Recent "Eternal Sunshine" News
A.V. Club and The Conversation look at Eternal Sunshine's closing scenes
I don't know what it is about March, but that's when A.V. Club's Mike D'Angelo and The Conversation's Bruce Isaacs each independently posted great analyses of Eternal Sunshine's closing scenes.
When I first pitched Scenic Routes, back in the summer of 2009, one of my big selling points was the idea’s sheer inexhaustibility. Over the past seven and a half years, I’ve analyzed 175 scenes, yet barely scratched the medium’s surface[...]
“I should finish by writing about one of the great movie endings,” I immediately thought, and just as quickly, I knew exactly which one it should be.
[...]It’s never been clear to me whether Kaufman views these two characters as admirably quixotic or ludicrously self-deluded. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Director Michel Gondry repeats the final image of Joel and Clementine running in the snow, creating a loop. (This isn’t in the screenplay, which just ends on Clementine’s “Okay”—the most baller move I’ve ever seen in script form.) That suggests an infinite repetition of the same mistakes, though the implied pessimism is offset by Beck singing “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” on the soundtrack. Regardless of what was intended, I can’t help but perceive these lovers’ renewal of vows, so to speak, as intensely romantic—and not exclusively in the lovey-dovey sense. Maybe it resonates less strongly for those who believe in an afterlife. (Source)
And here's the Isaac piece, which comes with the video posted below:
The film is about memory, desire, love and loss. In this scene, Isaacs focuses on what he calls two “cinematic gestures” in the closing sequences of the film.
The scene features Joel Barish (played by Jim Carey) and Clementine Kruczynski (brilliantly portrayed by Kate Winslet) as they realise their relationship is doomed but still worth pursuing.
It is, says Isaacs, a beautiful and deceptive sequence that includes one of Jim Carey’s finest moments on screen. (Source)
Bonus: couple of weeks ago, the Medium Jump podcast had a look at Eternal Sunshine.Add a comment
"Eternal Sunshine" recreated in Italian music video
Musician Davide Dileo (Boosta from italian band Subsonica) recreates scenes from Eternal Sunshine in this video for his song "1993."
Big thanks to Andrea, who adds: "Lyrics say: 'time changed us a little, the only thing that never change (is) the war among us'."
It's really cool.
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Adult Swim's "Dream Corp. LLC" might be the Eternal Sunshine TV series we have while we're waiting for more news of the Eternal Sunshine TV series
Adult Swim's new show Dream Corp. LLC. looks more than a little Eternal Sunshiney, judging by this trailer. I haven't seen a full episode, but the show started on October 23.
From creator Daniel Stessen and executive producers John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant, Dream Corp LLC takes place in a “neglected dream therapy institution” where “experimental researchers meddle in their patients’ dreams.”
[...] Dream Corp LLC stars Merchant, Jon Gries, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nick Rutherford, Stephanie Allynne and Stephnie Weir. (Source)
They claim to cure all sorts of medical problems—including the impotence tackled in the premiere—by sending patients into their most disturbing dreams to trace the psychological roots of these physical conditions. (Source)
Each episode is 11 minutes long and airs at 11:45 p.m. Eastern on Sundays.
Thanks to Laurel!Add a comment
The sad, Kaufman-esque irony to the ‘Eternal Sunshine’ TV series
From Flavorwire, referencing this interview with indieWIRE:
[...] Kaufman had noted how frequently his name becomes an adjective — “Kaufman-esque” — because so many lesser films seem to be inspired by his sensibilities. “Why do they get to make Charlie Kaufman movies and I don’t? I think about that all the time,” he said.
[...] It’s telling, then, that the one Kaufman project that we might see now is not even a Kaufman project at all, but rather someone else using Kaufman’s film as a vessel through which to get people interested through familiarity/nostalgia — and it all oddly speaks to the validities of the concerns about the industry, and artistry in general. It’s at once completely frustrating… yet speaks to the artistic value and weight and cyclical telepathy of his work. If you wanted proof of how prescient Charlie Kaufman’s films are, the potential of a TV-fied version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind being made — while the past decade of his new material goes largely ignored — would certainly fulfill concerns at the heart of so much of his output. (Source)
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There might be an Eternal Sunshine TV series
This news comes from Hollywood Reporter, but as we've come to learn: news of a Kaufman-related project doesn't always turn into a Thing We Mortals Will Ever See. Also: Charlie won't be involved in the TV series. So it will be somewhat ironic, and Charlie will pull his hair out, if this gets picked up.
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Anonymous Content's Steve Golin, who produced the original film, is remaking the romantic drama into a TV series with studio Universal Cable Productions attached. The project is in its early stages and has not yet been taken out. Zev Borow (Forever, Chuck) is near a deal to pen the script for the drama. UCP declined comment.
