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Author Topic: Worlds of Tomorrow: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  (Read 8475 times)

Russell Nash

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Worlds of Tomorrow: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

By Alasdair Stuart.
Read by Alasdair Stuart.

Welcome to Worlds of Tomorrow, an occasional feature we’ll be running looking at some of the best in science fiction cinema. From acknowledged classics to forgotten gems we’ll be covering them all. Some of them you’ll have seen, some you won’t, some you’ll agree with me on and some you’ll wonder what I was drinking when I watched them but that’s half the fun. Spoilers abound so if you haven’t seen the movie and want to be surprised, go rent it now, we’ll be here when you get back. Otherwise, prepare for a good night’s sleep and pay no attention to the nice men from Lacuna Corp…


Listen to this Escape Pod Review!



Russell Nash

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Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 07:51:01 AM
I loved, loved, loved this movie.  Even though it had Jim Carrey.  I can't wait to listen.



stePH

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Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 09:16:24 PM
I loved, loved, loved this movie.  Even though it had Jim Carrey.  I can't wait to listen.

Agree with Al that Carrey has never been better.  He's actually not bad when you take him out of his screwball-comedy element -- I enjoyed The Truman Show as well.

And the film is the best Philip K. Dick story not based on anything by PKD that I've ever seen.

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Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 02:09:42 AM
I think that this was a great movie! Although the conclusion reached at the end, that they'd continuously breakup and find each other, seemed pretty fragile.

Look its a signature! And a dragon!





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Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 03:05:30 AM
I think that this was a great movie! Although the conclusion reached at the end, that they'd continuously breakup and find each other, seemed pretty fragile.

What I had heard, was that one of the proposed endings had wossername revealing to the media that this couple had been repeatedly breaking up, erasing their memories, and meeting and falling in love again.

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oddpod

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Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 08:42:20 AM
fab pick, and a fine disecton. al , you the man :-)

card carying dislexic and  gramatical revolushonery


Russell Nash

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Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 11:14:48 AM
There's one problem with the idea of them continually erasing each other and then falling in love again.  Kirsten Dunst's character gave them the interview tapes.  By the end of the film they knew they had done this.  Why would they go and do it again if they learned it hadn't worked the last time?



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Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 02:22:13 PM
There's one problem with the idea of them continually erasing each other and then falling in love again.  Kirsten Dunst's character gave them the interview tapes.  By the end of the film they knew they had done this.  Why would they go and do it again if they learned it hadn't worked the last time?

My thoughts as well.   However, we don't know how many times they had done this before wossername gave them the tapes.

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Darwinist

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Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 01:41:54 AM
Loved this movie, nice breakdown.  Can't stand Carrey or his crazy wife in real life but he really rolled in this and The Truman Show. 

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


DarkKnightJRK

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Reply #9 on: July 14, 2009, 12:49:54 AM
Nice--love the movie and Carrey's work, but didn't think of it as "sci-fi" until now. It does make sense in that context, but I always thought it more as a quirky romance flick then anything.



Russell Nash

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Reply #10 on: July 14, 2009, 07:14:48 AM
Nice--love the movie and Carrey's work, but didn't think of it as "sci-fi" until now. It does make sense in that context, but I always thought it more as a quirky romance flick then anything.

It's a romantic SF comedy.  The whole set up and execution is squarely in the SF genre.  This is a good example of movie that can help open SF up to a wider audience, the type of people that think SF is only Star Trek and bad monster movies.



DarkKnightJRK

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Reply #11 on: July 14, 2009, 07:16:05 AM
Nice--love the movie and Carrey's work, but didn't think of it as "sci-fi" until now. It does make sense in that context, but I always thought it more as a quirky romance flick then anything.

It's a romantic SF comedy.  The whole set up and execution is squarely in the SF genre.  This is a good example of movie that can help open SF up to a wider audience, the type of people that think SF is only Star Trek and bad monster movies.

Oh, I totally get it, I just didn't realize it when I watched it.



Russell Nash

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Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 07:22:34 AM
Nice--love the movie and Carrey's work, but didn't think of it as "sci-fi" until now. It does make sense in that context, but I always thought it more as a quirky romance flick then anything.

It's a romantic SF comedy.  The whole set up and execution is squarely in the SF genre.  This is a good example of movie that can help open SF up to a wider audience, the type of people that think SF is only Star Trek and bad monster movies.

