There are hardly many filmmakers comparable to Michel Gondry in creativity. His work is full of spectacular and eccentric details that most directors shy away from, but Gondry manages to piece these details together with only a few surreal strokes. In 1993, the Frenchman's penchant for visual innovation caught the attention of Bjork, who asked the director to film a video for her first solo single. The video became a hit, and Gondri continued his collaboration with the Icelandic singer, while working with other members of the music industry. The director's transition to the world of cinema was only a matter of time, but if Gondry's debut work, the drama Animal Nature, was not successful, then the subsequent Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind left its mark on the history of cinema and in the hearts of the audience.|
The film won an Oscar for its script, has repeatedly been included in the lists of the best films of the XXI century according to various publications and, despite the topic of breakup, it is often included in the number of films that couples in love must watch. Today for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" another significant date has come - 15 years since the world premiere, and so that no one dares to erase such a wonderful film from your memory, LostFilm.INFO has collected a selection of interesting facts about the fantastic rom-com that has conquered more than one generation of viewers.
Initially, Gondry had no plans to dive into science fiction.“We definitely didn't want to shoot something in this genre,says the director. -The procedure offered by Lacuna is a way to get into an uncontrollable sense of nostalgia. From a book on the work of the brain, I learned that this feeling manifests itself at the moment of some kind of memory, because the brain knows that it, this moment, will not happen again. I've always wondered how memories bring us joy or pain when they don't really exist. A friend of mine, the artist Pierre Bismuth, came up with the idea - to send people cards, where it would be written that a familiar person erased them from their memory. He wanted to see the reaction of the addressees as an artistic experiment, but in the end he did not dare.
Kaufman worked with Gondry on the aforementioned "Animal Nature", but the films "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation" brought him great fame. Both of them were distinguished by originality and creativity, emotional and intellectual sophistication, but were not as difficult from a visual point of view as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Reason. Kaufman wouldn’t be himself if he hadn’t included a curious detail in the drama script. In the original text, Lacuna's office was located in the same building that was featured in Being John Malkovich. Another idea that remained on paper was about the plot: events began to unfold 50 years in the future. Viewers would have seen an elderly woman (as it turned out later - Mary), trying to publish a manuscript exposing the activities of "Lacuna". In the end, it turned out that Mary was still working for Howard,
Kaufman and Gondry first tried to find support from film studios in 1998, but two years later Christopher Nolan's "Remember" was released, which also touched upon the themes of memory and loss. Kaufman panicked, called Gondry and refused to work on Eternal Sunshine. He supported him, but, to the delight of the audience, producer Steve Golin did not succumb to general panic and insisted on continuing the work.
To put it simply, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about a breakup, but Kaufman and Gondry had little interest in this particular aspect of Joel and Clementine's story. They wanted to show the value of memories, the way a person becomes without regret. And the main idea of the tape is that therapeutic memory erasure is not good, so Gondry portrayed the effect of the treatment as a nightmare.
To make the ode to emotional trauma work on the big screens, Gondry had to go for visual tricks. The director did not rely on computer effects and preferred practical ones. At the 58th minute, Joel remembers his meeting with Dr. Howard Bastard. The camera first pans over to Joel watching, then switches to the writing desk, where Howard and the second Joel are seated, and then returns to the first Joel. Even here, Gondry did not turn to digital special effects. He got Jim Carrey to run back and forth, quickly take off his coat and hat and put them back on to play two versions of Joel. Another memorable scene from the film is the shots in the beach house when the ocean begins to flood it. There are no computer tricks here either:
Through various techniques, such as altered perspective, spotlights and unsynchronized sound, Gondry added texture to Joel's memories and created the surreal world needed for a movie like this. No wonder Kate Winslet called the director a wizard, and even the weather sometimes favors them. The iconic scene on the frozen lake might not have happened if the same weather disappointed. The script required snow and ice, but Gondry was willing to put the stage down if outside conditions weren't right. Fortunately, the winter in New York turned out to be harsh, and the lake still froze over. Lying next to a crack on its surface, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet became one of the symbolic frames of the film.
The greatness of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" was added by the play of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Both of them were known by that time, but Gondry's film allowed them to show themselves from a different side. Kerry and Winslet seem to have switched places: he played the humble Joel, and she played the unbridled and lively Clementine.
Brooding and romantic Joel is far from crazy Kerry characters from the films "Ace Ventura" and "Dumb and Dumber". To help the actor get into the role, Gondry was a little cunning and sometimes gave Kerry instructions that went against what he said to the rest of the cast. Gondry is one of those filmmakers who encourages improvisation, but if Mark Ruffalo and Kirsten Dunst could fool around on the set and move away from the script, then he did not allow Jim.
Today, Joel Barrish is associated exclusively with Jim Carrey among moviegoers, but initially Gondry offered the main role to Nicolas Cage.After Leaving Las Vegas every independent director hoping to make a commercial hit invited Cage, but he chose only one out of a dozen projects, ”Gondri recalls.
Could viewers see in the film and Seth Rogen: he auditioned for the role of Patrick, but she went to Elijah Voodoo. Not included in the final version of the picture and scenes with Ellen Pompeo - it was she who played Naomi, Joel's ex, whom he mentions several times.
Those who before "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" saw Kate Winslet only in "Sense and Sensibility" and "Titanic", Clementine shocked. Spontaneous and fun, with a hair that varied from blue to orange, Winslet opened up in a new way. The actress, after reading the script, agreed to take part in the filming without hesitation, and the risk was justified: she was nominated for an Oscar. Clementine's hair color is constantly changing throughout the film, allowing viewers to track the chronology of events, and like a true professional, Winslet was ready to dye her hair. However, the shooting of the tape took place in a chaotic manner, and therefore the actress limited herself to wigs. By the way, she liked red more than others.
When Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind hit the big screens, the idea of erasing memories seemed fantastic. But science does not stand still, and scientists are constantly experimenting with memory. So, after conducting experiments on various animals, it turned out that it is possible to manipulate negative emotions associated with certain traumatic events in human life. At the same time, experts say that making a person forget that these events took place is a bad idea, which means that the main message of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is not forgotten.
Source: Mental Floss
The Topic of Article: The Mind That Shines Forever.