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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind::UpdatedThoughts

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by CIPHER_one, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. CIPHER_one

    CIPHER_one Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 3, 2000 Messages: 2,300 Likes Received: 0
    I just bought the DVD. I also saw it in the theater. I definitely enjoyed it, and i think it's clearly a very unique film. But...something about it didn't do it for me. I didn't leave the theater feeling floored.

    There are things that i can point out that bothered me (Kate Winslett's character, some dialogue...) but it's more of a general thing that left me unsatisfied, not so much a specific aspect.

    I wouldn't say the movie was over-hyped...and I wouldn't say it was all style no substance, but it was in the same vein, I suppose.

    Anyone have similar thoughts?
  2. 26SidedCube

    26SidedCube Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 18, 2003 Messages: 6,590 Likes Received: 10
    Amen to that. I expected a whole lot more of a wow-factor from this movie...

    But in the long run.. it was just a love story.

    KING BLING Guest

    In the long run, they're all love stories...
  4. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15

    I saw this movie at my work about 5 or 6 times, enjoyed it quite a bit. I have two theories about the ending.

    One is that when Joel and Clementine are talking in the hallway at the end just before the running through the snow scene, the way they say their lines and how they just laugh at each other in the end rather than hugging or kissing or agreeing to start over implies that they both know that starting again would not work or they just cannot bring themselves to do it. The temptation to believe they are going to get back together is not as strong after watching this scene about a dozen times (I would walk in during the end of the film just to see that part), even when it's reinforced by the image of them running in the snow on Moantauk Beach on a loop. The other theory that I do not really buy is that they decide to get back together again and wind up repeating the same mistakes and getting their memory wiped each time, and yet still have their moments on the beach throughout each relationship.

    I think that the loop of the beach at the end is more metaphorical than literal. That scene may the writer/director's way of driving home the importance of memory, as if they are saying "this is a memory of the two that they will never have again, and it is their loss and fault for having that memory taken from them." This ends the film on a depressing note if you choose to see it this way and since you spend most of the film rooting for Joel to combat the memory loss process and get back together with Clementine, it can be hard to accept that reality that they are in fact a tragically failed relationship.

    About everyone that I've talked to about the end of this film seem to be in the opinion that it ends happily and they get back together, or that they get back together and keep going back to get their memories wiped. If you see it that way, all I can say is to try watching the film five or six times in about three weeks, and watch the ending even more than that. Then make up your mind.

    I really did enjoy this film, it was definitly one of the best of the year.
  5. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 4
    Havent seen it..tho i want to.
  6. Drunk Sober

    Drunk Sober Member

    Joined: Nov 7, 2003 Messages: 793 Likes Received: 1
    spent all my money on beer....id rent a porno before i rent anything else though
  7. CIPHER_one

    CIPHER_one Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 3, 2000 Messages: 2,300 Likes Received: 0

    I'd have to say that they do get back together, in soem regard. They obviously realize they'll get sick of each other, but they literally say they don't care. I don't know if they would continually get their memories wiped. Since they've already gone through that once, they now realize its not worth it, and would most likely just end the relationship.

    Or, perhaps htey would bite the bullet and stay together.

    Nothing implies they will continue to get their memories wiped clean over and over again. That happened once, and they somehow fell in love all over again. I don't know if that would happen every single time.


    I agree its one of the years best, but I still feel it wasn't as astonishing as I was hoping it would be, or as others think it is.
  8. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    That's why I don't buy into the theory that they keep getting their memory wiped. I threw it out there as something someone told me as opposed to what I thought.

    In the last conversation in the hallway Joel says "I don't care.." after Clementine brings up the arguement that if they get back together again they'll get sick of each other. After Joel says this there is an awkward pause and then they both start laughing. Clementine never actually gives a verbal response, and while in most films you could say that is not important, this is a Charlie Kaufman film and I have to look that more deeply than I would most other filmmakers.

    Kaufman has made some movies that end fairly depressingly, Being John Malkovich ends with Cusack's character being trapped in the mind of his wife and mistress's adopted child unable to do anything but watch, a puppetmaster cut from the strings. Adaptation ends with one of the brothers being brutally killed in a car crash. I feel that this one, while it is somewhat left open to interpretation, ends in a failed relationship which is significant since the whole story is an attempt to revive that relationship.

    Look at the characters, for instance. Clementine always seems to be one step ahead of Joel, and while they both let their emotions rule their decisions, she seems to be quicker to make the decision, the manic to Joel's depressive. She initiates the relationship both before and after the wipe. She's the one who walks out on Joel and gets her memory wiped, and she's also the one to walk out after they get back together, right before the scene at the end. Clementine is constently the one in control of the relationship except for when the relationship sours (the scene at the restraunt for instance, where we can hear Joel's thoughts about how they are becoming like every other couple, it seems like a place Joel would go to eat, somewhat boring and stuffy, but classy).

