervous. He didn’t think that you would ever hit him, but who knew? Maybe you were still pissed off? But when he saw the look on your face, he knew that you were more ashamed than angry. He would take your hand and stroke his thumb in circle patterns. Then he would ask what happened, as he had never seen you even close to hitting someone. When you told him about how you used to be, and how annoying the guy who you punched was, he would sigh and pull you in for a hug.
“I can see that you don’t like what you’ve done, so let’s just say that this never happened. But please, don’t harm other people, even if they’re really annoying. Come to me to vent or something instead.”
V: He would be the member to be angry with you. When he saw the first punch he would be shocked. But when you went in for the second he would snap out of it and immediately get you out of there. We all know how much he likes people, so when you felt how tightly he was holding your wrist you would know that he was not happy. At all. When you got home, he would close the door before turning to you with a serious expression and demand to know why you did it. While you explained your past, he would walk to the living room and sit down. When you were finished, he would rub his forehead and let out a frustrated sigh. Then he would look at you, not quite as angry anymore.
“Okay. I get it. You used to use a lot of violence. And I get that sometimes you might still want to do that. But you aren’t who you were, I can see that. Please don’t turn to violence again.”
Jungkook: When you punched the guy who touched your butt square in the jaw, Jungkook would cheer on you. But when you punched the guy again, and again, he would realize that you weren’t about to stop anytime soon, so he would grab your waist and actually carry you away, to make sure that you wouldn’t try to go back to the man. When he was out of sight, Jungkook would put you back down and sit you down on a bench. He would have a really serious face the whole time when he asked you about it and you told him about it.
“It would have been alright if you had just punched that guy once, but you shouldn’t continue hitting someone. I know that you do know this, so please remember that the next time.”
You’d been feeling domestic since you woke up, cleaning up the bathroom as you got ready that morning, so you decide to make lunch. You’ve got music playing so you’re not fully concentrated on the cooking, your socked feet skating across the tile as you do a clumsy dance to the song.
The song pops off and you’re going a little too hard when the slice of tomato you’d just chopped falls to the ground. Somewhere you can hear a giggle but you think nothing of it. You bend down at the waist to pick it up but as soon as you’ve touched the ground you feel someone behind you.
Before he even speaks you know it’s Jimin, recognizing the giggle you heard earlier. He grabs at your waist with his hands, the fronts of his thighs pressed to the backs of yours and his hips squared up against your butt. “Hi,” he says but keeps his hold of you light and his body is gentle against yours.
You wiggle back against him to drive him crazy and he elicits a soft moan before you straighten up. He lets you fall back against his chest and slides his arms around your waist, pushing up your shirt just a touch so his clasped hands are resting against your bare skin.
You turn your head and leave a light kiss on his jaw before pulling yourself out of his arms. “Come on, you need to get out of here before I burn the food.”
He gives you one of those smiles that’s all bedroom eyes and lip biting. You look away to compose yourself and when you turn back he’s leaning towards you, hands on either side of the kitchen counter behind you. He gives you a slow kiss, taking his time let his body fall close to yours and then pull away. It takes all your willpower and the faint smell of burning food to keep you from pulling on his shirt and dragging him back to you.
Suddenly he gives you a sweet silly smile, “I’ll be in the living room.” He turns away and you go back to the food and try to remember what it was you were cooking.
Nacht: [snaps out of weird deja vu and head butts Strabimon square in the chest]
Reflect: [Still really dizzy but coming to…] So… So fast…
[Reflectmon observed the situation. This enemy was very quick and was apparently able to track their movement if the hit Reflectmon took themself was any hint. Even if they all ran, the enemy would easily follow… Geopardmon and Flamon were in no condition to fight. Strabimon was about to join them. And Flitmon… … ?]
A Study of Psychopathy in the Heteronormative Patriarchal Occult
It all started with an Aerosmith video.
It was Midlothian, Virginia—sometime in October, 1990. I remember sitting on the couch after soccer practice. This had become a routine. MTV was constantly playing in our living room and this was when music videos had begun to achieve substantial budgets and truly lush visuals. A new medium had been born in the preceding decade and it was now hitting some aggressive stage of puberty.
