Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- A Personal Analysis

 Entangled in the story of a relationship gone sour are ideas and possibilities that revolve around memory, melancholy and identity. Temptation and desperation both play equally important roles in the film through the personalities of Joel, Clementine, Mary, Howard, Patrick and Stan. I decided to analyze this exceptional film, through some important points that I found integral to course of the the story:

Is this memory mine? Can it really be erased?

Everybody has memories that they dislike. It is tempting to erase a memory that is detested, but does this memory belong to me and me only? Watching this film, made me realize that a memory doesn’t necessarily belong only to a single person. Characters and personalities are built on memories and so are relationships, between people, objects and places. Even if I were to erase a memory that involved another individual, the memory would still exist in the universe. It will exist in the eyes of the passer-by, with the objects that surrounded me, and with the person that was present with me. I believe that no individual holds any right to erase their memory because a memory simply belongs. Not to one person but to the entire universe. Hence, erasing just a person or a particular space won’t make much of a difference. No matter what, the person and the space will still exist and continue to be a part of the universe. Everything that we interact with will continue to exist in our lives and in our brains with respect to the other. Hence, memories cannot simply disappear.

“You’re erasing her from me…me from her.”

This is Joel’s reaction when he realizes that he no longer wants to erase Clementine from his memory. This line defines perfectly our co-existence. Who are we? What makes us? I believe that every memory is important. The way we react defines our emotional status in a particular situation. As human beings we learn a lot from experience. We educate ourselves every day with new experiences. Experiences become memories. Some experiences are worse than the others, and thinking about them makes us unhappy. We relate to emotions that we once faced and sometimes it is difficult to travel back to the present moment. As an example, if I erase a memory where I have made a terrible mistake, it will not only erase my experience but also hamper my growth. I will go back to an unevolved version of myself. Chances are that I will re-create the same, exact memory, and repeat the same, exact mistake.

So, in the film, when Joel and Clementine are shown to be carrying out the same activities as they were before their memories of each other were erased, I realized that if it wasn’t for the tapes, they would go back to reacting the same way, thus forming a cycle involving the same mistakes and problems.

-“It’s going to be gone soon. What do we do?”

– “Enjoy it”

This is one of the quotes that I felt summed up the meaning of the entire film for me. I believe that situations are inevitable, quoting from my own previously written posts “One moment we exist and in the other we don’t.” We are always in this constant struggle with time. Very often, I find myself predetermining circumstances- wanting situations to end with a result that I calculate. And more often than not, I am confronted with circumstances that I never thought of experiencing. That I never calculated. We are caught unawares. Reactions cannot be planned, feeling cannot be planned and circumstances cannot be predetermined. What is to be, will be. So why struggle when I know that it’s all going to be over soon? Let’s enjoy it. All of it.

 

 

You are you and I am me.  

The film depicts the ‘Protagonist’ and ‘Antagonist’ as a relative concept, which is an honest depiction of characters. The good and bad are always seen as relative concepts. What is wrong and what is right? This is observed through Joel and Clementine’s relationship, each blame the other for their own behavior. They love and hate certain qualities in each other. I observed that the bonds in their relationship improve when they accepted each other as two different people. It is important to make mistakes, to like and dislike. Acceptance is what dissolves the other’s antagonistic qualities. To merely exist without judging and blaming- to be.

-“But you will. Ya I know you will think of things and I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me”

-“Okay.”

-“Okay.”

 

 

10 Years from Now

(Spoken Word)

Today this broad, size 12, paintbrush helps me meet deadlines. I turn to it when I need to. I use it when I want to.

Yes,

It was special once but it is just a paintbrush now. I am growing up you see?

I use it differently to complete my work efficiently when on a time-crunch, as you clearly see I bite the tip of my brush frustrated wishing for an idea to appear magically,

AHAHA magic it seems…

I shall rephrase,

Wishing to get somewhere, to the end of this task preferably, to impress in the most conventional ways of the conventional world.

