Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by Gondry and written by Kaufman, explores the tenuous nature of love, loss, and memory. The plot revolves around Clementine (Kate Winslet), and Joel (Jim Carrey) , In the beginning they meet in Montauk on the beach, and start to fall in love. As the movie progresses, it’s revealed that they were two lovers who had had their memories of each other erased. As Joel’s memories of Clementine turn backwards he realises that he doesn’t want to lose them and wants to try again. Lacuna is the name of the company in the movie that erases the memories.

Throughout the film, the mood varies from melancholy and depressed, whimsical and romantic, to panicky and nervous. One of the most prominent and my favourite scenes in the movie is a sweet and peaceful moment that occurs on the frozen Charles River with Clementine and Joel on their “second date.”

The dark, open space surrounding Clementine as she stands on the frozen river and beckons Joel forward is symbolic of the open possibilities and mystery that surrounds her. Joel, has a more detailed background of trees, which shows his  nervousness as he’s about to jump into this new situation.  As they both venture out onto the ice and lie down, only Joel and Clementine and the ice are visible. To the left of them, there is a rather large crack in the ice. This crack is symbolic because it represents something being amiss in this seemingly perfect moment.

 

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The natural silver light that is present in the scene is assumed to come from the moon.  A soft light seems to be produced from Clementine. Technically this can be argued because of the light coloured clothing she is wearing juxtaposed against the dark night. However it can also theoretically represent the inner light and full of like Clementine as a character possess. The filming in this scene appears to be of a hand held camera style of shooting . This gives the feeling that you are there and you are watching this scene take place. This shooting style is kept even as Joel and Clementine lie on the ice.  Through analysing this scene I became aware that the camera is actually moving in the slightest bit although to the un trained eye it would look as if the scene was at a standstill point in time and perfect.

The music in this scene is important as it starts out with just just ambient noises making the audience pay attention and creates a mood of wonder. I was able to notice the importance of the silence due to researching sound for our film as breaks of sounds is a technique we use in our film to keep the audience interested and guessing. As the scene progresses, romantic music begins to play, heightening the visual connection that Joel and Clementine are experiencing.

This film allows you to choose the ending. Joel and Clementine are happy in the end, but the viewer has no idea whether that’s temporary or not. So, this movie effectively splits people up into two groups: those who believe Joel and Clementine will learn from their mistakes and be happy together, or those who believe that it’s inevitable that they will be unhappy again. Eternal Sunshine is about how happiness from ignorance is not happiness at all. As a viewer I learnt from this film that pain is necessary. You have to acknowledge that when you fall in love, you aren’t agreeing to be happy. You’re agreeing to be vulnerable.

 

The Guardian. 2017. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: No 8 best romantic film of all time | Film | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/oct/16/eternal-sunshine-spotless-romance. [Accessed 17 May 2017].

The Cinephile Fix. 2017. Film Analysis: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” | The Cinephile Fix. [ONLINE] Available at: https://cinephilefix.com/2012/11/17/film-analysis-eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind/. [Accessed 17 May 2017].
** screen shots of film via  netflix **

Presentation/ Development of ideas

This week Project 2(A) is due a in class presentation.

Using google docs and our Facebook group page as well as meetings we put together the presenation of all our individual research and ideas for our film including how we will work together as a group.

Chloe’s definition of lacuna  “The blank/hollow space or background that reveals the substance. E.g. a black background or pause in a song – without which you wouldn’t appreciate the real focus”.Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 4.20.01 pm.png

Karina – “Lacuna is comfortable- it is a space to breathe and understand what is going on within it or surrounding it. It is the transition that defines one scene to the next. It is what completes a puzzle”.

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Haesun – “Lacuna for myself is an empty space, whether physical or psychological which provides an individual or others with a certain feeling, memory, sense or attachment”.Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 4.20.23 pm.png

Myself – “I see lacuna as a space in time- an unfilled space to reflect and feel to correlate your thoughts and emotions in what you are experiencing”.

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Haesun, Chloe , Karina and myself all had similar definitions of lacuna. Which then made it easier to come up with a hypotheis we were all happy with.

Through chaotic, tangled and unclear imagery, we’ll be overlapping content to stir stressed and strained moods/emotions. There one minute, gone the next, we plan to use light/light movement, projection and mirror distortions to form this chaos, muting and suppressing any meaning. However, we’ll transition into film that includes shadow, blank spaces and invisible space. This will bring about a new, clearer meaning. As the white noise is dulled, and blank or invisible space (which is often forgotten) is introduced, one is able to interpret a sharper meaning. The lack of closure in our story leaves the viewers with a subjective interpretation.

Our group vision is –
-Lacuna as a invisible space
-Erosion
-Space is usually not appreciated, we need to show how important space is to us. There are several interpretations; our project will put the audience into the spot of interpreting Lacuna in their own way.
-Cluttered space vs. Empty space

 

  • How are we linking this to lacuna ?

