Loungers' Monday: A great film

Today I’m going to talk about a film I recently rediscovered and which with each viewing leaves a lasting impression of sadness, nostalgia and yet happiness : Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

When it 1st came out in 2004 I had 3 good reasons not to see it and one excellent one to see the movie:

1) Directed by Michel Gondry, a video clip wiz kid (he’s behind some of Bjork’s most creative clips) but the problem with movie directors who started with musical videos is that they’re excellent with aesthetics but what can be fantastic on a 3 min clip becomes outright aseptic in a 1.30 hour film

2) Male star: Jim Carrey, Mr. elastic face and of the Mask, Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber fame…do I need to say more?

3) Female star: Kate Winslet, I had seen her run around on the Titanic for hours and wasn’t ready to see more of her…

4) The title: Probably the best title of any film! A quote taken from "Eloisa to Abelard”

The script is from Charlie Kaufman to whom we owe marvels such as Being John Malkovitch and Adaptation. It’s the story of Joel and Clementine who have a love affair but a couple of years down the line they break up. Joel decides to make up but when he goes to see Clementine he discovers – horror stricken – that she has literally erased him from her mind (a special laboratory having set up a system where a person can choose to have specific memories erased). 

Joel in turn is so devastated that he decides that the only way he can keep his mental health would be to have his memories of Clementine erased. During the process Joel discovers his memories of Clementine are being erased in reverse order, and as he experiences the earlier, happier times with her, he becomes aware that he wants to stop the procedure and keep the memories, and begins to fight the mind wipe by trying to hide Clementine in deep memories of his mind. 

It is a love story but not like any other love story. Carrey (with restraint) and Winslet (with giddy energy) definitely know how to act (just check Winslet’s performance in this year’s The Reader and Revolutionary Road) and Gondry is not a director but a magician. He definitely has a universe of his own which he has injected into his film made of childish naivety and a touch of non sense. The film is profound, subtle, tender and thought provoking: the antithesis of the typical romantic Hollywood films we have been fed! 

I'll sign off with a quote from  Pope's "Eloisa to Abelard” :

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! 
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! 
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.

Loungers' Monday: A great film
Carrey is a Canadian Treasure! (nt)
04/27/2009 - 18:23
Seen it, been there - one hell of a movie and experience! (nt)
04/27/2009 - 18:39
in the same year, " if u believe in love at first sight....take a ....
04/27/2009 - 18:40
closer look" . yes, these are the 2 great movie about love in 2004. enjoyed them.
+1, it is A "SUPER" (& so rare) great film (nt)
04/27/2009 - 19:46
Last time I was on a movie, was when they showed
04/27/2009 - 20:01
Top Gun! It must have been over 20 years since it had premiere 1986 I never been any movie enthusiast, I prefer to watch them at home. On the other hand I think my wife go to the movie at least once a month, that's what she says I prefer a good book. I 'saved' myself for P.G. Wodehouse until I believe I have the English knowledge, both of the language and the culture. They are easy to buy translated to Swedish, and as matter of fact even cheaper, but I wanted the genuine product. OK, it had to be pockets because the old ones are a fortune per book. Read this one the 19th of February and was hooked After enjoying it enormously and saw that it was written 1923, and that it was book number two in the serie of Jeeves, I had to get the first from 1919! Now when I have read 31 books + one biography by Jasen,  I have only 5 unread + one more biography by Donaldson, left in my library, I better order some more.. Plum, as he was called, lived between 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975, and thus became 93 years old. He wrote to the end!  The last 20 years he wrote one book each year, plus other things!  There are 96 known books by him! The last one, "Sunset at Blandings", was edited postumt 1977. Everything takes place about the time around 1920's and 30's and mostly the same people,  but that are an enormous gallery Beautiful English language, it's unbelievable that he could produce so much on that level! I'm glad there are still about 60 books more for me to read so this shelf will be followed a meter or so He also played golf....I know he started later than I did (my first time),  but on the other hand he didn't have a break of 38 years Wodehouse was also a playwright and lyricist who was part author and writer of 15 plays and of 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies. Love him Doc
Re: Jeeves and Wooster
04/27/2009 - 21:58
Doc, There are several series of Wodehouse videos produced in the 90's by British Independent Television Enterprises featuring Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster.  They very amusing and well constructed from a cinematic point of view.  I reccomend them. Robert
Thanks Robert,
04/27/2009 - 23:08
I heard of them and as you say, they shall be extremely good! I'll probably get them in some time, now that I read all the books about them! Same as I did with Agatha Christie's Poirot, in David Suchet's shape. To me he really IS Poirot But the worst thing is to see the pictured version before reading a book, because when you read the book your own imagination is erased! Take care and thanks for the tip Doc
Some help with Wodehouse
04/30/2009 - 09:56
Doc, I share your passion for Wodehouse's work and believe that after considerable effort I have finally acquired all of his full-length books. It took some doing because many of the books had different titles in the English and American editions. There is nothing more annoying than spending a fortune on a book to discover that one already owned it under another title. This raises two points that might be helpful to you: (1) If you would like, I will share with you my titles list (which includes analysis of English and American titles). I must warn you, though, that the rarest of Wodehouse's books are also the worst, as the good ones were reprinted enough that they are not rare. (2) For really obscure titles, you should check out the Gutenberg Project. They have many of the most obscure Wodehouse books available for free download.
Thanks very much,
05/01/2009 - 00:52
but I have at last found the complete list with both UK and USA editions, also which years. As I wrote, I beliebed it would be possible to get 1 st ed, since he always has been so popular, but it's nearly VC prices But they are marvellous and I guess they will be double as good, when you re read them Cheers and, sorry, & of course, thanks Doc
Re: Loungers' Monday: A great film
04/28/2009 - 13:17
I went to see it when it came out exactly for the same reasons you did ! And I loved it. Such a beautiful story, subtle acting and a dreamlike movie, really. From then on, I thing I have seen all Gondry's pictures and if you are a movie lover (sorry Doc), maybe you saw the one that came out last year : "Be Kind, Rewind". It's just a goofy, funny, witty movie with Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover (and Mia Farrow). The story is basically that one day, the character played by Jack Black after spending a night at the nearby power station (don't ask why, you have to see the movie) ends up "magnetic" and erases by accident all the movie tapes (yes... tapes!) of the video store where his friend works. They then embark on a lovely adventure trying to "redo" the movies themselves (and save the store) using what they can find for the special effects (the first film being Ghostbusters, just outright hilarious). This is the basis of the movie but it's much more a story about home, neighbours, community life and friendship.
I loved that movie! (nt)
04/29/2009 - 12:08
You Mentioned Revolutionary Road..an aside
04/28/2009 - 22:19
The movies was shot in my town and the store in the seen  on this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_hintsa/1042877723/  the Spic and Span Market is owned my friend Greory Peck, no relation to the actor. The town was chosen since it really is a throwback to the 50's and until recently had an old fashioed hardware store-wooden floors and bins with nuts, screws etc. There is still an old style barbershop and pharmacy. While several people were "star gazing" during the shooting of these scenes the real stars to me were the 20+ cars from the 40's and 50's.  Regards, Ray