Eternal Sunshine of the Waking Mind

It’s currently around 12:30am, and I’m sitting on the couch at Uri’s place, staying up all night so I can catch my 6:30am flight in Manchester. We’re watching Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman’s commentary on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, an absolutely brilliant film that I am the proud recent owner of. It’s interesting just how quickly the movie became one of my favorites.

Uri and I were heading home from Eli’s tonight, and listening to a compilation I made while I was out here, which opens with Beck’s “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime”, a song from the movie soundtrack, which is this beautiful surreal song, and I remarked on how it fit the feeling of the moment, of driving along late at night, with the wind blowing the fallen leaves across the road. Uri commented that it was midnight music, and I found it that the moniker absolutely fit, not just about the song but about the movie as well: it’s a midnight movie. The feeling of the movie feels VERY much (to me) the same feeling of driving down an empty road very late at night (or very early in the morning, depending on your point of view).

So, now it is shortly after 1am, and we have 3 hours to go before we have to hop in the car and drive to the airport. We’re still watching the commentary for Eternal Sunshine. It’s interesting stuff. Interesting people: I think it would be really interesting to talk to them.

It’s been a long few weeks. Between UberCon and the residency and the election, and seeing everyone and running around and such, it’s been pretty tiring. Though I’ll miss my friends and family, I’m really looking forward to seeing Mickey again (three weeks is a long time to be away). NaNoWriMo is going alright, though I haven’t been writing as much as I should be (will have to play “catchup” once I’m home).

I was going to write a more in depth, wandering post about all of this, but I’m pretty wrapped up into this commentary (really enjoying it), so I’ll have to write more later. So much to talk about…

… Adding more, because I wanted to share. We’re towards the tail end of the movie. There is a scene inside his head, on a beach where he first met her, and he’s talking about the experience, with the thought of her, about why he ran away that first night, and they share this personal moment and he talks about it in this close, intimate way. It’s clear how much that memory, that experience, meant to him… and then, after the movie is over, I’m left with a twinge in my heart as I realize that all of those intimate moments between Joel and Clementine were things that he never shared with her in reality. WE get to have the intimacy that he cannot seem to communicate to the one he loves.

There are things that mean so much to us, but so deeply and personally, that we never share them, even though it would be so wonderful that we could. But (in my experience), just talking about those moments isn’t enough, it doesn’t SHARE just how much it matters. But they managed to capture those moments in this movie. And that is… well, special, and wonderful, and makes you feel so close to the characters in the film, for sharing that personal moment. We’re included in a way that we’re deathly afraid not being able to do ourselves.

What an amazing movie.

2 thoughts on “Eternal Sunshine of the Waking Mind

  1. I LOVE that movie. I first saw it in theaters, alone. I cried for about the last half hour of it, and for the entire 15, 20 minute drive back to my house. It was just so SAD. So completely heartily sad. I love it. I’m a goof… but – yeah. If you could fall in love with someone twice, would it go the same way? Would you have the same fights? Is fate like that? I loved Dunst’s character, too… just so great. But I think I like it better by myself than watching it with someone.

  2. Yeah, Mickey and I saw it in the theater. I really loved it and connected with it on some level. Mickey also really enjoyed it (but on last polling, preferred Being John Malkovich).

    I don’t cry easy, but there are times I come real close to just breaking down in this movie.

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