Favorites Revisited #1: ‘Eternal’ Dream Film

After a 4 AM conversation with friends about the creepiness and wonder of dreams, I’ve been thinking about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind all day.

Though Gondry’s masterpiece (yes, I’m saying that) is not about dreams – but rather, memory – it’s a very dream-like film. I also have to credit Charlie Kaufman, of course. Those impeccably erratic flashbacks are worthy of envy…and ultimately frustration, as one attempts to accomplish a similar thing in one’s own script and can’t seem to find the same success (Ahem.)

Regardless of how the film might seem over-enthused by now (but definitely not overrated), I have to say that if you haven’t seen it – you need to. But chances are, you have seen it. In that case, I think you should watch it again. Seriously, you’ll love it even more each time.

For me, there are a few scenes that really get me whenever I watch it. Scenes that don’t seem as important or as powerful to anyone else. Like when Joel (Jim Carrey) forces his memory back to his childhood on a rainy day. His adult world and his childhood collide in one instant, and it starts pouring rain in their living room. Cue the Jon Brion piano music and I’m overwhelmed with emotion in an instant. I can’t place why, exactly, but it’s kind of like the strangeness of dreams. Like the feeling that you’ve had this dream before but you don’t remember actually having it. Or the way you know a person in your dream even though they look completely different or have no distinguishable face at all. It’s that kind of a feeling with Eternal Sunshine. An unexplainable dream-like connection. Gondry and Kaufman – how did you ever pull it off?

One thought on “Favorites Revisited #1: ‘Eternal’ Dream Film

  1. I completely agree with you about the envy you feel watching it. I am attempting to write dreams at the moment in novel form, and have deleted many paragraphs that are not up to par in the process. And I’ve almost given up on it.

    And also, Eternal Sunshine was probably one of the best scripts I’ve ever read, and one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. The scene you’re talking about always gets me, too.

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