Delirious from an all nighter binge, but still feeling the need to feast on some tasty narrative as a compliment my noodle dinner, I stuck on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s one of those wonderful movies in which I discover something new each time I rewatch it, which is probably due to its creative density – every department is really bringing it. I studied it as part of my dissertation, and at that point I was all about loving the writing and direction. This time I found a real appreciation for the sound design (my fondness for the soundtrack appeared fairly on).
Strangely, it was also lot more affecting than it had been for a long time, I mean it nearly sent me to tears, and that I wasn’t expecting. I thought back to Scorsese’s comments, at the screening of the restored print of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, where he said that it’s a film that becomes richer and more meaningful for him the older he gets. Maybe that’s going to happen to me with Eternal Sunshine. I adore it anyway, (and I’m happy that it’s popular – I’m not precious about things that I think are brilliant) but I suppose that I can empathise better with the messiness of the emotional life of the characters having muddled through more of the mess myself. In fact, apart from the aforementioned sound design, what really switched on for me yesterday was how well each of the minor characters are handled. Kaufman places the the four minor characters into two separate love triangles, one of which involve the leads (Patrick – Clementine – Joel & Mary – Howard – Stan). This such a strong dramatic construction, with immediately clear desires and statuses, that it doesn’t take much for us to “get” each of the characters. Even the really minor characters, such as the couple through which Joel and Clementine meet have their own business going on. Kaufman’s looked after every single one of his characters – well done that man.