Janet Jackson had blown the doors off the network with her silky black and white Rhythm Nation: 1814 epic narrative compilation. It was an event: My first sort-of girlfriend Ashley and the other ninth grade “cool girls” were mimicking Janet’s military-industrial-female-empowerment-complex choreography with an obsessive degree of worship.
I loved the Janet stuff, but it was the Aerosmith video for “Janie’s Got a Gun” that I just couldn’t stop watching. I kept waiting for MTV to replay it because our VCR didn’t yet have a record function.
The chiaroscuro, rain-drenched images felt like clips from some kind of detective crime noir movie that I had somehow missed. I thought that Aerosmith had done the theme song. I desperately wanted to see this movie in its entirety. It appeared to star Lesley Ann Warren as the mother of a sad teenage girl who had shot and killed her abusive father and gone on the run.
And then it happened: MTV finally started to caption the director’s name in the lower left corner of the screen along with the artist, song title, album and label.
That’s when I learned who David Fincher was.
I soon put the whole puzzle together: Fincher had done all of the amazing Madonna videos and the George Michael “Freedom ‘90” video with all of the gorgeous supermodels and exploding guitars.
To some degree the videos were all about sexual politics, empowerment and liberation. They had a cohesive vision and they almost entirely focused on women. They were visionary standouts from the pack with the imprint of an auteur—a word that I didn’t even know existed.
Soon after I bought a copy of the now defunct Premiere magazine at Sam Goody records and read an in-depth article about Fincher directing the troubled third chapter in the Alien franchise—the sequel to two science-fiction films that had absolutely floored me.
It all started to make sense.
It was Cancun, Mexico—some cheesy resort hotel in March, 1999. I was sitting by the pool with some USC friends. College had officially ended the year before and yet here I was, still clinging to some spring break fantasy.
Maybe not as much clinging… but hiding. I had written the script for Donnie Darko the previous summer and by December I had somehow hit the jackpot: Creative Artists Agency was representing me… and I was still a fetus.
I had been meeting all sorts of fancy industry people. They were reading my script—mostly telling me they thought it was a terrific and very ambitious writing sample—but most likely un-producible. They certainly didn’t believe that I was capable of directing it. The consensus was that it would never get made unless someone more experienced was behind the camera.
Feeling defeated, I was brainstorming some new, more “producible” script ideas—something about a genetically engineered talking cow and this big, sprawling Los Angeles crime satire. It was there by the pool in Cancun that I started reading Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick—a novel that would heavily influence my script for Southland Tales.
Feeling hung-over and exhausted from the omnipresent techno music at the pool, I grabbed my Dick novel and beach towel and went back up to the room to get some rest before another obligatory night of crusty Jell-O shots at Senor Frogs.
It was then that I first stumbled upon a USA Today paper that had been left outside the hotel room door—and the headline made things devastatingly clear:
Stanley Kubrick had died in his sleep at his London estate.
One of the world’s greatest living artists was gone and I was still lingering in some Spring Break episode of MTV’s The Grind—a dance show that had long since been cancelled.
I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to go home and get back to work.
Eyes Wide Shut was released on July 16, 1999 with much fanfare, mixed-praise and an overall sense of confused dismissal from audiences. Digitally composed figures had been unceremoniously added to the orgy sequence (after Kubrick’s death) to obscure pelvic thrusting at the request of the MPAA.
Those sick nerds had just shot up Columbine and those pelvic thrusts might have been especially dangerous. This sad act of censorship seemed to mirror the response to the film itself: truth had been obscured.
Perhaps it was there all along, but a blindfold had been placed over our eyes, just like they did to the hapless piano player, Nick Nightingale. And the wizard behind that mysterious orgy was no longer alive to enlighten us.
