Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Imagine a procedure whereby you could rid yourself of troubling memories.  Suppose that you could have particular people erased from your mind. This is the basis of Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where just such a procedure helps Joel, (Jim Carey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) help erase memories of each other.

The film plays out as Joel’s memories are being deleted, from the point of Joel and Clementine breaking up to when they first met. At the same time, we, the viewers, are experiencing those memories, in effect gaining understanding as Joel is losing it. We learn about Joel’s past at the same time that he is forgetting it. As we go further and more and more of his memories are deleted, Joel begins to realize that he doesn’t want to forget Clementine and so begins his desperate attempts to escape the procedure and save his memories, all whilst asleep.

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The format of the movie in non- linear.

The film ultimately arrives to the conclusion that no, having a spotless mind does not bring eternal sunshine. You may forget a past memory but you can’t forget the impulses, instincts and emotions that arose from that past incident. They are in some sense untouchable because they shape who we are. Take for example, the part involving Mary (Kirsten Dunst) discovering that she had her love affair with Dr. Mierzwaik erased. She arrives to that discovery through her love to him. The weak link in Lacuna’s process is that it successfully erases memories but can’t erase feelings.  There is no escape from the past.

After Joel and Clementine learn they’ve had their memories erased because things just didn’t work out, they somehow choose to travel that same road again anyway. I think it’s a perfect ending to a perfect film. As we’re so often told, it’s about the journey not the destination. They know what is waiting at the end of that road and they choose to walk through it anyway. The journey has been erased and therefore, they choose to re-experience it.

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So, as humans we might not have as much control as we think on which and what memories we want to relive since the trigger to those memories is not always at our behest.

Personal relation with Time

Time taken for granted and mourned when lost. 

Time and Space are woven together. When I think about time, I always think of it in a physical space whether it’s in past, present or future. According to me, time is an experience. You capture memories and moments in time. Time often makes me regret things. Time to me is like a boundary, a deadline. A constant reminder that I’m running out of time in life, or rather running towards the finish line of life.
There’s so much to do and so much to say and every time i take a nap I feel like time slips by taking away hours from my hand. As i wake up reality bites and I feel guilty about the time i wasted.
Regrets  are hidden behind the months and years that have passed stored in my memory and ticking away.
I often feel that time is moving faster when I am happy and slows down when I am sad. We can see time and hear time but we do not pay attention. I believe everything heals with time, that time’s whats needed to change things or for things to happen.
I also believe that time changes a person and person’s behavior towards people or situations. I take for things granted until mortality is in question.

Theory of Relativity and Time

Is time travel possible? Could we sometime change the course of the present and future by modifying occasions previously? Most likely not, despite the fact that numerous motion pictures and books have recommended some shrewd strategies.

That being said, one of the greatest theories ever conceived was the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein. One of its basic assertions being that time passage is not absolute. In other words, in certain situations, time passage of an object can be slowed down relative to other objects.

We tend to think of time as a linear voyage from the past to the present and on to the future, each second ticking by at even intervals. While we talk about events that occurred millions and even billions of years ago, nobody can really comprehend that amount of time passage. So what if we could speed through time, perhaps only experiencing the passage of a few hours, while years pass by for the rest of the world?

All things considered, whether this is a future plausibility stays misty.  However, it has been demonstrated that when the speed of an object is increased significantly, time passage for that object actually slows down.  At the end of the day, a clock moving at a rapid will have less time go than a clock moving at a slower speed.  If an object could be accelerated to near the speed of light (about 300 million meters per second), time could be slowed down significantly.

There are two types of Relativity : General and Special 
The first is the Special Theory of Relativity, which essentially deals with the question of whether rest and motion are relative or absolute, and with the consequences of Einstein’s conjecture that they are relative.
The second is the General Theory of Relativity, which primarily applies to particles as they accelerate, particularly due to gravitation, and acts as a radical revision of Newton’s theory, predicting important new results for fast-moving and massive bodiesGeneral relativity irons out this paradox, for it shows that objects continue to move in a straight line in space-time, but we observe the motion as acceleration because of the curved nature of space-time.

An occurance at Owl Creek Bridge

The concept of time and mind is inseparable. In fact, time is said to be an illusion created by human mind , which means that it is not merely something that can be measured in one unit.
French philosopher Henri Bergson specifically used the term ‘psychological time’ to refer the time system of human mind. However, it is not a different kind of time, but simply a different way of perceiving time. Psychological time, because of its fluid and subjective nature, can be quite challenging to be translated into literary works.
However , the film “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, by Ambrose Bierce is a perfect example of how psychological time is being translated into literary work. He explores the concept of psychological time through the ‘near-death’ experience of the protagonist, Peyton Farquhar, It is the story of Peyton Farquhar, who is a southern farmer about to be hanged for trying to destroy a union army bridge. The story itself centers on an alternate reality that Farquhar creates in his mind, while he’s really hanging, with no heartbeat, just activity in his brain. The idea is that Farquhar creates an escape in his mind, seconds before he is actually dead. This is a perfect example pf ‘cinematic time’. Those few seconds before he is actually dead, projects his entire escape which he imagined in his mind.

Despite Farquhar’s manipulation of time, however, he cannot escape reality. Whether he lives a few moments or days longer, death ultimately claims him. Attempting to curve time to his own particular will is to no end.
It depicts the thought of time. Time is fluid in the story. At the point when certain things are going on, time races along rapidly, and in others, time moves slowly. Looking at how a man handles the progression of time and how it is experienced relies on upon what the individual is experiencing.

Reality and illusion operate side by side in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” until the end of the story, we aren’t mindful of any division between them—Farquhar’s deception/illusion is, for us as pursuers, reality.

P.S- (WARNING! ) The movie will take you by surprise. But it’s a MUST watch. 🙂