The Pestle


Ep 93: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

November 21, 2019

We try to recall Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and discuss:

  • cinematography;
  • writing and story, subtle commentary;
  • we are joined by special guest Dr. Jennifer Sapio!!;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

I hate a movie that will end by telling you that the first thing you should do is learn to love yourself. That is so insulting and condescending, and so meaningless. My characters don’t learn to love each other or themselves. – Charlie Kaufman

Notes & References:
Find Dr. Jennifer Sapio’s literary work on her website
Read Dr. Sapio’s published work here
Follow Dr. Jennifer Sapio on Instagram @jennifer.sapio
Kylie Minogue “Come into my world” music video
Jim Carrey’s iMDB

Watch us on YouTube!

Short Spotlight:

“Daughter of the Sea” by Maceo Frost


  1. Marc Israel says:

    Thank you Jenni for choosing a top ten favorite! Oddly, the episode takeaway for me was that Wes tagged Director Michel Gondry film’s for lacking rewatchability… No you didn’t!!!

    I’m on the “Ying” side of that “Yang” comment.

    I continually find his characters incredibly honest, albeit in dream sequences here, and remain accessible to the audience in contrast to predicable Hollywood movie heroes whose epiphanies are generic and predictably dumber down for us. We have character depth and humility and (personally) their relationship issues seemed quite relatable.

    Joel holds onto his idealistic times despite knowing that the relationship may not survive a harsh reality and isn’t it a commonly strong urge for us to hold onto such romantic failures?

    I am reminded of the Brazilian Portuguese word “Saudade” (longing for something you know may never return) which is the heart of Bossa Nova, one of the worlds most romantic music genres. Isn’t it romantic? Isn’t that notion that pretty universal?

    Anyone else want to delve into this

  2. wes says:

    hahaha, I don’t know why I love to watch his films once and then never again. They’re always so memorable and amazing, but I don’t think I’ll rewatch Mood Indigo, Science of Sleep, or Be Kind Rewind again. Eternal Sunshine is the only one I’ve seen multiple times, and definitely don’t regret that.

    I haven’t heard “Saudade” before, but that’s such a beautiful concept, to coin a word for an emotion that’s so universal. I love when a culture creates a word to pin down something so specific. And I absolutely agree about Joel, it’s the basis for why so many of us — and I’m certainly guilty of it — hold on to relationships that have long been unhealthy in hopes of returning to that place it had once been. Though for Joel, I think he’s far more guilty of holding an idea of her and of their relationship that never actually existed, idealizing what never was, and perhaps judging her by his imaginary standard of her instead of accepting her for what she actually is. Naturally, this is also relatable, we tend to see a person’s “potential”, and sometimes it’s without regard to what they themselves want or hope to become.

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