It is now Los Feliz, California—October 4, 2014 and I am sitting in a crowded coffee shop surrounded by hipsters. MTV is no longer playing music videos with the art form dying somewhere in the sprawling YouTube wasteland. Janet Jackson and Aerosmith have essentially retired from making new music and Nicki Minaj has the zeitgeist clenched squarely between her considerable butt cheeks with a hit song called “Anaconda”.
I hear Nicki and her Sir Mix-A-Lot samples throbbing from a passing Escalade on Hillhurst Avenue. The young blonde behind the wheel looks like a USC sorority “cool girl”. She is texting on her phone. Not one of the jaded hipsters in the coffee shop seems to care.
Things could be better in the overall cultural conversation—but, Goddamnit! There is a cause for celebration. David Fincher (famed director of Se7en, Zodiac and The Social Network) has just released a new film—and that film is called Gone Girl.
There are very few true wizards of cinema and Fincher clearly belongs on that list along with Stanley Kubrick. The release of Gone Girl feels like a welcome relief. An event long overdue—worthy of an epic three-part spoiler-filled 4741 word essay for Talkhouse Film—(God bless you if you’re still reading this).
Fincher’s 10th feature film is riveting, exquisitely crafted and spectacularly entertaining. It walks a tightrope above the trappings of various genres, rising above them all to become the most unique of cinematic experiences. It is the movie we have been waiting for—and the movie we sorely deserve.
Having read Gillian Flynn’s novel before seeing the film it became clear to me that the filmed version of Gone Girl would become—in Fincher’s deft hands—some kind of kindred spirit to the misunderstood Kubrick sexual odyssey released fifteen years ago. The blindfold is now off and the ugliness is there in plain sight.
Both Gone Girl and Eyes Wide Shut are deeply twisted, satirical and borderline maniacal erotic thrillers that seem to be made my a snickering auteur—well aware that the institution of marriage itself is being bathed in a hot dose of Tyler Durden’s corrosive lye soap from Fight Club.
Both films show broken marriages that can only be repaired by ritualistic, meticulously calculated blood sacrifices.
Both films deconstruct the patriarchal, heteronormative surface world with the introduction of a dangerous psychopath intent on preserving it.
Psychopaths—and the lesser sociopaths that fit within this diagnostic criteria—are everywhere in this world. If you don’t believe in silly things like Satan and the Occult—read up on the behavioral science of psychopathology and you will be presented with a very troubling biological manifestation of evil.
If Satan doesn’t exist—well, it really doesn’t matter because the earth has essentially been filled with his foot soldiers for thousands of years and they are more prevalent than ever. Especially in Los Angeles. These people lack empathy—as familiar media personality Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle) reminds us—in a pointed scene from Gone Girl.
They want a piece of the action, at any cost. They desperately want to be part of the 1% and they will lie, cheat, manipulate and steal their way into that exclusive mansion to which so few people have the password to gain admittance.
Pssst… the password is: Fidelio Rainbow. Come inside if you dare to explore two of the most thought provoking films about marriage ever made.
A general Internet search for Eyes Wide Shut will lead you to a vast array of zany interpretations and conspiracy theories that are worthy of their own Room 237 documentary film. There is a lot of speculation about the Illuminati and secret societies—and diving down the world-wide-rabbit hole of this film is admittedly quite fun.
A conspiratorial analysis of the Kubrick swan song will lead you to believe that perhaps the wealthy and powerful Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack) is the true psychopath whose machinations set the entire dream-like narrative into motion.
Ziegler welcomes beautiful Manhattan yuppies Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman) to his lavish Christmas party—which they seem to enjoy despite not knowing any of the people there or why they are repeatedly invited.
A bit of Internet trivia tells us that Kubrick told his co-screenwriter Frederic Raphael that he wanted Bill to be a “Harrison Ford-type” noble doctor—thus the surname Harford.
Perhaps the clueless Bill and Alice have been strategically lured to the party so that they can be manipulated into participating in a macabre sexual ritual that will unfold in the subsequent 48 hours.