Oh, I totally get it, I just didn't realize it when I watched it.

I think the most important part s to let the non-SF people know that it really is SF.  Hopefully we can open a few closed minds.



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Reply #13 on: July 16, 2009, 04:56:49 AM
i dunno what you people are talking about, i friggin LOVE Jim Carrey! Ace Ventura is one of the funniest movies ever, as well as The Mask!  and Eternal Sunshine is a great movie and The Truman Show is awesome, and Yes Man was hilarious!  "Meh" to you guys!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Alasdair5000

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Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 09:05:41 AM
In the interests of full disclosure, it should be pointed out that I have used Ace Ventura's 'If I'm not back in five minutes...just wait longer!' many, MANY times.



Praxis

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Reply #15 on: July 16, 2009, 09:28:23 PM
I don't think this story is 'sci fi', tbh.

By the end of the film they knew they had done this.  Why would they go and do it again if they learned it hadn't worked the last time?

Why do the people in any doomed relationship repeatedly try again:  "this time it will be different"




Russell Nash

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Reply #16 on: July 16, 2009, 09:34:36 PM
I don't think this story is 'sci fi', tbh.

A doctor offered a service erasing people's memories.  the rest of the movie was the process in his mind of the erasing and the aftermath of the erasing.  How is that not SciFi??
 
By the end of the film they knew they had done this.  Why would they go and do it again if they learned it hadn't worked the last time?

Why do the people in any doomed relationship repeatedly try again:  "this time it will be different"

There's a difference in going back to the person, that is no good for you, hoping for it to be different this time and deciding to get your memory erased again.



Praxis

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Reply #17 on: July 16, 2009, 09:50:34 PM
I think the possibility of being in a relationship, which didn't work before, but you are trying again anyway has good parallels with the mooted idea that the main characters' repeated erasings, reconcilliations, next-attempts and subsequent break ups.

It's more extreme in the story's case, since rather than 'just' breaking up, they are trying to stop the person from ever having been part of their life, but it's the same, doomed, process.

As for the sci-fi/non-sci-fi, the film needs the macguffin (mcguffin?) of the erasing process for starters but the charm of the film, and the point of the film if you ask me, is the characters and their stories.
It (the getting rid of memories/history) element could equally well happen in a *spits* magical realism genre.

Same way Star Wars is sci-fi since there is clearly such a great love for the technology used in the film (not to mention that it needs space ships and death-stars, but even then they are not 'just' included: the writers and audience enjoy those elements in themselves), in Eternal Sunshine I would say that the audience's and the writer's interest is in the people, rather than how the erasing process works.

*runs away from the gaping, endless maw of 'what is sci-fi' debate*



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Reply #18 on: July 17, 2009, 03:58:07 AM
i dunno what you people are talking about, i friggin LOVE Jim Carrey! Ace Ventura is one of the funniest movies ever, as well as The Mask!  and Eternal Sunshine is a great movie and The Truman Show is awesome, and Yes Man was hilarious!  "Meh" to you guys!

Yeah, I like his work too--I even thought he was good in The Number 23, even if everything else in that movie sucked.



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Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 04:59:57 AM
It (the getting rid of memories/history) element could equally well happen in a *spits* magical realism genre.

Yes, but in the film, it's science fiction.  Suck it up and deal.  :P

Same way Star Wars is sci-fi since there is clearly such a great love for the technology used in the film (not to mention that it needs space ships and death-stars, but even then they are not 'just' included: the writers and audience enjoy those elements in themselves), in Eternal Sunshine I would say that the audience's and the writer's interest is in the people, rather than how the erasing process works.
The best stories are about people, no matter what genre they're in.  Science fiction is no different.

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Reply #20 on: January 25, 2010, 07:29:42 PM
This is definitely SF.  My favorite SF is about a world with different technologies/rules and how it affects the people. 

Anyway, this is one of my favorite movies ever, and Jim Carrey at his best (I also enjoyed The Truman Show).  The chemistry between Winslet and Carrey was outstanding, showing the opposites attracting, and seeing their relationship played in such bits and pieces even as he lost the memories was heartbreaking and touching, and I was so happy to see them together at the end even for the moment.  I don't believe there is any hint of the continuing loop because, if I remember correctly, the company is being shut down at the end (maybe I'm wrong about that), but at the very least they both have their tapes.

I haven't seen this movie for a few years but now I MUST go find a copy and watch!!