Oxford dictionaries defines lacuna as “an unfilled space; a gap”. In this presentation you will see all our individual definitions of what lacuna means to us. Our concept  and video production aims to explore the idea of lost and forgotten space that makes objects functional and aesthetically pleasing. Thus, this relates to the concept lacuna as we are exploring the physical unfilled space and gaps in everyday environments.

What is going to be Our approach to making this concept come alive?  

Our group approach to this brief is to work together combining all our skills to form a unique and timeless video production. Using our techniques from research we will effectively convey the importance of lost and invisible space that creates function and aesthetic.   Our style is a combination of textures, snippets, overlays and reflections. This reflects the overall concept of  creating an abstract piece of moving images that links to lacuna as a form of invisible space.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 4.18.47 pm.png(in class dissections of our concept in meetings)

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Projection Mapping – Montage work

This week we were divided into our groups to work on experimenting with projection mapping to help stimulate ideas for our film.  Each member brought in different items to investigate with. We had a selection of textiles, CD’s, cellophane, cardboard, cotton wool etc.

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Our goal was to zoom up close on an object and project light on it. After trialing we decided on using the silk that had previously been creased and project light on it we moved to a space where there was not much light and used a white blank wall as the backdrop. We were using a flash torch on a iPhone to get direct lighting whilst another member toke the photos. This merely gave us light and dark shadows we were after something more stimulating to provoke a sort of eerily mood. We then decided to use the back of the CD and overlaid it with different coloured cellophane by doing this we were able to create torrents of colour to blend in with the shadows caused by the light. The use of excessive shadow contrasts and the colours of the CD with the cellophane looked great on the silk textiles. The light and shadow created beautiful folds and shapes which were great to then mask on Photoshop.

We then proceeded to mask the image on Photoshop, using the shape formed by the background. This gave us ideas for our final video the idea of using light to show case emotion and movement this activity also highlighted the use of negative space. As we started with over 5+ items in the photo and it was nowhere near as effective as our final photo using only one item.

 

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What is lacuna? Week 1.

The definition of the noun lacuna in English is :

1 An unfilled space; a gap.
1.1 A missing portion in a book or manuscript.
The definition of lacuna in  medical terms:
2 A cavity or depression, especially in bone. [1]

The term “Lacuna” derives from the Latin for “hole” or “pit from lacus lake. It was first used to describe missing text and appeared in Lauderdale Papers (1884) [2] Sir Robert Moray wrote: “You do well to leave no lacunas in your letters”.  Gaps in manuscripts (lacunas) can be done intentionally and unintentionally. Often decay and weathering to old passages of text can be responsible for lacunas. Alternatively lacunas can be used on purpose for example children’s books often have words missing in sentences blank spaces underlined for the student to them fill it in for educational purposes.

My interpretation of a lacuna is the modern day intentional use of lacuna to create a or enhance a human emotion whether its suspense , mystery or confusion.  Music in history has often used lacunas as a extended passage in musical work during which no notes are played. The most famous example of this is John cages piece (4’33) that I consider a piece made entirely out of lacunas. [3]

A more modern example is Radio heads use of lacuna in their “Motion Picture Soundtrack”, the last track on the album “Kid A” . Radiohead’s use of heavy music is juxtaposed with this 2 minutes of silence . The song is 6:56 minutes long with silent gaps from 3:15—4:18 and 5:08 till the very end 6:56. Radio head have used lacuna as  “negative music” to create a sense of serenity and build tension and it is a strong contrast to the “normal/heavy”  music that plays after the silence and in the rest of the album. This forces the listener to pay attention and reflect on the way the song is delivered and performed rather than just the beat and music. [4]

After researching the term lacuna and its definition as well as examples of how it is used. I am taught the important of silence and gaps and the idea that having nothing there effectively making the  listener or consumer come up with thoughts to fill the gap can be more effective in creating more off an impact. Silence and forcing someone to reflect with their own thoughts can  or be me more powerful than filling it with with your own pre convinced thoughts.

[1] Oxford University Press. 2017. English oxford dictionaries: Lacuna. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/lacuna. [Accessed 1 March 2017].

[2] Full text of “The Lauderdale Papers”. 2017. Full text of “The Lauderdale Papers”. [ONLINE] Available at: https://archive.org/stream/lauderdalepapers01camduoft/lauderdalepapers01camduoft_djvu.txt. [Accessed 1 March 2017].

[3] YouTube. 2017. John Cage’s 4’33” – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTEFKFiXSx4. [Accessed 3 March 2017]

[4] YouTube. 2017. 10. RadioHead: Motion Picture Soundtrack – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ju8xO_Zvfo. [Accessed3 March 2017].