While dancing in a glowing ballroom adorned—like most of this film, with a veritable rainbow of Christmas lights—Bill and Alice are immediately separated by the appearance of an old medical school colleague-turned piano player named Nick Nightingale (Todd Field). Nightingale appears to make strategic eye contact with Bill from up on stage. He looks prepared.
After a brief discussion where Nick invites Bill to a future jazz show at the Sonata Café, one of Ziegler’s foot soldiers immediately ushers the piano man away like a pawn on a chessboard.
In the next room, Alice swallows an entire glass of champagne that appears to put her into some kind of trance-like state. An older Hungarian lothario named Sandor Szavost (Sky Du Mont) suspiciously drinks from another one of Alice’s champagne glasses—without her permission—as a way of engaging her into conversation and a seductive dance.
Internet Eyes Wide Shut conspiracy theorists will tell you that the name Sandor Szavost is a reference to Anton Szandor LaVey—the notorious founder of the Church of Satan in 1966 San Francisco. Google image search this guy and you will discover he looks almost exactly like Ming the Merciless—the villain from Flash Gordon.
Meanwhile, Bill has been targeted by a pair of high fashion models who seem to be drugged-out on the same champagne high that Alice is experiencing. Their flirtatious conversation ends with them yanking him in opposing directions with a cryptic invitation for Bill to venture… “Where the rainbow ends.”
Their flirtation is immediately interrupted by yet another one of Ziegler’s henchman, and Kubrick leaves us with a lingering moment of sinister eye contact between the two fashion models. A seed has been planted.
Bill is ushered into the royal Ziegler bathroom to administer life-support to an unconscious woman named Amanda Curran (Julienne Davis). Ziegler claims that she has ingested a speedball cocktail of heroin and cocaine but there doesn’t appear to be any drug paraphernalia lying around and Kubrick presents no visual evidence that this is what actually led to her condition. Maybe it was too much champagne.
The woman is roused awake by Bill’s nurturing “good doctor” voice, and thus some sort of spiritual bond is made between him and the mysterious former beauty queen whose fate will become pivotal to his survival.
On the subsequent night, a restless Alice gazes at her reflection in the mirror and decides to roll a joint—which Kubrick photographs in a rare close-up shot—perhaps to accentuate its importance. Is what follows just a stoner’s dream? Personally, I think Kubrick had much more up his sleeve than that.
Alice begins to become combative with Bill, who immediately accuses her of having a “bad reaction” to the marijuana, although there appears to be something much more sinister and troubling beneath the surface as she relapses into that familiar champagne trance we saw at the party.
Alice begins to recount—in an almost deliberately methodical and hurtful way—a story about a chance vacation encounter with a military officer that seems to implant itself inside Bill’s subconscious like a seed of sexual jealousy.
Like clockwork, the telephone rings and Doctor Bill is sent off on his nocturnal odyssey to the end of the rainbow.
He arrives at the home of a wealthy, elderly white patient who has quietly and abruptly died in his sleep. His daughter, Marion Nathanson (Marie Richardson) makes a bizarre pass at Bill in the midst of a tearful meltdown.
Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally set to play this role but she didn’t have months to spend waiting around Pinewood studios while Kubrick meticulously re-calibrated his vision. Richardson gives a wonderful, haunted performance as a woman who seems almost possessed with the conflicting emotions of despair and sexual longing—and in this scene we get the film’s first big comedic release.
While walking down Kubrick’s dream-like Manhattan streets—re-constructed by the meticulous wizard in his adopted London—Bill is bizarrely confronted by a group of homophobic fraternity guys who nearly knock him to the ground.
Moments later, a rattled Bill is sexually targeted yet again by a woman named Domino (Vinessa Shaw), who lures him back to her apartment.
An intimate encounter with Domino is interrupted by a cell phone call from a concerned Alice. (Only later do we realize that Alice saved her husband from potentially contracting the HIV virus from the young woman, who had yet to discover her diagnosis.)
