Film Review: Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind

A complicated story which demands the viewer’s complete attention, the aforementioned movie revolves around Joel, a man stuck with a repetitive life until he meets the spontaneous, care-free Clementine. Their relationship soon takes an ugly turn, which is when Clementine decides to completely remove Joel from her memory, and to take revenge Joel decides to remove her from his memory as well. But the funny part here is, that we tend to remember more of the good memories than the bad ones. Joel, in mid-process decides to keep Clementine’s memory after all. He tries to save some of her memories hidden in the corners but the process was adamant. 

During the course of the film, which moves dizzyingly, forward and backward in time shows different aspects of their relationship. The movie shows the constant need of love, attention and companionship that human keeps seeking. 

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND

The film describes time as something that is varying and non linear.  The lives of the two characters, Joel and Clementine,  much like any other person revolves around the memories they form alongside other things. However, when their memories are erased, they begin to form new ones. These memories are not dissimilar to the old ones they had formed however, the time they take to form these is what truly matters if they ever are placed in similar situations.

Time for them had taken a huge jump into the future once their memories were erased. When you jump, you move forward, but, the the process in the middle is what you miss and this is what leads to forming your memories.

Their mind functions the same way, however, it is as though a part of them has instantly disappeared. This keeps growing back with time, but, it should restrict the evolution of their relationship however, it does not since in this situation it is just what they need and it turns out in their favour.

MECHANICAL REPRODUCTION

Walter Benjamin talks about how, with time and with increasing intensity, every work of art, regardless of it’s form and make, has been, is, and will be reproducible. When a man made product has to be reproduced, it is more possible to reproduce that with the same or varying form to serve the same function, but, when it comes to a work of art, the form and structure may vary, but, the artwork itself MUST be imitated precisely to perform it’s function. For example, to reproduce say, a hammer, all the craftsman would need is a a handle of a particular yet, varying length and a heavy, object, again of a particular, yet varying form, material, weight, tensile strength, and more. The fact being, that these objects can vary and hence, the form of the structure can too. However, a work of art would have to be reproduced with extreme intricacy, it’s only a matter of, how intricate? In today’s day and age, we can reproduce a work of art with more precision than we could have imagined five, ten, twenty or hundred years earlier. For me, the next step would be able to acquire texture by photography and print. the concept of 3D printers could possibly help us obtain that goal.

He also talks about how today, a work of art, in may of it’s genres, can be reproduced. In fact, in some of it’s genres like photography and phonograph records, it can be reproduced more precisely than any obtainable to a someone looking at the original artwork. He mentions how the lens has surpassed the capabilities of the eye and the recorder of the ear. This in many ways is true. However, when it comes to a work of art, it is subjective to the viewer what he thinks of it and what he can obtain from it. So while the the capabilities of the lens may have evolved to great levels, the eye has a special friend called the brain. The union of these forms the greatest function that a lens does never and may never be able to perform. This function being to enable the viewer observe and perceive what he wishes to. Every man is made and thinks differently. For example, when a given number of people are placed viewing a beautiful landscape which also in a way is art, one may choose to only look at the birds in the cerulean blue sky soaring , while, one may look at the mountains ranges meeting the cerulean blue lake and one might just sit there gazing at the whole picture. What this means is, each viewer derives something different from the work of art by perceiving different elements in differing ways. The functions in a camera will only show the viewer what could be captured in it’s physical form. He also talks about the aura around an object which again, cannot be captured. But then again, I believe the viewer forms the aura to something for himself. And this, though hard and subjective, is possible to do in certain reproductions of certain artworks.

LEARNINGS ABOUT TIME

Project 1 : The music we heard while blindfolded took us back in memory to a time and space where we experienced a sense of familiarity. That familiarity came from events that we either experienced in our minds or in reality. The haphazard lines that resulted out of the blindfolded activity was an attempt of reproducing the picture which formed in our heads while we listened to the music. Even the emotions we felt acted liked a catalyst and triggering our memories and taking us back in time. tiny cut out frames of these lines inspired our final postcards. The postcards differed from person to person but they originated from the same song. This shows the relativity of time and how it exists constantly but is felt differently by each individual.