    I think her looking down and laughing at Joel's willingness to ignore their problems and past as her saying "No, it does matter." Her character is different from most Hollywood romances where women who are "free-spirited" will decide to change for the man that they love who is slightly more down-to-earth, Clementine seems like a person who is not ready to settle down and become domesticated which is why the first relationship ended.

    The last shot of the film of the looping Mauntauk Beach signifies the end of the relationship that neither of them can even remember. The fact that it is looping shows that it is not reality, it is not happening in context to the timeline of the film. It is like a period in the film, a beautiful memory being hunted down and erased into a white flash of nothingness.

    I'm telling ya, watch the film a few times and you'll see. It was easier for me to do since I was on the clock, but the more I watched it, the more I appreciated the film and it's uniqueness. It is the anti-J-Lo-romance film.
  9. porque

    porque Senior Member

    Joined: May 5, 2002 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 0
    ...good film...the problems with it that most people point to probably arise from a slightly different vision coming from the writer, charlie kauffman, and the director, michel gondrey...thinking about each of these aspects isolated from the other they are both amazing ideas and visions...this is gondrey's first film and unless i'm wrong, this is also the first time that he has directly worked with expressing someone else's ideas...his films will probably become much more coherent and complete as his experience grows...again i must state that i do feel this was a great film...way better than most of the trash presented at the theatre...
  10. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    Gondry has actually done a couple of films and music videos before this, including a film called Human Nature which was written by Charlie Kaufman. Didn't see that one.
  11. porque

    porque Senior Member

    Joined: May 5, 2002 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 0
    ...i'm aware of that...my point is that most of the work that he did prior to this was mostly under his own control...not written by other people...he's a visual artist if you ask me, and a damn good one at that...
  12. AORAone

    AORAone Veteran Member

    Joined: Feb 7, 2003 Messages: 6,460 Likes Received: 32
    tis very true man. good job.
  13. CIPHER_one

    CIPHER_one Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 3, 2000 Messages: 2,300 Likes Received: 0

    I agree with almost all you're saying. Except, when Clem laughs at the end, I definitely do not think she is about to follow it up with "You dumb bastard. Of course it matters." I think it is more of a an agreeing laugh. Like, "This is so absurd"


    Hey dude.

    Are you saying that there was almost a miscommunication between Gondry and Kaufman, because Gondry is obviously so interested in the visuals, and Kaufman is mostly interested in the story and such?

    If so, I might agree with that. But one might argue that that creates the perfect dynamic. But i do not feel the story was lacking. I suppose maybe I felt it was a little thin. Perhaps the relationship between Clem and Joel wasn't fleshed out enough. Or, perhaps I just didn't like Clem or Joel.

    I'm just trying to figure out why I wasn't in love with the movie. Personal crisis kinda.
  14. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    I didn't mean she was going to respond with a "fuck off" statement, the characters have been through too much to get at each others throats. They both just say "OK" at the end, I take that as Joel understanding that their relationship as lovers is over. Honestly, it can be taken either way which is one of the more intriguing things about the film. I'd rather give the writer the benefit of the doubt on his ability to end the film in a non-traditional way (boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl breaks up with boy and gets memory erased, boy gets memory erased and regrets it, boy and girl do not get back together). It makes the film more human, not everything is perfect and love does not always conquer all. Maybe I'm just a pessimist?

    An interesting thing to remember when watching the film and discussing it afterwards is that the scenes of the first relationship between the two are all from Joel's memory. A person can be quite selective in what they want to remember. What we saw could have been a somewhat distorted version of events, most people cannot remember every bit of dialogue they had months ago and some of it may have been made up by Joel in an attempt to remember the general time. This may not have even been a concious thing, but some sort of memory instinct deep in his mind. His romantic moments with Clementine may have been much more subdued or even boring compared to the embelishment that memory can provide. This would be another arguement for the theory that Clementine is indeed bored of Joel on a more primal level. After all, we are only left to imagine what her erasing process was like. Did she fight it, like Joel, or did she just let it get erased? If she fought it, did she do so because she truely loved Joel, or because her nature is to regret the instinctive spur of the moment decisions she makes?

    As Kaufman moves the story along, Joel first gets upset because his memory of Clementine is being erased, and then realizes that much more importantly, these memories are part of him and thus part of him is getting erased. Perhaps, during Clementine's treatment she is more concerned about losing a part of herself then she is about losing the memory of Joel. This could be why she is drawn to Joel again, it is her subconciously trying to regain that part of herself back. This may seem selfish, but think about it from Joel's perspective where he wants her to love him again. If she does not really want Joel back, then he could be seen as the person who is selfishly blinded by love. For instance, think of a girl who broke your heart. For a long time you were unable to get over her and probably tilted the memories of your time together in your favor. Eventually (hopefully!), you realize that this girl was not "the one" and you probably would have gotten sick of her, too.
  15. porque

    porque Senior Member

    Joined: May 5, 2002 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 0
    ...cipher...yes that is what i was getting at...there just seems to be a sense of disjunctive ideas present...and i'm not saying that this is neccesarily bad, just thta this may very well be the root of some of the issues with the film...