Bill then stumbles upon the Sonata Café where Nightingale gives him the password “Fidelio”—ironically the title of Beethoven’s only opera—that will successfully gain him admittance to a mysterious orgy. Conspiracy theorists will remind you that Beethoven was an instrument of mind control in A Clockwork Orange. They will also say the same about The Wizard of Oz with regard to rumors of various brainwashing techniques.
With a cape and mask costume rented to him by Mr. Milich (Rade Serbedzija), mysterious new proprietor of Rainbow Fashions—and secret promoter of child prostitution—Bill arrives at the mansion (delivered in a bright red Jeep Cherokee) where a ritualistic event is already underway.
Apparently in an early draft of the script for Eyes Wide Shut, the password was actually “Fidelio Rainbow”.
Soon after entering the mansion—curiously devoid of any Christmas lights—Bill makes eye contact with one of the dozens of Pagan-masked attendees. A close analysis concludes that it is a masked Ziegler who nods deliberately at Bill.
The orgy ceremony itself shows naked women in a ritualistic magic circle being indoctrinated by a man in a Red Cloak with an imposing staff and some kind of chained metal incense ball that emanates smoke.
A blindfolded Nightingale plays piano chords as we hear a Romanian Orthodox Divine Liturgy played backwards—courtesy of composer Jocelyn Pook.
Bill is repeatedly warned of imminent danger by a masked Amanda Curran—but has no idea that she is the woman he helped treat in Ziegler’s bathroom the previous night. Repeat viewings indicate that Amanda knows that her number has somehow been chosen and her sacrifice is imminent.
The sex that Bill witnesses is very orchestrated and choreographed like an Italian Renaissance oil painting. There are also healthy doses of homosexual behavior on display.
After his voyeuristic escapade, Bill is apprehended and then led back to Red Cloak (wonderfully played by Leon Vitali, who was Lord Bullington in Barry Lyndon and then went on to become Kubrick’s longtime assistant). His demonically masked minions are elegantly assembled in the same circular formation that indicates all attendees were expecting Doctor Bill all along. It is almost as though they needed an interloper to complete their ritual—or, perhaps, this is Bill Harford’s initiation into the secret society.
This is his test. A test to see if he can keep his Eyes Wide… well, you get it.
What follows is the pivotal event of the film, when the masked Amanda Curran offers herself up to be sacrificed in exchange for Bill’s life. She is ready to “redeem him”. The question remains—would Bill Harford have been bludgeoned to death by a mob of masked men had Amanda Curran not bravely stepped forward? Was the decision hers… and hers alone?
The scene is truly chilling—especially when Red Cloak demands that Doctor Bill remove his clothes. But then a woman bravely gives her life to redeem the man who unknowingly helped save her own life the night before.
There is an incredibly powerful scene—later in the film—when Doctor Bill goes into the morgue to stare at Amanda Curran’s dead body. He leans down—in a long, deeply uncomfortable moment as her voice echoes in his head—wanting to kiss this woman who might have performed the most altruistic act imaginable.
Why any of this is necessary—beyond Kubrick’s longtime obsession with filming Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 novella Traumnovelle (Dream Story)—remains the subject of intense debate.
Was this all a dream? Perhaps. But it is much more fun to think of Alice with her dream and Bill with his reality.
Stanley Kubrick has a long history of satirizing the patriarchal power elite with dubious portrayals of government agencies bent on achieving good old-fashioned imperialism (Paths of Glory), Armageddon (Dr. Strangelove), interstellar imperialism (2001: A Space Odyssey), psychological conditioning (A Clockwork Orange), and finally: catastrophically botched imperialism (Full Metal Jacket).
Kubrick gave us a satirical portrait of sexual obsession in Lolita, wherein two men (James Mason and Peter Sellers) corrupt and destroy the lives of two women (Shelley Winters and Sue Lyons).
With Barry Lyndon, he gave us one of the all-time great portrayals of a sociopath (played by Ryan O’Neal) who destroys everyone and everything around him in his quest to be part of the 1%.
In one of the penultimate scenes of Eyes Wide Shut, Ziegler convinces Bill—while knocking balls around an almost demonically red felt billiard table—that the whole ritualistic sacrifice was just a charade. Amanda Curran was, after all, just another doomed hooker.
