Published On: Sun, Nov 5th, 2023
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Eternal Sunshine director ‘can’t watch the movie anymore’ | Films | Entertainment

“People make me think of it,” Michel Gondry complained about his film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. “I am a bit tired of it, to be honest.”

It’s easy to see why, though. The French director has made almost a dozen movies across his 20-year career – but the Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet romantic-science-fiction picture is one that people have become powerfully connected with. 

The heartbreaking picture follows the story of a tumultuous couple who continuously delete their memories of one another, but keep finding themselves drawn together again. 

Like all great science fiction, it rips open the pain of being human through the lens of almost mystical technology.

“It sort of doesn’t belong to me anymore,” Gondry exclusively told at Lucca Comics & Games 2023. “It has been told that… I have been, a little bit, removed from it.”

It seems like Gondry is fine with that, though. While he was reluctant to go into too much detail about the picture, he did admit the film’s core themes of heartbreak and relationships breaking down were drawn from his own life.

He looked back: “Eternal Sunshine is about… I had break-ups that looked very similar to that. Actually, I had a break-up when I was editing the film. So I was in a very precarious state of mind at this moment.”

One of the most iconic scenes in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind involved Carrey’s character, Joel, preparing to have his memories of his ex, Clementine (Winslet), removed from his mind. During this emotional moment, he packaged up her belongings and threw them away. Gondry didn’t realise, however, that this was soon to be reflected in his own life.

“Some of the scenes, I found, were a little cliche,” he admitted. “Like when he put all the stuff in the plastic bag… and then it happened to me. It was cardboard boxes, but it was the same.”

Tinged with longing and regret, he added: “I have a hard time watching it today.”

Still, this girlfriend seemed to help the film’s final cut, in a way.

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