[...] Golin and Kaufman are not involved in the potential series. Anonymous Content will produce the project alongside True Detective executive producer Richard Brown.
For Anonymous Content, this becomes the company behind hits including True Detective and Mr. Robot's latest foray into TV. The production and management company also has Netflix's Brit Marling series The OA and Selena Gomez's 13 Reasons Why upcoming as well as TNT's The Alienist. (Source)
Jay Electronica's "Eternal Sunshine" remix, and Ryan Tanner's folk album inspired by Charlie's BAFTA speech
This is new to me: in 2007 Jay Electronica released Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), backed by Jon Brion's score.
Thanks to Tram for that one!
In other music news, singer-songwriter Ryan Tanner won the Grand Prize for the American Songwriter Lyric Contest back in 2010. His new album Promised Land came out last month, and American Songwriter.com says:
In the liner notes, Tanner writes that the album was inspired by a lecture that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) delivered at the British Academy of Film and Television arts in 2011. (Source)
You can read a review here.Add a comment
Fantastic "Cinephilia & Beyond" article, looking back at "Eternal Sunshine"
Feel like revisiting Eternal Sunshine? Cinephilia & Beyond takes a look back at the film, and it's a great piece with some old interview excerpts with the cast and crew, a stack of stills from the film and behind-the-scenes clips, even Leigh Singer's Eternal Sunsets video that I posted recently, and Eliot Rausch's brilliant What I Have To Offer--the short film adapted from Charlie's BAFTA lecture.
Having heard his friend complain about her boyfriend for what seemed to be a hundredth time, French artist Pierre Bismuth asked her if she would erase him from her memory if such an option was at her disposal. He soon passed this idea to his friend and filmmaker Michel Gondry, who liked the sound of it and discussed it with Charlie Kaufman, with whom he worked on Human Nature. From a simple discussion in a cafe, therefore, sprung out a film that many believe to be one of the very finest produced in this century. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a heartbreaking yet beautiful, insightful and above all hopeful movie about love, memory and loss, is literally unlike anything we’ve seen before or since. [...]
A solid box office success at the time of its release and the Academy Award champion in the Best Original Screenplay category, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a film you cannot cut out of your heart once you let it in. A monumentally important screenplay. Dear every screenwriter/filmmaker, read Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind[...]
One small thing jumped out at me, probably of interest to no one else: a snippet from an interview with the film's editor, Valdis Oskarsdottir. Years ago, someone sent me a link to a foreign-language article (Icelandic? can't remember) and they told me there was an implication in there that Oskarsdottir's experience on the film wasn't 100% fun, that there was some tension. Later, Oskarsdottir emailed me herself and said that was a poor translation. So now here's this excerpt from a different interview:
What was your dynamic in the editing room?
He isn’t the most patient man I know. He couldn’t sit still. Sometimes he’d sit on the sofa in the editing room behind my back and talk—I couldn’t hear him because I was working, and he’d get really pissed if I wouldn’t answer him. Sometimes when he was talking I’d stop and turn around and miss what he’d said, and he’d say to the producer ‘I hate it. She doesn’t answer me and then she rolls her eyes.’ And I was like, ‘How can he see that? He’s behind me!’ It took a while to explain to him that when I was working, I couldn’t hear him.
Would you work with him again?
No, I don’t think so. And I don’t think he’d ever want to work with me. (Source)
Big thanks to Cristian for the find!Add a comment
Framing "Eternal Sunshine"
On Mentorless, there's a great post about Eternal Sunshine's cinematography, featuring a ton of great stills from the film.
Ellen Kuras, an ex-sociology student turned cinematographer while working on a documentary, handled with perfection the multiple moods, from present time to flash backs, to dreams, to nightmares, to erased memories, making them all blend into one coherent story. Needless to say, production designer Dan Leigh and editor Valdis Oskarsdottir (and their teams) are equally key contributors, but Kuras managed to give life to the camera in a rarely seen way so that what we see is what the characters feel, with all the changes and variations that implies. (Source)
The article's two years old, but it's new to me. Thanks to Cristian for the find!Add a comment
BBC's "100 Greatest American Films"
Charlie finds a spot in the BBC's "100 Greatest American Films" list, according to a new poll of film critics around the world. Eternal Sunshine grabbed the #87 spot, wedged between West Side Story and The Lion King. Gone With The Wind is in #97. Here's the Top 10, and you can click through for the rest of the list:
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) (Source)
Thanks to Tim!Add a comment
8-Bit Eternal Sunshine
8-Bit Cinema have dared to tackle a Charlie Kaufman film! It's 4 minutes of rapid melancholic beauty.
