Ava Changnon Intro to Film Studies Blog

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Altered States

October 3rd, 2018

In La Jetée, the illusions of memories are captured with the use of only still images edited together to create a narrative. The way to images create a story portray the idea of memories in a way in which everyone can relate. Memories come back in the way of still images with no context and the way the movie provokes that is genius.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotlesss Mind also provokes the idea of memories by conflicting them with current happenings in order to create a world in which the past and present are hard to distinguish. The editing of the two times establish a sense of dream within the movie. I think the perception of reality and memories is really intriguing because it is really disorienting. The way the memories within Joel’s dreams are construct to slip into on another. The sequences of memories are confusing but are familiar to the viewer. The moment where Joel hears the world outside his dreaming creates depth within his memories. Patrick calls Clementine and refers to her as Tangerine and that sequenced with Joel calling her tangerine in his memories and him wondering how he knows complicates the dream/memory/reality complex. In conclusion, memories can be so powerful that they transcend reality and create a new reality.

Furthermore, what I believe to be most powerful about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the stance it takes on the complexity of memories and how you can change them to benefit yourself. Clementine and Joel highjack that system in order to meet each other again without knowing each other in reality. Also the power that memories have over the choices you make. You can not learn from you memories if you don’t remember them. Joel and Clementine have a relationship that eclipses the power the erasers have. The reality is that you cannot learn from memories you do not have and that is shown through the end of the movie.

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