Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind

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  • Publicado : 5 de junio de 2011
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Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind

“ I ditched work today; took a train out to Montauk, I don’t know why I’m not a impulsive person” thinks Joel. He goes to the beach and hopes he can meet someone new. Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind is the story of a tragic love affair, where the forgetfulness became the heroin’s only contort (Pope, A.). Launched in 2004, the film written by CharlieKaufman and directed by Michael Gondry is one of the most amazing romantic- drama and creative films of all times. There are innumerable love stories on the big screen and countless of classic Hollywood narrative structures of Equilibrium – Disruption - Return to equilibrium but unlike many films this is a non-linear narrative.

Eternal sunshine starts out with Joel (Jim Carrey) waking up feelingconfused and as he says just “ thinking random thoughts”. He decides to avoid work and go to Montauk where he meets Clementine (Kate Winslet) apparently for first time but little do they know and so do the viewers at that point. As soon as they meet there is an instant connection, a very strong bound that seems familiar but inexplicable. The film’s main story is about the love of Joel andClementine; how it came and went and how as they brake up Clementine who is impulsive and very emotionally unstable, seeks the help of “Lacuna INC” to erase the memories of Joel. This is the analysis of eternal sunshine of a spotless mind in terms of narrative and genre basing and supporting the arguments with examples and valid theory. Welcome to the most surreal film of all, I do not promise this to bethe easiest analysis to understand since this is not most conventional film.

Nonlinear narrative structure films challenges every rule known of story -making and plot construction. It tears apart any guidelines a movie should have to complete a chronological order from the first scene to the climax. This type of film takes the characters in this case Joel and Clementine, complicates the eventsand circumstances and re-orders time, consequently re-arranging the chain of events, making the story much more captivating for the viewers (Dancyger and Rush, 2007). In Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind the challenge is that we have the movie segmented in two time-spaces. The first time-space is the night that Joel is having his memory erased. At that point, two of the technicians are at hishouse; Patrick and Stan in addition to Mary who is the receptionist of the clinic. The second time-space is his memory and flashbacks. The complication or event that motivated the chain of events is initially Clementine erasing Joel out of her memory, however that bit is not shown in the film.

Viewers comprehend films by cause-and-effect connections between the scenes. Each beat of informationmust relate to what comes before and after, even if a scene transcends the chronological order of time. In nonlinear films, relationships created between the various time segments form a specific meaning when taken all together (Cowgill, 2010). Also, they use a specific action to frame the plot creating a sequence in the structure; consequently setting up a context in which to tell the story(Bordwell 1988) .For instance, while his memories are going backwards from the last he spend with her to the happiest days of the relationship; he realizes that he is in his mind and can hear what is going on at his house. Therefore the scenes we see in the film intercept from what he sees in his head to what Stan and Patrick are doing at his house. These scenes are smartly related to the specificmemory he is going trough. When faced with flashbacks we infer the order of the story events from the plot and we rearrange events chronologically. Flashbacks move from present to past so that events relate to each other but is not until the end when we find out what the time of the film is.

In most films the actions of the main character, such us, trying to achieve a goal, provides the...
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