In the next ten years I will grow into a professional, loose dreams that wanted me to become a visionary. And in that way of the chosen perspective I may end up becoming a little tick in the tick tock tick tock of the mechanism of the rational world without a moment to spare on the beauty of life. The dark shadows under my eyes will begin to haunt my very existence.

So on one of those gloomy days where my ideas seemed to have been washed out of my brain, when I have nothing creative left in me, when the mechanics drive me to exhaustion. I will be forced to open the cardboard box to find,

My Paintbrush lying on a pile of cartridge sheets.

Blowing off the dust, I’ll take the paintbrush in my hands.

Hello! It says Remember me?

Uh yeah, why are you talking?

Hey! We used to talk all the time!

Yes… but I am all grown up you know?

That’s why I’m here! It’ll say to paint away all the rationalities!!

And I will sit myself down just to drift away into a childlike trace, to once again be curious and inquisitive, and to be colourful.

Ten years from now, my paintbrush will teach me how to breathe.

Escape the TICK-TOCK -TICK-TOCK,

it will teach me how to breathe.

Cleo from 5 to 7- A Review

This film opens with tarot cards, introducing the antagonist- death. The idea of death haunts Cleo (protagonist) throughout the course of this film. As Cleo sees her life coming to an end, she experiences a series of negative emotional outbursts such as anger, sorrow and depression. As the camera travels with Cleo through a period of 2 hours, it captures different parts of her day including the people that surround her and their reactions to her new-found condition- cancer. Cleo is sure about her death however, the degree of her illness is unknown. And her medical report- yet to be collected. In attempts to console herself, Cleo finds happiness in her beauty and youth. Which play an important part in the course of one’s life. Beauty directly relates to age which in turn is a factor of time.

Time throughout the film can be seen through emotion, change in Cleo’s dresses, and activities. As the movie comes to an end, Cleo’s emotion transforms into indifference. She is content, but also a little anxious. In a short confrontation with her doctor (long awaited) that lasts for less than a minute, Cleo is assured that her illness is not sever and that it can be cured within a few months. This brief moment disperses the entire emotion that exists throughout the movie. The antagonist being just a fragment of Cleo’s imagination and anxiety.

 

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge- A Review

This movie begins with the procedures of the execution of a prisoner at a bridge. A few minutes into the movie the prisoner frees himself by diving into the creek. Shots capturing insects, branches, the sky, etc. follow the opening scene. As the police finds out, gunshots are fired at him followed by a desperate attempt to get away. As he runs further away from the gunshots, the movie traces certain moments of the prisoner’s life such as his wife’s face, their home. As he approaches his wife, a gunshot is fired at him, in this instant the scene shifts back to the venue of the hanging to end in the death of the prisoner. One realises that the escape, and all the other scenes in the film were mere thoughts and memories that flashed across the prisoner’s mind seconds before he died. An exceptional work of art, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge represents time as a relative concept based on perspective and situation. Moreover, it may bring about the suspicion of time as an illusion of endless possibilities that may arrive at the time of death. Death, in the film, being definitive; inescapable.

Space. Time. Einstein.

As discussed in our first Time Seminar class, we came across the relation between space and time. I could only define time with respect to the space around me through memories, emotions and feelings. A more technical take on the connection between space and time was given by Prof. Einstein in 1905.

The Theory of Relativity is one of the most widely known and studied theories on the concepts of space and time.  The General Theory of Relativity suggests that “the laws of physics remain the same for all non-accelerating observers”, the theory also suggested that the speed of light in vacuum remains the same ignorant of the speed of the observer.

This theory works with two basic principles. The first states that in the presence of two objects its is difficult to tell which one is moving and which one is standing still. An example for this could be a plane. To the pilot sitting inside the plane, the plane seems as though he is not moving. On the other hand for a person watching from a building the plane is moving. This is why we don’t realize the movement of the Earth. We feel no acceleration. However if seen from space, the Earth is constantly moving with respect to the Sun, which then seems stationary. The second principle states that the speed of light for all observers is the same.

The following video is what I found to be a great explanation of the theory of relativity! Click here to watch the video!