This week, Anthony & David deconstruct the magnificent film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! Does it still hold up? Is it a hopeful love story or a cynical warning about toxic relationships?
Anthony: Okay, so I kind of want to start out because I think I’ve seen the film before in chunks, but this was my first true watch and, oh my gosh, I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. I was really excited for this movie because i’m a huge fan of Charlie Kaufman, but I will say it’s weirdly cold movie and, for some reason, I thought it was not gonna be a cold movie. For some reason, I thought it was this huge relationship . . . almost like a definitive love film – in a like love will succeed and conquer all feeling – and I kind of got the opposite. So I was gonna throw it your way because I know you’ve seen it multiple times and I know this is one of the earliest films that you’ve ever talked to me about and that you’ve mentioned as a huge inspiration and influence on you. So was this screening any different? What are your thoughts on the film previous and now?
David: Yeah, it was one of the first movies – you know, we talk about our film awakenings – where we were really paying attention and, for some reason, the movies sort of opened our minds to the possibilities of cinema. So I feel like this was one of those first ones I always remember . . .
Synopsis for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey) from her mind. When Joel discovers that Clementine is going to extremes to forget their relationship, he undergoes the same procedure and slowly begins to forget the woman that he loved. Directed by former music video director Michel Gondry, this is a visually arresting film that explores the intricacy of relationships and the pain of loss.