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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Emmy Aftermath - how to fix the Emmys?

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Entries in Jim Carrey (11)

Tuesday
Mar182014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

I am Joel Barish.

Or I was while rewatching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I hadn't seen the film in about 8 years and it rushed at me which such full force it felt like the first time again... or at least like the most vivid Déjà Vu ever. The experience is disorienting in its speed (20 minutes in and you're already portal'ed into Being Joel Barrish, without quite realizing it) moving in performance (career best work from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey and a pitch-perfect supporting cast) and fascinating in its premise, looping structure and mirrored ideas (Charlie Kauffman's ingenious screenplay justly won the Oscar). But it's in the realm of the visuals where Michel Gondry and DP Ellen Kuras bring it all together with imagination, verve and an entirely bold and unusual use of light and focus.

The "Best Shot" task suddenly seemed unthinkable. "Can I choose 'every'?" I ask myself in a whimper, like Joel begging to keep just this one intimate moment with Clementine in bed. What kind of a sadistic game is this series of ours? I wanted to 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!"

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 and the blurry iconic "Meet me in Montauk" closeup which feels exactly like the irreversible imprint that its meant to be, are the two images that I think of immediately whenever my memories flutter back toward the movie.

Neither have lost their power.  

But as a movie that's unfolding before you and not as you remember it, the most powerful shots are those in perpetual motion (see photo above). This is Eternal Sunshine at its most alive and dangerous, as Joel tries to outrun and escape his foolish decision to have Clementine erased from his mind. This image, 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. It's broken up with a third variation that is horizontal as a spotlight keeps catching them as they run through Clem's bookstore.  Kuras' 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; you're experiencing it, you think you can control it, but it's perpetually slippery, sliding at the edges into a nightmare. Which is not unlike 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 were some soothing ill-advised oblivion to choose instead, gone goes all the beauty with it.

"Okay?" "Okay."

The Collection of 33 Best Shots  from participating cinephiles... Or just click around on these blogs and be surprised: The Examiner, I Want to Believe, Manuel Betancourt, Mario Arratia, Lam Chop ChopStranger than Most, Victim of the Time, Awards Circuit, Entertainment Junkie, Antagony & Ecstasy, (Home) Film Schooled, We Recyle Movies , Martin Fernando, Amiresque , Film Actually, Ben's Talking Pictures, Coco Hits NY, A Blogwork Orange, Best Shot in the Dark, Cinemunch, Intifada , Cinema Romantico, Dancin' Dan on Film, Sorta That Guy, Film Misery, Encore's World, Three Pounds Lost, The Film's The Thing, Musings and Stuff, Cinema Pop, My New Plaid Pants, and... Yours?

Next Tuesday: L.A. Confidential (1997) starring Noah himself, Russell Crowe 

Tuesday
Mar182014

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 to read more ...

Monday
Mar032014

Oscar Night Crumbs, Mysteries and Endearments

Here we are, the final Oscar night review post. Except for the ones coming tomorrow so, um, no never mind. Can I take that intro again? The Final Oscar Night Review Post... Tonight! Tomorrow a few more tidbits. I'm still debating but I can probably keep at it longer than you can stand to read about it.

Is that a threat?"
- terrified reader.

A random collection of thoughts is the only way I'll get through this this year because my mind is more scrambled than in year's past when it comes to Oscar night. I seriously need a team like "you get this topic", "you take that one." "You! Everything Meryl, go!" (that hypohetical person wins the assignment sweepstakes obviously). Bear with me and continue the conversation in the comments. 

Ready? Here we go on the whirlwind review

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr302013

April Showers... Poor Truman

april showers & a tuesday top ten in one!

Do you ever think of The Truman Show (1998)? I really and truly loved it in 1998 naming it 'The Best Film of the Year!' to anyone who would listen. (This was in my pre Film Experience days of course... though it's hard to remember such a time). 

My Top Ten Of 1998 - Unranked

  • Bulworth (Warren Beatty)
  • Celebration / Festen (Thomas Vinterberg)
  • Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon)
  • High Art (Lisa Cholodenko)
  • The Idiots (Lars von Trier)
  • Living Out Loud (Richard LaGravenese)
  • The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos)
  • The Thin Red Line (Terence Malick)
  • The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
  • Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes) 

...with Central Station and Shakespeare in Love just outside the top ten though I'm always considering reinstating them. They were both once on the actual list (The Idiots and the Malick I saw a little later). I haven't seen any of them save Velvet Goldmine for at least...seven years? Would my list hold up? Would yoursHow often do you revisit your #1s from various years and do you ever lose track of them completely the way I did The Truman Show

Today the movie popped into my head in an existential "is this all there is?" crisis moment I was having. Then I thought about the malfunctioning sudden downpour that drenches the star of that show. Truman is played by Jim Carrey (in the first of his series of FYC performances that Oscar sadly passed on). The childllike man still hasn't figured out that his life is actually a TV show. Despite his ignorance oddities like the malfunctioning rain start waking him up to life's surreal absurdities if not yet fully to his own life's precarious relationship to reality. He stares in confusion and disbelief as the shower follows him and eventually he ends up laughing and yelling with joy as the glitch gives way to a fullfledged rainstorm.

I worry that I wouldn't be as amused if this happened to me.

I need to find a way to be that lighthearted and childlike when I'm suddenly drenched. After all, when it rains it pours and we aren't always carrying umbrellas.

 

previous shower
Anna Karenina's stylish snowfall

Tuesday
Jan172012

Happy 50th Jim Carrey!

A very happy ½ century mark to Jim Carrey! He seems to have given up on chasing Oscar and returned to the generally more lucrative world of high concept multiplex comedy. We kind of miss his dramedic self.

Favorite Carrey performances off the top of my head.

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  2. The Truman Show (1998)
    ...and yes, I'd have nominated him for both of those. 
  3. Man on the Moon (1999)
    ...one of those rare cases where Oscar got really stingy about loving biopic mimicry. 
  4. Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992)
  5. Batman Forever (1995)
  6. I Love You Phillip Morris (2010)
  7. The Mask (1994)
  8. Bruce Almighty (2003)
  9. Liar Liar (1997)
  10. Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

 It's true. I never saw the comedic blockbusters involving his talking ass or doubled idiocy.

Yours?

The first time I ever saw him was on the shortlived sitcom "The Duck Factory" which I watched as a kid because I wanted to be an animator when I grew up. The peak of my interest was The Truman Show. Strange that that movie isn't talked about more. 

The Duck Factory, The Truman Show, Burt Wonderstone

He's currently filming Burt Wonderstone with Steve Carell. Carell plays the title role but they're playing rival magicians in Las Vegas... Carrey being threatened by the newer magician Carell. Could certainly be fun but was no one worried about some sort of Evan Almighty curse? That last time Carrey passed the baton to Carell it didn't work out so well. Not that critical favor matters to Hollywood when you can break $100 million just by showing up.