Kinocratia: Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The picture can be divided into several parts: “loneliness”, “pain”, “hope”. The first begins with the theme of loneliness, which was so accurately transmitted by the director and masterfully embodied on the screen by cameraman Ellen Cure, who after this tape finally entered the pantheon of great masters of the camera. Frames are literally riddled with the gray, gloomy mood of the hero, whose empty look and pale haggard face appear before the viewer at the very beginning.

Frame from the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

On the calendar - February 14th. Valentine's Day, "which came up with the sellers of cards, so that people feel twice as unhappy." Lead sky and light drizzle supplement Joel's dull thoughts, he talks about himself, about his place in this meaningless world.

The original title of the film - a quote from Pope's poem "Eloise Abelard"

But suddenly for some inexplicable reason, he decides to skip work and goes to the ocean. At the station, he is noticed by an unusual girl with bright hair and begins to flirt with him. Joel continues a dismal dialogue, immersed in his thoughts, but still lets her into his imagination, continuing the ridiculous dialogue with himself. On the snow-covered beach, it appears again - from this moment the plot spiral begins to unwind in the opposite direction.


We are immersed in the memories, or rather, in the vacuum of Joel - an ordinary young man who lived in his tiny “case”, locked in himself and not letting “real life” to a cannon shot. A girl with an unusual, rather circus name Clementine first appeared in his life on the very beach "Lacuna", where they will meet again with zeroed memories. The two opposites came together without knowing it. Their union cannot be called ideal, because the lovers were tormented by misunderstanding.

Actors were allowed to improvise while filming

In the process of deleting memories, Joel's brain retransmits the heaviest of them first, as if justifying the hero who decided to get rid of the experience of unsuccessful love. But gradually, coping with traces from the past, he discovers the other side of the relationship - love that flashes in his heart, gradually dispelling darkness and emptiness in the subconscious. Like flashes, the best moments of his life, inseparably connected with Clementine, appear and disappear forever.

Frame from the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

The next part of the story is “hope”, in which the main character learns discouraging details related to the activities of the Lakuna Corporation and its individual employees. One of them, Patrick (Elijah Wood), falls in love with Clementine, who in no way can adapt to a new world after the torn page of her life.

Gondry at the side of the site tracked the image from the cameras

Patrick shamelessly uses Joel's “groundwork” and tries to appropriate his life to himself. Here comes the inspiration to the main character, and he is trying to turn back the time by running into the secret corners of his memory along with her lover, presenting to the viewer either a kid hiding under the table with his childhood fears, then a teenager who was caught by a masturbation. This interesting technique parses the psycho type of our hero on cogs, allows you to look into the essence of his problems. Clementine becomes a real conductor in the web of Joel’s fading memories and helps him escape from the soulless machine when he relives the bright moments of their life together.

Frame from the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

The whole film seems to be enclosed in frames, the main characters see nothing and no one around them. This is the real, true “here-and-now” state, being in the stream. The confusion of real time and time of memories very clearly accentuates the dual nature of cinema as a whole: on the one hand, the tendency towards conventionality and fiction, and the desire for documentalism, an attempt to "spy" reality on the other.
Quotes from the movie:
1. Here the child is so innocent, free, so clean, and then he matures, and his soul is filled with sorrow and all sorts of phobias.
2. And even after that I am sure that you will be my salvation.
3. Happiness is to reach that fine point of madness, when the line between consciousness and the real world is already erased, when you wake up and fall asleep with thoughts of It, when you want to smile and live, only remembering the smile of your own, your loved one, when you don’t need no one and nothing without It, when for every breath, every glance, every moment you are ready to give everything ... and step over this line, forever turning from He and She into We, becoming one ... This is Happiness.