I would play the hell out of that game. Thanks to Cristian for the heads up!
I have a couple other things to post, too. I'll get onto those things and those posts soonly.Add a comment
Erasing memories with light
In an ongoing effort to traumatise mice and then erase their bad memories, scientists have gone towards the light. I don't know what I'm saying. Here's Lisa Winter at IFLScience with a better explanation:
For sufferers of PTSD, bad memories can severely interrupt day-to-day life; episodic memories of specific places, people, or events can trigger insurmountable fear. Scientists though have found a way to target specific memories in mice and erase them using light, making it conceivable that conditions like PTSD might be thing of the past one day. Additionally, they proved a 40-year-old theory about how episodic memories are stored and retrieved in the brain.
While it's not likely that this will be used to create an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-like memory eraser, verifying how memories are stored and retrieved could open up possibilities for treatments for those experiencing memory loss or PTSD at some point down the road. (Source)
Thanks to Cristian for this one!Add a comment
Elijah Wood on his Eternal Sunshine experience
A.V. Club have a feature called "Random Roles," in which they "talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers." Today they're talking to Elijah Wood, and one of the films they ask about is Eternal Sunshine.
The opportunity to work with Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman was an absolute dream. It’s literally a movie that I would’ve wanted to do anything to be a part of any aspect of it. [Laughs.] I’ve always loved Kaufman’s writing, and I’ve been a major fan of Michel’s work in music videos as well as the movie he first collaborated with Charlie on, Human Nature.
I can remember specifically that there’s a sequence in the movie where Jim [Carrey] is moving from memory to memory, and he leaves a house, walks down a hall, walks into a doctor’s office, sees himself talking to the doctor, and then runs out of the office. Well, that was all one shot, and we did it—I think we did maybe 16 takes, which is actually not bad considering how complicated that was. And it was one of those moments that was a real uniter of the crew and everyone, this sense of, “We can literally watch a playback and see it all happen in camera,” and it was so extraordinary. I remember the sort of celebratory feel of everybody at having accomplished that, and also, I think, a realization of the kind of movie we were making and a really obvious realization of Michel’s vision. It was really special. It was awesome. (Source)
Such a great movie.Add a comment
Celebrating Eternal Sunshine's 10th anniversary, with a bunch of cool, inspired posters.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is TEN YEARS OLD. Before we erase that realisation from our minds and curl up into an aging ball of dismay, let's take a wander over to Row 3, where their Friday One Sheet column in March was dedicated to Eternal Sunshine and a bunch of cool, inspired posters. Such as this one:
You can find more here!
Thanks to Julie.Add a comment
"Eternal Sunshine" and "Malkovich" to disappear from Netflix, January 1
Come January 1st, a slew of films will be on Netflix's chopping block. Eternal Sunshine and Being John Malkovich are among them.
Says Gizmodo's Brian Barrett:
Here's a list of the very best of the movies that'll be gone in 2014.
While Netflix has made it much harder to find out when movies expire, some Reddit sleuths have picked out an extensive crop of chopping-block titles. You can see the date the license is up yourself by adding them to your queue. Remember that just because they're going now doesn't mean they're never coming back. But with nearly a week of daylight between now and when they're gone, why take that chance?
A more complete list is on Reddit.Add a comment
One "Eternal" scene looped by two actors, for two hours
Eternal is Daniel Fish's new installation at the Incubator Arts Project in New York. It consists of two actors performing Eternal Sunshine's final scene, on a loop, for two hours. (The scene in the original film goes for around 4 minutes.) From the Incubator's website:
In August, Fish assembled a film crew to shoot [Thomas Jay] Ryan and [Christina] Rouner performing the final scene of the 2004 film ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND in a continuous loop for two hours — the only constraint: that they must keep going, no matter what happens. The unedited two channel video of their performance will be projected on adjacent screens. (Source)
Says the New York Times' Claudia La Rocco:
Each performer occupies an individual screen in this elegantly spare two-channel video. As the two repeat and repeat and repeat (a total of 23 times), they remain faithful to the lines but shift everything else. Pacing, tone, body language, timing — it’s all up for grabs; one of the many cumulative pleasures of “Eternal” lies in seeing two actors improvise within the strict confines of Mr. Fish’s structure. They follow his rules while playing off each other (in one delightful go, they dissolve into hard laughter), finding freedom at unpredictable junctures. (Source)
You can find links and info and stuff here. Neat bit of trivia: Thomas Jay Ryan appeared in Eternal Sunshine, as Frank. Here's a trailer for Fish's Eternal:
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