Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Directed by Michel Gondry
Focus Features, March 19, 2004 (US)
Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson
The trigger. She’s standing right beside you! Remembering. Trying to forget. It can be the time of day. Or maybe the month—the same month you met. A birthday or holiday. It can just be an inexplicable mood, traceable to nothing in particular. The trigger. The weather, a picture, a location, a movie, a song. Music always cuts to the chase. You’re watching the news. A word. The trigger. Laughter in a crowd. The appearance of his doppelganger in the Target parking lot. Right over there! Your heart skips a beat. And then, the sickening return to reality.
Any of it can trigger a bursting of emotions exploding inside you. The race is on. A frantic search for a memory ensues as you scan the archives. You dust it off, dust it off, desperate to bring back its shine to make it as vivid as it was when it was real, when it was happening, or at least as vivid as it was last year. Or was it the year before that? Each year dims the lights and changes the hue. You are left with pieces. You fall to pieces. Maybe it’s best if you force yourself to think of something—anything—else.
That’s what the memories do. To remember is to revitalize. Or to deceive. Given the choice of just erasing every last one of them once and for all, releasing them into the invisible universe, you wonder if you might be better off. But no, that’s not it. Is it? In the next instant, you can’t bear the thought of your mind as a blank canvas. Without even the faintest trace of the memories that have defined who you are and how you got here.
The fog rolls in. The cowardly pieces of shit have gone and done it again, running and hiding in a different atlas in your brain, hoping never to be found again. We are left to make sense of it all. Losing you. Again.
The pendulum swings back. The memories are exactly what you need. They’re everything. Before they hemorrhage through you.
How’s it going?
Pretty good. You?
The night we met. You wanted to stop at Jewel for cheese.