Project 2 : In our project ‘Ulta Pulta’, we did not deal with time in a literal sense. We saw it from the lens of experiences. We magnified the nature of relativity of time, how a minute can be joyful for one person and could be regarded as sad for the other. A particular thing could benefit one person in time by creating loss for the other.  We all percieve time differently. With the use of exaggeration and humour, ‘Ulta Pulta’ portrays extreme views of two characters. One sucks melancholy out of the simplest of things and the other finds a reasons to be happy every time. For eg: The experience of swimming in the ocean could mean leaving oneself for death for one and could mean playing amidst the blue waves on a bright sunny day for the other. The experiences in time make it go fast or slow. Also sometimes we remember a particular frame of time because of the happening that occurred in the past. Its the reminiscence, memory and life experiences, incidents and events  that form a persons good time or bad time. Through Ulta pulta we tried to show how we can change a good time into bad time by being pessimistic. On the contrary we can make a bad situation better by being positive about it.

Starry Night

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Date: June 1889

Genre: Landscape; Oil on Canvas

Dimensions: 73.7 x 92.1 cm

Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York

 

This oil on canvas by post-impressionist artist, Vincent Van Gogh, is a representation of the view just before sunrise from his window with a merged in depiction of an idealized village. In it’s literal context, the painting describes Van Gogh’s perception of the space around him, which for him was fantastical, yet, physical.

 

The elements in the work of art like the sun, stars, sky and wind all exist individually and are by themselves narrating a story, but, together they describe the homogeneity of what makes the space within that time, which in this case, is dawn.

 

The minimal use of color variation and consistant brush strokes in the piece of art led me to evaluate the artwork as a whole before even observing the individual elements within the painting.

 

Time is a concept, the passage of which, is extremely subjective. Hours could pass in an instant and that same instant could stretch itself to feel like hours. The passage of time depends completely on how engaging the space is in which the time is spent.

 

The strokes in the painting, to me, are an expression of time lapses and derivatively, it’s passage. The view of the sky just before sunrise as mesmerizing as it is, is never motionless. Every second of every minute, the colors in the sky change shades as the sun rises. The variation in the colors is only a given few, but their tints and shades make the sky look complete as it continuously changes color, form and motion.

 

The painting depicts, at the same time, two states of the sky. The brush strokes make it seem motionless, yet, the passage of time is evident. It is this passage of time, within a space, that creates a memory, the memory created by Van Gogh before and during creating the Starry Night.

Cleo from 5 to 7

This movie shows us Cleo, a French singer, who is afraid of getting the result of a test from her doctor. She believes that she has cancer and will die of the disease. We follow her for two hours while she cruises through the streets of Paris. She meets a soldier who is going to the war in Algeria the next day. Finally, she meets her doctor who gives her his diagnosis.

In this movie so much happened in Cleo’s life in just two hours, it seemed like entire day of her life. Time went very slow for Cleo. Waiting for her result between 5 to 7 Cleo was very stressed. This shows us that how time goes very slow when we are tensed or stressed.

Understanding time

Each person relates with time in his/her own unique way. Through the course, I have not only looked at the theoretical or scientific aspect of time. I have tried to look at time with the context of people, memory, situations and experiences. None of these can exist independently without the interplay of time. All these, together form a person’s perception of time.The postcard assignment makes us think of time in relation to all of the above.  My memories, past experiences and people make up the postcards.

Through my project ‘Ulta Pulta’, my partner an I have attempted to express how people may perceive things differently at the same time, in the same situation. The project is an example of how a person’s perception of time is linked to their frame of mind.  In the context of the project, the back understands time to be perilous whereas the legs perceive it in the usual sense. One’s perception of time directly or indirectly affects one’s ability to stay calm, to assess a situation, and to make decisions. Time also changes the way an individual acts or reacts to a thing. The challenge isn’t in classifying time as good or bad. The challenge lies in making the most of the given time in any given circumstances.