Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

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The erasure of one’s memory and the immense loss that comes with it is undoubtedly a frightening thought. Imagine losing your identity or part of your humanity. Imagine feeling an emptiness that leads you to insanity. Imagine realizing that these conditions might be side effects of such a procedure. Part of being human is managing pain and suffering in all its forms and dealing with the trials and tribulations of life even while many of us would rather forget and desire to start a new chapter, a clean slate. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by Michael Gondry, exemplifies these traits and addresses the idea of what a person, such as Joel and Clementine, might endure in the process of having their memory erased. In Eternal Sunshine …show more content…
The above excerpt from the poem did not merely influence the title of the film, but it influenced the point of the movie. Essentially the poem has very little to do with the poem, however some ideas of the film are inspired by the poem. In an article discussing anthropological-ethical aspects of dementia care, comparing the poem and the film, Mahieu, Anchaert, and Gastmans state that the title of the film, “…is taken from the ‘Eloise to Abelard’ poem written by Alexander Pope in the eighteenth century…The story told raises questions as to whether (in)voluntary loss of memory pertaining to the realm of broken relationships and former partners is truly liberating or not? This liberating power is exactly what the original poem alludes to. Both the poem and the movie explore the complex relationship between love—the joy and perhaps also the pain it entails—, memory and identity” (377). “Spotless mind” is the idea of erasing or cleaning the spots in memory that cause pain and sorrow. On the other hand, we have “Eternal Sunshine”, which adds emphasis on the idea that by having a brain “spotless”, free of all the sadness and the emotions that cause pain, we can finally reach a state of happiness, peace and tranquility, which ironically is the contrary to what happens in the

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