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Kidman unrobed in Kubrick's final legacy

STANLEY KUBRICK, who died last week, was considered to be the most radical of directors. But even he, it seems, could not change some cinematic traditions.

A trailer from his final film, Eyes Wide Shut, shown yesterday amid fevered publicity at a US film trade show in Las Vegas, features Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in a passionate encounter. Miss Kidman is entirely naked except for her earrings. Mr Cruise is naked from the waist up.

The 90-second clip was personally chosen to be the first preview of his film by Kubrick, who died at his home in Hertfordshire last Sunday aged 70.

Even before Kubrick's death there was huge interest in his latest film, his first since 1987's Full Metal Jacket. Eyes Wide Shut was filmed under conditions of total secrecy.

Nicole Kidman has merely made the comment that the director insisted on dealing with her and Tom Cruise (her husband both in the film and in life) separately.

She added cryptically: "When you see the film you will see why."

The clip begins with Kidman standing in front of a mirror, taking off her earrings. Cruise approaches her from the side, kissing and caressing her while a blues soundtrack plays. Warner Brothers chairman Terry Semel described the clip as "short and provocative."

After the clip was shown at the trade convention in the USA there was a brief moment of silence before the 3,000 strong audience, composed largely of cinema operators, burst into applause.

It emerged yesterday that there was a special screening of the whole film last week with Cruise and Kidman in New York, which Mr Semel attended. Even though his studio had funded the movie, it was the first time he had seen it. So concerned was Kubrick about secrecy that he reportedly insisted that the projectionist turn his back during the screening.

Filming of Eyes Wide Shut took 15 months. While very little is known about it, it is believed to be a sexual thriller in which Cruise and Kidman play psychiatrists married to each other, loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Dream Story.

The film is scheduled to open in America in July, prior to its UK premiere. Mr Semel predicted it would receive an adults only `R' rating.