The Adriatic Sea
夜讀克羅埃西亞作家 Predrag Matvejević 的<Mediterranean: a cultural landscape>
“The Atlantic and the Pacific are seas of distance, the Mediterranean a sea of propinquity, the Adriatic a sea of intimacy.” 摘自< Mediterranean: a cultural landscape>
Fig 1 .Clementine played by Winslet wears a T-shirt that says “love is…” hinting the curious
bondage that cannot separate the two even with a memory erasure going on.
The pictorial art
The pictorial art of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind is a mindful one. From Clementine’s hair to the souvenirs of Clementine that Joel later collects to takes to the Lacuna Clinic, details are depicted and closely associated to one another like motifs and symbols that draw clues to the plot, waiting for the spectator’s observable eye to unwrap. Such as in the scene of Clementine’s confession toward Joel while he is half awake. Clementine holds a mug with her picture print, in the picture she is in orange hair, which is Joel’s best image of her. He calls her “Tangerine” their secretive nickname, which is later used by his Counterfeiter.
The picture on the mug is like“ a picture within the picture “ in this frame. As if another piece of time is etched into the present narrative.
“ a picture within the picture “ Fig2. Focus Features
The orange color of her hair is a smooth and comfortable contrast with orange’s complementary color, a blue pillow as a base in the frame. Carrey wears a dark green shirt complementary to the reddish shades of Winslet’s orange hair. The frame looks like a harmonious idyllic evening nap and they look like idea lovers.
Although, quickly the visual frame dims in a darker light before the fade out dissolve transition, when Joel defends of his closure by suggesting that Clementine’s talkativeness is rather of annoyance, leaving Clementine agitated. The pictorial art here resembles theatrical features such as dramatic use of light and shadow, dimming contours, areas leaving spotlight in the middle focus. The visual effect is similar of the technique “Tenebrism” commonly seen in rembrandt’s oil painting style, used in works such as “The Night Watch”.
The most classical of the movies cinematic visuals in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
is the high angle shot of the scene where Clementine takes Joel to the "frozen Charles", a frozen lake near the suburbs. Clementine suggests that they lie down, while Joel stay’s hesitant and suspicious that the ice is going to break. He lies down with her anyways, surprisingly finding himself in his happiest, as later is revealed in his diary excerpt, and in his subconscious confessing it to Clementine. The shot taken with the couples lying near a fracture of ice has been highly discussed. Whether intentional designed or randomly shot, the scene is a masterpiece a.k.a mastermind of the director’s projection. On the movie poster of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the crack on the frozen Charles appears to be a crack on the mind of Jim Carrey.
Fig 3. Clementine and Joel lying on the "frozen Charles".
Joel: I could die right now, Clem. I'm just... happy. I've never felt that before.
I'm just exactly where I want to be. Focus Features
The audiovisual art
In the first beginning of the movie, where Joel meets Clementine in the train station of Montauk, Clementine tries to start a conversation with Joel. A playful background music foliates Clementine’s blooming voice, the music wit fully hints Clementine’s characteristics and foreplays the mingling effect of chemistry between the two protagonists with a playful style. By elements of the sound, the music composer flawlessly lures the spectators into the plot and character; we are driven into the mindsets and mind map of Joel Barish; his anguish, his restlessness and his suspense; we comprehend the anger and hurt of Clementine,
and taste the joyfulness of their happy love life. In terms of audiovisual art, the movies soundtrack impeccably empowers the visual storyline enhancing sentimental emotions along the way, as we feel the gradually increasing intensity of melancholy, and of Joel’s inner mind conflict of holding on to the memory of Clementine, whilst enduring the treatment of erasing the memories of heartbreak. Joel’s psychological thrill and fear resonances throughout the movies sound effects. We watch him desperately hide memories of Clementine into the resistant territories of the mind map such as shame (humiliation) and horror. Done by Jon Brion, Best Score Soundtrack Album Grammy nominee for 1999’s ”Magnolia”, Jon Brion receives another nomination for “Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind”, which is well accredited.
The music scores are seamlessly well-designed, even the movies theme song "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" (The Korgis cover done by artist Beck) associates to the cinematic visuals as we recall, in the beginning of the film when the title appears, Joel is crying are driving in his car listening to "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime", before he ejects the tape and throws it out the window. As the film comes to an end when the film credits starts to display, we hear the song again. The song creates a beautiful melancholy, leaving viewers lingering in emotions of the unfathomable force of love that makes two fault-finding lovers want to start again. The power of theme songs is one of the forces in movie that cannot be undermined. It’s a component that brings out emotion from another space, if well selected and designed.
Repetition of sound and lines deem compatible to the surrealism form of visual display, and is notable and well composed in this film. Nevertheless, the Cherry on the top, is it’s theme song "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" which is all other else that is unexplained yet informative in emotion and understanding.
You can not not love the eternal sunshine on the spotless mind...