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« Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" | Main | New Pixar sequels announced, one more incredible than the other »

Visual Index ~ Eternal Sunshine's Best Shots

In the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series we ask participants (all are welcome) to post a single shot that they think is the chosen movie's best and tell us why. "Best" is open to interpretation of course and often highly personal... and subject to change, just like memories. Memories are the environment and subject of this week's film, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The film celebrates its 10th anniversary on March 19th and feels as essential as ever. 

Though we usually list the Hit Me With Your Best Shot collective choices in chronological order, memories aren't linear. Instead we're sharing the best shots in rough reverse chronological order of when we received them. Read them all for the opportunity to see the movie with new eyes: someone else's.

Meet us in Montauk... 33 images after the jump

click on the photos to open the corresponding articles

This time when Clementine goes all the color leaves with her... 
- TB, Cinema Pop 

 I never fully see these shots because I am sobbing while these shots are on-screen.
- Jason, My New Plaid Pants

The turning point in the film...
- Abstew, The Film's The Thing

You're experiencing it, you think you can control it, but it's perpetually slippery...
- Nathaniel R, The Film Experience 

Sculpted, twisted and pretzel-curved out of such relatable pain.
-James, Musings and Stuff 

A library's worth of books wiped clean, just liked Joel's erased mind...
- Andy Hall, Three Pounds Lost

Too often innocuous moments in his adult life make him feel like a child...
- Andrew Kendall, Encore's World 

Please let me keep this memory...

The way the film visually represents the literal obliteration of a relationship, ripped from memory or experience? That’s what a macro representation of what rejection feels like...
-Duncan Houst - Film Misery 

Even after all these years, the film still packed an emotional wallop.
- Ryan T - Sorta That Guy 

He wasn't imagining things, of course, but now that's all Mary can do...
- Nick Prigge, Cinema Romantico  

Because I was dreadfully afraid that it would not have the same impact on me on another viewing. Because I was dreadfully afraid that it WOULD have the same impact on me on another viewing... 
-Dancin' Dan on Film 

I can't see anything I don't like about you."

For the optimist... / For the pessimist...
- Cinemunch

No shot describes the film’s breathtaking fantastical elements better...
- Best Shot in the Dark 

I remember the suffocating feeling I had when I first saw this sequence, the way it makes you try and force your eyes to see things that can't be seen...
-James Colon, A Blogwork Orange 

When I dream, my world looks just as messy and scary as Joel’s memories...
- Coco Hits NY 

Out of context you're not sure if its young Joel or older Joel...
- Ben's Talking Pictures

Normally, relationships would dissolve with a formal acknowledgement...
Shane Slater, Film Actually 

Frequently, and paradoxically, the mark of a great film, or a personal favorite, is how much of it I don't remember, not how much I do...
-Amir Soltani, Amiresque 

If it was meant to be...
- Martin Fernando

Moody, perceptive, impulsive, compassionate, vividly alive and whole...
- Margaret, We Recyle Movies 

The longer we look at the "ugly" doll's face, the closer it gets to becoming "pretty," mimicking Joel's recollection of his romance...
- RJ, (Home) Film Schooled

It's important to stay aware with this film that most of the time we're seeing Kate Winslet, she's not actually playing a person, but an echo in his mind...
- Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Clementine never comes into focus. She's a blur, a person who has taken an interest in Joel but can't be identified... 
-Jason Henson, Entertainment Junkie

One achievement that always gets me is just how emotionally earnest it manages to be through all of its complex and innovative feats of execution... 
-Robert Hamer, Awards Circuit 

Because it captures the warmth and sadness and isolation of their love affair...
- David Upton,  Victim of the Time

Dreamy yet melancholic...
-Jan, Stranger than Most


In this moment, a perfect call back to that image at the station, but this time, it is Joel who is making the move...
-Lam Nguyen, Lam Chop Chop

The image that my mind immediately brings up when I think of the film, however, is when Joel opens his eyes and realises that he and Clementine are in bed on the snowy beach...
-Mario Arratia

Much of the film works like a fun house of memories...
-Manuel Betancourt

A richer and deeper experience upon every repeat viewing. I still think Joel and Clementine are totally incompatible though...
-Derreck Johnson, I Want to Believe

'I’m just a f-cked up girl looking for her own piece of mind. Don’t assign me yours.' They both look down, the weight of expectations baring down on them...
-Brian Zitzelman, The Examiner 

NEXT TUESDAY'S FILM: LA CONFIDENTIAL (1997). Pick your shot and join us.

P.S. Remember to "like" The Film Experience on Facebook and follow Nathaniel R on twitter. Never miss any of our "Best Shot" parties.

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Reader Comments (19)

Winslets apex of awesomeness!!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Thrilled to be participating for the first time - this is so fun!

Eternal Sunshine is just so full of memorable and beautifully composed and heavily meaningful shots that I knew this round-up would be a joy to click through, and a great reason to luxuriate in one of my personal favorites. I love everyone's choices, but especially Brian Zitzelman's -- the subtle disappearance of the book titles and covers in the background reflecting the nature of the memory upon which the scene is based, and how Clementine's actions and words manage to look and feel like the idea of a person present in a memory without losing the recognizably human element. Can't wait to see what Nathaniel and the others pick!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

My choice.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFernando Moss

I'm totally feeling the whole reverse non-linear visual index. So appropriate!

Always a pleasure to read other people's interpretations and thoughts. I never even thought about the bird symbolism until RJ brought it up and i've seen the movie quite a few times.

I'm excited for L.A. Confidential because i genuinely have no clue what i'll end up choosing.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Here is mine. One of my favorites!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames C.

Thanks RJ!!! I am new to this too. Can't wait to get the time to read all of these. I came so close to picking so many others; what a film!!!! The ones by Jan and David were close seconds to me.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

My choice:

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterremy

my fav is when Clementine shouts at Joel "Wake yourself up!" I find myself saying this to people all the time.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

I've loved this series since the start, so I figured I might as well join in on my favorite movie. I just hope this post doesn't suck.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Here's mine. I couldn't not write up one of my All-Time Top Ten.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

ohmygod. i have so much reading to do tomorrow. I'm so excited about this turn out people. LOVE IT. I cannot believe how well this film is aging. if it were released right now it'd be the best film of 2014 :)

March 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

One of the best movies of all time! Here's mine

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames

i love that so many people's entries share the personal connection that they have with the movie–what was happening in their lives at the time of their first viewing or how the film has become apart of them. it just shows what an unique and amazing film it is that it affects so many people on a deeper level.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

Didn't get it done yesterday but here's mine.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I think this is the most amount of participants we've ever had. i hope you're all reading each other's and communicating. make new blog friends :)

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It was such a pleasure to participate and be included! So glad the series is back. :D

Such interesting choices all around, thank god it wasn't a unanimous pick like I assumed it would be. Amazing film, great choice to kick off the new season, Nathaniel.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

This is dreadfully late, but I did one too! I've always loved this feature but never participated before.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Such a brilliant post. All of these quotes and corresponding pictures are absolute perfection. This is such a devastatingly beautiful movie.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

TB -- thanks for joining. i am adding now. I just read it :)

March 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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