Sequence Exegesis: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This film is talking about a Joel and Clementine’s love story. Although they have different personalities, Joel and Clementine spent two years together. After a fight, both of them went to Lacuna, Inc. to erase their memories of their relationship. This 30 seconds sequence takes place in Joel’s mind. Upon seeing happier times of love with Clementine from earlier in their relationship, he struggles to preserve at least some memory of her and his love for her.

In this sequence, the colour is so dark which is full of unknown. During a particularly harsh memory, the set around Joel and Clementine literally starts crumbling away, slowly disappearing into a stark black background. The framing becomes slightly off,  enough to make the audience feel uncomfortable but not enough to draw obvious attention to the technique. The whole picture getting dark. It gives the feeling of perspective and depth. Also, it gives in to despair. The background sound is dialogue and original theme music and also mixed some nature sound like birds sing. It helps the director create a mood. Creating a mood can introduce important elements of the plot.

There is a different point of views.  It makes the film more aesthetically pleasing and keeps the audience focus on the movie.The camera techniques change depending on the characters’ plight.  Moreover, We can see the wide shot, medium shots and close-ups. The sequence starts with a long shot to orient the audience, and continue with the medium shot to reveal the action. And with close-ups, actors emotion can be better shown. The camera movement adds interest and excitement to shots. The whole movie used montage to show how Joel’s mind against with his unconscious mind. There are many small intricacies in the film, surely picked up on more thoroughly on repeat viewings, and the entire construction of the movie is completely enthralling and intelligent.

Overall, with unique visual framing, I think this sequence as the best part in this movie. Because the colour expresses moods and emotions. Also, the actor goes through memories they had, happy ones, sad ones, which is the one more part that completes the success of the film. The visuals perfectly impact and accentuate important points in the plot, as well as creating some extremely heartfelt and poignant moments.


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