Monday, March 22, 2004

On Spotless Mind and 815.9 Miles

Eternal Sunshine is memorable, worthwhile, interesting.  I made the mistake of reading a review before seeing it; the review warned me that I wouldn't like the ending.  Why?  Still don't know.  Whatever the case, you might enjoy the movie more if you don't read much about it or over-study it, like I did. It's okay to stop reading this entry if you haven't seen the movie yet.

Reasons for disappointment: 1. instances of comedic, face-making Jim Carrey (esp. as an adult in the smallish body under table, bathing in the sink.  Two or three scenes cheapened the movie's smarts, interjected tee-hee breaks like commercial interruptions for popular Carrey unbefitting his character, Joel.  2.  The broken chronology depended on the recoloring of Winslet's hair for sequencing.  So that seemed more a feature of the film's need for easy reconstruction than a convincing side of  Clementine's person.  3.  Slippery logic.  Where was the place Joel saw himself strapped in the clinic's chair?  Was that a real place or a remembered place?  Why, then, did they end up in his apartment to complete the erasure?  Is the in-office scan preliminary?  There was, after all, an older woman being scanned (tearing up, remember?) when Carrey visited the clinic the second time.

Reasons to see it: 1.  Provocative premise on social memory, the value of forgetting, the role of language in recollection and recognition.  It made me want to go back and listen to Schooler and Gopnik's talks (which are built into the disability studies sequence of the online curriculum I put together for EN106). 2.  Sassy Kate Winslet in an orange sweatshirt frolicking on a snowy Long Island beach with Carrey's character. 3.  Cool special effects: the crumbling house, putty-melt faces, textless gloss of human memory whilst erasing. 

So, I would recommend it, lumping it with only slight criticism in the same category as Kaufman's more impressive (IMHO) Being John Malkovich and, for its make-ya-think chrono-flux, Inarritu's Amores Perros.

3:39 p.m. | Addendum from Steve Johnson and Slate: The Science of Eternal Sunshine


I'm anguishing over the probability that I won't be making the trip to San Anton for C's this week.  I want to make it, but what was a planned carpool of three is now, well, just me. I have a rooming option and a cheap car reserved for rental if I want it tomorrow night, but I have to decide tonight.  The eleven-hour drive by myself and the promise of dropping $400+ (proceeding unfunded because I don't have anything required of me at the conference)--these factors are leaving me reluctant.  As badly as I want to catch some of the panels, mingle with friends, lunch and dine with people I haven't seen for months (some, years), meet the bloggers on Wednesday night and so on, I'm doubting that I can pull it off. 

Bookmark and Share Posted by at March 22, 2004 2:58 PM to Unspecified