June 11, 2004

The Treasure and Guardian of All Things*


"Memory always obeys the commands of the heart." Antoine Rivarol

This evening I saw 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. It was great. Jim Carrey has totally won me over. Seeing him in 'The Truman Show' did a lot to redeem such appearances as 'Liar Liar', 'Ace Ventura' and 'Dumb and Dumber', and recently I saw 'Man on the Moon' which I really liked. But the role of Joel Barish in 'Eternal Sunshine' is the best so far. Kate Winslet does superbly too. Charlie Kaufman has outdone himself with this screenplay, and I didn't think that 'Being John Malkovich' could be topped! Going by the cool factor of his music videos (eg. the White Stripes - my fave song), director Michel Gondry (interview here also features Charlie Kaufman) is an excellent collaborator.

It looks at the idea of memory erasure, and whether it's better to keep hold of memories that cause us pain but ultimately enrich our experience. It's named after a poem by Alexander Pope:

'How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.'
What a line. It's beautiful and inspiring. I'm not going to talk about the movie any more because it's one that should be viewed without preconceptions. Also, it's late and I'm not up to intelligent analysis. But I do want to say that the film really appealed to me as a romantic. All I can do is say 'Awwww'.

I took a quiz to see if I would benefit from memory erasure. Apparently I'm a prime candidate. I gotta say though how can you have testimonials to a procedure that by definition erases memory of its occurrence? On the movie's official site, I made it though the memory match game, and it played a weird trailer/music video... I guess there had to be some kind of reward - but it was pretty strange, all cgi-ed mouths. Check it out.

My flatmate Nick is entering the 48 hours movie contest. He's the editor. The creative minds are busy writing the story and script tonight, they'll film tomorrow, and he will do the editing tomorrow night. We talked this evening about what makes a good movie. "A beginning, a middle and an end," said Nick. "Conflict and resolution," said Amelia. Off on a tangent, I contributed, "It's got to end with a hug and a lecture." Gah, to think that 'Full House' has me brainwashed to this day.

*Marcus Tullius Cicero

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6 Comments:

Blogger noizy said...

how did Nick's 48 hours project work out? I had my noizyboy music compilation pilfered by my mates as a soundtrack to their effort, which was most gratifying. I got to see the final cut of their efforts last night at a screening for cast and crew, and it was excellent - amazing what you can pull out of the hat in a couple of days. As I said to one of the guys there, we should do away with the whole 'time makes all the difference' concept, and just give ourselves crazy deadlines from the word go - looming deadlines are great for focussing the mind.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Michel Gondry did that cool knitting video for Steriogram -only cost $450,000! (or the same amount NZ on Air spend on music video grants in a year)
Aint it odd that Steriogram still get NZ on Air money when their record company can clearly afford to spend a decent sum on them?

11:24 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

James: All I got out of Nick was that he was exhausted. I hope to see the result at the screenings, although I haven't found much info on them at the 48 hours site.

Peter: nzonair + major label support - I hear you. I hit up Brendan Smyth about that very issue a while back, and he gave me a coherent and reasoned answer but damned if I can repeat it for you. Helpful, huh.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

I was thinking that with selective erasure, you really could have eternal sunshine. Have a blow up with your partner? Instead of going to therapy for the rest of your lives, just go and fine tune your memories, to get rid of the particular ones giving grief. Instant answer for perfect relationships, as you always skim back to the last memory where things were hunky dory and move on from there again.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Surely that would mean you'd always make the same mistakes, even if you weren't aware of it - bound to drive those around you mad!
Actually I tend to always make the same mistakes anyway.

5:38 AM  

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