Fifteen years ago yesterday, on July 16th, 1999, "Eyes Wide Shut" was released in theaters. It's notable for a number of reasons—the last on-screen team up of then husband-and-wife A-list duo Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, being the longest continuous film shoot in history, and being an arthouse drama with strong scenes of sexuality released in the midst of the summer season that almost earned an NC-17 rating. But more than anything else, the picture is notable for having been the final picture of one of the most acclaimed and admired filmmakers in the history of the medium, Stanley Kubrick.
Kubrick had kept the film under wraps throughout the multi-year production (it had begun shooting in November 1996), but finally screened a cut to his stars and backers Warner Bros on March 1st, 1999. Six days later, he passed away of a heart attack at the age of 70, the director sadly failing to live to see the film's release four months later.
With the film back in our thoughts thanks to that anniversary, we got to talking around the Playlist espresso machine about the last films of great filmmakers. Barring a few exception who take early retirement, like Steven Soderbergh or Alan Parker, directors tend to keep on working until they drop, which is great, but has the side effect of meaning that your swan song isn't always planned: if the unthinkable happens, or if old age catches up with you, the film you just finished can be terrific, or terrible.
So, to mark the anniversary of Kubrick's final picture, we've taken a look at the last movies from twenty-two of the greatest filmmakers in history. Were they fitting endings to glorious careers? Or ignoble ways to wrap up decades of fine work? Let us know your thoughts on the movies in the comments section, and let us know your favorite, and least favorite, swan song pictures too.( Read more...Collapse )more @ the playlist