Friday 18 April 2008

Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind

I am in a partuclarly depressive mood today for some reason, i re-watched this film and remembered how much i love it. There are a number of ITLAD-ian themes to enjoy if you havn't seen this masterpiece, make sure you do.

Blessed are the forgetful for they get the better even of their blunders - Frederich Nietzsche

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet give their best performances to date in this beautiful story of a couple and their history. Depending on your criteria for what makes a good movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind could easily be argued as the best film of the past twenty or thirty years. Charlie Kaufman has written a screenplay that connects with memories you didn't even realised you had. Jim Carrey (Joel) has shed his cartoon character style persona and can act as well if not better than any of his peers. Kate Winslet (Clementine) has the versatility of any Oscar winning actress and has shown this to be true time and time again. All of these talented individuals combine for one of the greatest films you are likely to ever have the pleasure of watching. We all have memories, we all have dreams, we all have weird moments that defy explanation. No film has ever displayed these indescribable moments of lucid dreaming and the beautiful world of the mind in such a poetic manner. The movie defies words yet you get the feeling this is exactly what Kaufman had in his head while he was writing it.

Joel discovers that his ex girlfriend Clementine has undergone a procedure to have all memories of him erased, in a spiteful reaction to this he seeks to have the same procedure but changes his mind during the procedure while he's asleep. Trapped inside his mind, he must hide her in non related memories in order to evade the complete deletion of her memory. Due to the nature of the story, it is, at times, extremely sad. Like all great romances though, the couple defeat the odds and without knowledge are brought back together by an unknown force, a force some would define as fate, others, true love. The story may be surreal but the relationship between these two opposites is far more accurate that that of many others portrayed in film. When Elijah Wood's character Patrick tries to replicate a memory for the purpose of winning Clementine's heart, she becomes unnerved feeling that something isn't right. This goes to the very nature of life, our memories are our memories, they cannot be replicated, they cannot be substituted and more importantly they cannot be replaced.

The scene in which the final memory of the couple is being erased is one of the most saddest and surreal i have seen in any film. Ever had a dream about a dream? Ever woke up from a dream and realised you were still dreaming? If this kind of thing fascinates you, you may find this film to be the best film you've ever seen. You could compare it with Mullholland drive except it has much more of a concrete storyline, the dream sequences however, are equally impressive. Co Starring Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson, this movie does more than simply offer something different, it makes us appreciate the beauty of memories, dreams and that which we have experienced. The strength of this film is not in the message, instead it's the way the message is delivered. Movies are all about the art of story telling and Charlie Kaufman can indeed tell a bizarre story and make it seem so familiar. The story is non-linear, this can be dangerous in the wrong hands, but because it is done so well it adds to the story beautifully The soundtrack plays a huge role in helping to create the right atmosphere for particular scenes, this film more than others, benefits from music as it transcends the bridge between dreams and reality. Romance is simultaneously a sad , beautiful and painful thing. All of the bad memories in our life are necessary signposts on the way to our happier times and they cannot be skipped, life is a journey and a short cut can leave us more lost than we ever imagined.

No moaning Karl, i know you've seen this one...


Karl Le Marcs said...

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.
- Eloisa To Abelard (Alexander Pope)

Not to be confused with Pope Alexander, obviously !!

Anthony Peake said...

HB: I totally agree. This movie is fantastic. It makes you think, laugh and cry. I was amazed at how well Jim Carrey played the role. In my opinion Carrey may have itladian leanings in that "The Truman Show" suggested the Bohmian IMAX.
KARL: I hope that the fate of the author of ITLAD is not the same as poor old Abelard. As for Pope Alexander do you remember the
1980's TV series "The Borgias"? Fantastic television!! As I recall Anne-Marie Lambert was in this. She appeared in anpther classically itladian movie, "Picnic At Hanging Rock".

It all links like Bohm's Implicate Order does it not?

Karl Le Marcs said...

I agree re Jim Carrey, two of his very best performances in 'Sunshine' and 'Truman'
*hurridly brushes 'Bruce Almighty' under the oversized hand woven rug with strangely erotic imagery*

And one hopes for no such a fate as Abalard's on anyone, remember the words of our Mother's "Don't run with scissors"!!
*giggle and painful grimace at same time, doing that comedic male legs crossing gesture thingy*
And I DO very well remember The Borgias, terrific programme, and I Clavdivs (as Terry Wogan called it!!!)
Derek Jacobi was in that, and he was also My Pye which is what the front cover of your new book reminds me of!! And Mr Pye was written by Mervyn Peake GOOD LORDYLORDY !!
Ah the circular nature of thought eh, Implicate Order indeed.

ra from ca said...


This is definitely one of my favourite movies, and one of my favourite reviews.

This movie proved our (puffed up Canadian response due to National inferiority complex) boy can act!! We always thought he was hilarious.

Hurlyburly said...

Jim Carey - Trueman Show
- The Majestic
- Man on the Moon

I could go on. He can indeed act, better than most give him credit for. He also play wiploc in that classic "Earth girls are easy" !!!

Karl Le Marcs said...

"Man On The Moon"
Ah! Andy Kaufman, now there was another genius, miles ahead of everyone else and ahead of his time.