Monday, September 22, 2014

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a very formalistic movie. The entire film, telling the story of Joel and Clementine's relationship backwards, was a choice to make a point. It gives the audience the chance to watch them go from a terrible couple to how they fell in love. This format makes the whole thing seem more hopeful. In the beginning, the audience should hate both of them. But by the end, the audience is invested, and this is because of the formalistic nature of the film. It utilizes odd camera angles and dreamlike sequences of the transitions in the memories to give the feeling that the entire movie is happening in your mind. One of the shots that was used several times in the movie was a high angle shot. On the ice, it was an oblique angle used to show how the fate of their relationship was to forever be on thin ice. In the train station, where people and bags are popping out of existence, it is to make the scene feel more frantic, as they are running away from the memory erasing.

There were also a lot of shots where the focus was on one or the other of Joel or Clementine. There was deep focus on one of them, and it gave the impression that to each other, they were the whole world. The use of color also conveyed this. Clementine is a bright pop of color in Joel's life. Her wildly colored hair and matching personality (she even says "I apply my personality in a paste") bring life to Joel's drab world. He only wears dark colors until he is with Clementine, and then his personality flourishes to catch up to hers. The lighting also reveals a lot about their relationship. At the beginning of the movie (the end of their relationship) all of the scenes are dark, showing how unhappy they are. However, by the time it progresses to the beginning of their relationship and the end of the movie, things get lighter and colors get brighter. This shows the hope in their new relationship and gives the film an overall hopeful tone. Despite the fact that these two people erased each others, you are still reminded of how they fell in love. Since the movie ends with a reunion, it feels like there is still hope somehow.

No comments:

Post a Comment