Spotless Mind Interpretation

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Cinematic Representations of Cognition in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Howard and Joel walk into the lab. The camera pans left in a POV shot, like from the perspective of a horrified spectator, from a screaming woman to Stan performing the memory operation. The background is plastered by a large film of the woman’s memories projected onto the wall. Howard speaks of the procedure in the background. With dynamic camera movements, attentive editing, unique approaches to mise-en-scene, and sound alteration, the eight-minute sequence represents the stark cognitive changes Joel experiences at the beginning of the memory-erasing procedure. In most films, sound is like “an afterthought” to filmmakers and audiences (Corrigan & White, 191). However, with the corruption of Joel’s memory and cognition, special and direct attention is played to sound in these sections of the movie. On the other hand, filmmakers are always careful to pay special attention to visuals. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind takes such diligence to the next level. The first scene continues to a medium shot of Joel in front of Howard at his desk. Joel answers his …show more content…
Blurred and reddened close-ups of Joel screaming interfere with these cut-ins and eventually prompt him to recount his memories of Clementine, making him relive his memories as they are erased. The formerly described calamity ends with a relatively peaceful wide shot of Joel lying in bed with the apparatus attached to his head. The camera’s focus shifts to a couple of Stan and Patrick shots, finally shifting to a close-up of Joel uttering “Patrick” after Stan calls for Patrick. Joel’s eyes are closed but he is still aware enough to hear overhear the other two. This scene displays a stable succession of shots and ends with a lingering top shot over Joel’s resting face. The top shot initiates Joel’s live memories of

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