The Struggle is Real: Most Nights With Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

I’ve been staying up late for the past few nights. *Sigh*. It would’ve been a good thing if it was because I’m finishing up my novel for NaNoWriMo’s summer boot camp. But NO (the struggle is legit, you guys I’m sorry but really having a serious case of writer’s block lately so I’ll probably join by November). And instead of preparing for the upcoming Wattpad Davao Meetup which is very soon, well, to be honest I was reading (and studying?!?) all this law school stuff but I find myself completely lost in translation during the middle of the night. *Sigh*.

It just feels like there’s something missing… crazy huh… and this has been going on for a veeeery loooong time already. I can’t even remember when it started.

There are times when I’d wake up at 4 in the morning (Gwen Stefani, how many times already have I listened to you singing this song?), just staring blankly in the dark void and waiting for my eyes (and my entire system) to get tired of not doing anything at all.

I know. It’s a struggle. But I’ll be fine. I’ll completely get over this very soon.

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I’ve been watching reruns of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for a couple of days now. I hadn’t seen the film in about 7 years and it rushed at me with such full force it felt like the first time again… or at least like the most vivid deja vu ever. I wanted to just throw my hands up and cry out…. or at least type out in blog form

Do you hear me? I want to call it off!

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For anyone who has ever loved and lost painfully, the premise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is cruelly precise, both tempting and unthinkable. The most literal representation of that is surely the iconic shot of beautiful bright Clementine pulled from the ice beside Joel into inky blackness, forever out of reach. That scene and the blurry iconic “Meet me in Montauk” closeup which feels exactly like the reversible imprint that its meant to be, are the two images that I think of immediately whenever my memories flutter back to this movie.

This is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at its most alive and dangerous, as Joel tries to outrun and escape his foolish decision to have Clementine erased from his mind. The image of Joel running through ever-shifting but somehow circular hallways, pulling his beloved along (she is never as fully visible but for that unmistakable tangerine hair) is repeated twice in the movie.

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It’s broken up with a third variation that is horizontal as a spotlight keeps up with them as they run through Clementine’s bookstore. Kura’s choice of bright spotlights which lend each frame both blinding beauty and empty darkness, feels almost like lucid dreaming and definitely like love gone hopelessly wrong; like you’re experiencing it, you think you can control it, but it’s perpetually slippery, sliding at the edges into a nightmare which is likely the futile experience of trying to avoid grief or pretending the love wasn’t there.

There is no escape from the past. And if there was some soothing ill-advised oblivion to choose, instead, gone goes all the beautiful memories with it.

“OKAY?” “OKAY.”

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