Sociopaths can be very, very convincing.
Bill, the good doctor, remains unconvinced; but he is grateful and so very, very lucky—as the brazen New York Post headline tells him—to be alive.
Who knows if any of this is what Kubrick intended to say with his final film. But all of these years later, the picture seems so much clearer—like a sick joke that finally makes sense. A mission accomplished.
Perhaps the Wall Street patriarchy must make some kind of annual Christmas blood sacrifice to maintain their cult-like hegemony over women. They need an easily manipulated doctor to attend to their beta kitten sex slaves and keep them in line.
But the grand irony is that Kubrick’s final film is really the only one with a truly hopeful ending. Bill and Alice end up Christmas shopping in a fancy toy store, professing renewed love for one another and a commitment to the holy—if only fleeting—institute of marriage.
And yet—in the background of the scene—there is one last sick joke.
As Bill and Alice settle in for their final confession in an aisle filled with stuffed animals—their young daughter is seen grabbing a Barbie doll dressed in a fairy tale gown. Alice barely registers her with a detached smile, and the young girl disappears around the corner where some old, white men are lurking.
A large number of plush, stuffed lion dolls are on prominent display behind Alice.
If you re-watch Eyes Wide Shut, pause on the scene where Bill is about to pay for sex with Domino the prostitute. There, sitting on her bed, is the exact same stuffed lion doll bought from the exact same toy store.
“He who dies with the most toys, wins.”
Whomever coined this term and began printing it on t-shirts back in the Me Decade was (perhaps unknowingly) promoting—or at least endorsing—psychopathic tendencies. It is a truly Western philosophy. Some might say this is one of the primary reasons why the East hates the West. That We, as Americans, are a fundamentally materialistic culture.
Marriages are often fueled by conspicuous consumption. Gone Girl chronicles the implosion of the marriage of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). They are both smug Manhattan magazine writers—Gillian Flynn made a name for herself working at Entertainment Weekly so she knows this territory—and Amy has some particularly obnoxious parents (David Clennon and Lisa Banes) who have made a small fortune on a series of children’s books about a character named Amazing Amy.
The real Amy can never live up to her fictional counterpart. And when the recession leads to her family’s mounting debt and both spouses lose their cushy magazine jobs—followed by Nick’s mother being diagnosed with cancer—a move back to Carthage, Missouri is the only card left in the deck.
Amy immediately feels like an outcast in Missouri. Their McMansion is a prison. In the opening title sequence Fincher treats us to a quick montage of the (literally) deteriorating Middle Class—shot on location in—wait for it… actual Missouri. Homeless people roam the streets filled with foreclosed homes and sleep in an abandoned shopping mall.
Fincher has long been the master of film noir. And with Gone Girl he has made perhaps the very first Missouri Noir.
Amazing Amy is anything but “middle class” and when she discovers Nick kissing a nubile young woman named Andie (Emily Ratajkowski) outside of The Bar—a meta-named-dive pub which he owns and operates alongside his stalwart twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon)—a trigger is switched inside her psychopathic mind.
Psychopaths don’t like to be ignored. Even worse… they don’t like to be discarded.
The story—told in a structurally innovative way that gives way to delicious reveal after reveal—becomes one in which Amy’s act of revenge disappearance is slowly digested by Nick, Margo and two detectives (Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit) through a series of clues left behind on their fifth wedding anniversary.
Nick, of course, becomes the prime suspect.
The town, of course, sees the missing Amy as some kind of saint—and the arrival of the media galvanizes the community in a way that is all too real.
There is an incredibly revelatory sequence in Gone Girl where the entire town has gathered at a hotel ballroom that has been transformed into an Amazing Amy search command center. Even the mayor is there—wearing an orange vest—no doubt looking for a chance to be on camera.
A group of single and divorced-looking women—several of whom look like they might have prison pen pal boyfriends—are eyeing Nick from across the room while his mother-in-law looks on in dismay.
