“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
By Nanette C.
Do you have any regrets? Have
you ever just wanted to delete a memory…or two? Would you erase
The tag-line for “Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind” pretty much says it all: “You can erase
someone from your mind. Getting them out of your heart is another
had my doubts. I guess “Majestic” just did not quite settle my
faith in Jim Carrey’s abilities. After “The Mask” I didn’t think
Carrey could ever really redeem himself. Were there drama
capabilities under that mask? I didn’t think so. Gladly, I was
In the part that as the people in
front of me said, about 20 minutes into the movie, “This is the
longest preview EVER!” we discovered that despite a little
confusion on my friend’s part, the movie was actually about a
girlfriend—not a mother! We still haven’t figured out whether the
previews were misleading or my friend was hoping for a break from
the romantic films.
The “basic” plotline is really way
more complicated than it sounds. A series of flashbacks and
foreshadowing leave the audience dizzy from all of the confusion.
Don’t worry though, it should all make sense by the end.
Here it is in a nutshell: Joel
(Carrey) stumbles on the fact that after he got into a fight with
his girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), she decided to have him
erased from her memory. Apparently Dr. Howard Mierzwaik (Tom
Wilkinson) discovered a way to delete unwanted memories through a
process of semi-controlled brain damage. “It’s similar to the
type of damage drinking does to your brain,” he explains.
Destroyed by the fact that his
lover would do such a thing, Clementine’s impulsive behavior
leaves Joel without many options—the woman he loves doesn’t want
to remember him. For lack of better options, he decides to
undergo the process himself. If she doesn’t remember him, why
should he have to live with her in his mind?
As the process begins to erase
Joel’s precious memories, he begins to realize the love that is
hidden in his heart. Regardless of whether Clementine remembers,
he still loves her and loves what they shared.
The memories begin to disappear,
and Joel struggles to escape. Dr. Mierzwiak and his helpers
(Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, and Elijah Wood) attempt to complete
Trying to escape the whitewashing,
Joel refuses to let go. Dr. Mierzwiak and his team track Joel
down from memory to memory as they try to finish the job.
It just goes to show you that just because someone is out of your
head; it doesn’t mean s/he is out of your heart.
Carrey was *gasp* impressive.
While the movie was, all in all, more awkward and confusing than a
life-sized maze, in the end, it was good. Winslet plays the
typical, unpredictable, impulsive character. Acting on whims
seems like an everyday activity for her. She does well, leaving
the audience both captivated and perplexed.
If you are patient enough to wait a
couple of hours to understand the purpose, maybe you will also be
perceptive enough to catch the slight hints the film drops about
love. In the end, it should all make sense…even if you have to
sit in the theater while everyone else leaves…just wait for it.
The revelation should hit you…sooner or later.
Illinois Symphony Orchestra
continues fantastic season
Illinois Symphony Orchestra continued their fantastic season with
the fourth installment of the 2003-04 Masterworks series, “Best
Friends.” Maestra Karen Lynne Deal led the Springfield and
Bloomington-Normal-based orchestra through a diverse program of
Mozart, Brahms, and Schumann.
program’s opener, Mozart’s Overture to “La lemenza di Tito (The
Clemency of Titus)” K. 621, drew its audience away from reality
and eased them into the concert. Written in C major, one of the
most musically clear keys, the overture highlights the instruments
that often receive less attention than the strings in the
symphonic world: the woodwinds. The brass section and the
timpani as well as the strings kept the piece in a classical style
but the woodwinds still were able to flex their fingers.
finale of the show, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 97, “Rhenish,”
by Robert Schumann, carried the orchestra through the full range
of musical emotion. Opening with a splash in the first movement
made the audience’s hearts beat. Deal then brought the mood down
with the gentle and rippling second and third movements
Earlier in the evening I had noticed three music stands in the
last row that had no musicians. I wondered why they were there
and until “Rhenish” I did not know. During the fourth movement,
three trombones appeared and energized the orchestra with their
power. Trombones are not often featured even in modern symphonic
music; their showcase the fourth movement proved how
underappreciated they are. Like the fourth movement, the fifth
was a rousing finale resolving the E-flat minor themes into an
open E-flat major key.
Between these two works, however, lay the highlight of the show.
Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77 showed not only the
full range of style and subtlety of the orchestra but also the
power of guest soloist David Halen of the St. Louis Symphony.
Though seated only in the loge, about twenty rows back, not even
100 feet from the stage, my neighbors and I had to squint our eyes
and crane our necks to see Halen’s flying fingers during the
adagio. After one particularly remarkable cadenza, I realized I
had not blinked in almost 30 seconds; I wanted to watch the
fingers of his left hand dexterously and delicately moving over
always, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra produced a quality of
sound remarkable for a rural area like central Illinois.
Concertmaster Julieta Mihai and Associate Concertmaster Georgia
Hornbacker led an energetic violin section while cello principal
Nina Gordon and her section were featured several times during
Schuman’s “Rhenish.” Christine Bock, viola principal, led the
viola section in an intriguing second violin/viola duet during the
first allegro of the Brahms piece.
Principal oboist Jennet Ingle engaged Halen in a beautiful and
unusual showcase. The oboe is generally considered one of the
most difficult instruments to master, or, rather, to play
pleasingly. Ingle and her section, as well as the entire
woodwinds section, kept their tone under control while adding an
earthy, almost folksy tint to the backdrop of the airy violin
Masterworks series continues with Masterworks V, April 24 at
Sangamon Auditorium at 8:00. Cellist Zuill Bailey and the
Illinois Symphony Chorus join Deal and the orchestra for a program
of Haydn, Dvorak and Beethoven. Tickets are $27, $25 and $22;
call the ticket office at 206-6160 or visit sangamonauditorium.org.