Eternal Sunshine

Happy ending?

In the Learning Assessments this week a number of students had questions about the ending of Eternal Sunshine, like: Is it a happy ending? Should it be happy ending? What do the final shots mean in terms of what we see Joel and Clementine doing and where they are doing it? What do the jump cuts (editing) mean?

Representing memory (loss)

An interesting question about Eternal Sunshine from the Learning Assessments is whether there is any significance to how the erasure or degradation of memories is shown. For example, erasure is signified in some scenes by people and objects disappearing, while in others the lights go out, and in others the setting simply dissolves, or soft focus is used to show the degradation. What do these different choices mean? Why not be visually consistent?

Notes for the re-watch of Eternal Sunshine

Here are the topics I distilled from my notes and your Post-film Writing:

  • Showing the timeline of the narrative, e..g, with Clementine's hair.
  • Visualizing the process of memory loss.
  • Placing the final scene.
  • Visual cues for “good” vs. “bad” memories.
  • Childhood memories and m-e-s.
  • How Patrick "shows up" in the story.

A "Michel Gondry film"

Unlike Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind was both written and directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine was written by Charlie Kaufman). If you were to cite differences between the films related to this difference in authorship, what would you point to?