These women want his newfound fame. They see a mark with the potential to earn lots of money from the media exposure he is receiving. They see a fresh meal ticket.
As Nick follows a lurking Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris)—childhood friend and alleged stalker of Amy—out into the hallway, one of the Real Housewife Groupies approaches Nick and quickly manages to get herself a selfie photo with him.
The scene is stomach churning in the way Nick immediately realizes that this selfie-from-Hell was a very bad idea and asks her to delete it. She of course refuses, and the encounter immediately grows tense and hostile. She got him. The next evening the selfie is being analyzed by the sneering Ellen Abbott in front of a nationwide audience that has already begun to convict Nick based on his smiling demeanor and body language.
A large display of mancave toys are found in Margo’s shed. Golf clubs. A flatscreen television. Some ridiculous robotic dog toy that becomes a running gag. The items were purchased by Amy (under Nick’s name) in an act of brazen identity theft to further incriminate her husband and even poor Margo. Yet the irony is that Amy wants the toys back in her life more than anything. She wants to reclaim the life they had in New York.
Her exit strategy—detailed in notebooks, post-it-notes and a calendar as she remains holed up in an Ozark trailer park motel—is divided into two options.
Option #1: Kill herself and let her submerged body be the final stroke that leads to Nick’s incarceration.
Option #2: Frame Desi Collings for her kidnapping, and murder him in a staged act of “selfie” defense.
I don’t think that Option #1 was ever in the Amazing Amy playbook. And a pair of white trash grifters accelerate her decision-making process when they run off with all of her money—leaving Amy with mere pocket change for one last desperate payphone call to her old pal Desi.
This plot twist thrusts Amy into true survival mode. If she were to merely go home and confess—her reputation and life would be ruined and she would probably face some serious criminal charges for her actions—an insanity plea the only option.
Nick would divorce her and survive. This girl is done for—unless blood is spilled.
Desi Collings—like Amanda Curran in Eyes Wide Shut—is the blood sacrifice necessary to restore order after these transgressions and deliver Amy to the promise land. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is there waiting.
When Amy emerges from Desi’s car—covered in at least a gallon of his blood—only to fall into Nick’s arms in front of a throng of reporters, the film has become the most wicked of Paul Verhoeven-esque satires.
Basic Instinct is a film that comes to mind. That film was also a relentlessly trashy, borderline satirical thrill ride with an exceptionally well-structured script by Joe Esterhaz and a lush Jerry Goldsmith score.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross very much set the mesmerizing, genre-defiant tone for Gone Girl with their score—which is like a trip to the Burke Williams spa that devolves into a scary sonic acid trip with a scalpel-wielding masseuse.
Some have accused Gillian Flynn of being misogynist. This is unfair. With Amy Dunne she has created a complex, brilliant female character that just so happens to be a dangerous psychopath. To suggest that women don’t have the capacity for such degrees of psychological darkness is absurd.
Margo Dunne is the moral compass of the entire film—and in this character I think we see a portrait of Flynn herself—someone who is sickened by the evil in the world and unflinching in portraying it within her own gender.
Amazing Amy is the product—some might argue victim—of a heteronormative patriarchy. The final card in her deck is her own fertile womb: artificially inseminated with Nick’s frozen sperm. She knows that her husband is too much of a narcissist dolt to tarnish his unborn child’s life by exposing his mother’s sins.
More importantly, there is a lot of money to be made—and in the end it’s better for Nick to keep those Eyes Wide… well, you know.
The grand, hilariously sickening irony of Gone Girl is that this entire ordeal results in wealth and fame for Nick and Amy beyond their wildest dreams. Ellen Abbott and the media taketh away… and then giveth back tenfold.
In the end—Gone Girl isn’t an evisceration of marriage—it’s an evisceration of greed and narcissism as the driving motivation of psychopathy within a horrid, unholy marriage.
Welcome to the 1%, Nick and Amy. I think you’ll find yourself in some familiar company. I hear Bill and Alice Harford have finally called it quits and their Manhattan apartment is for sale.