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ReFocus: The Films of Michel Gondry$
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Marcelline Block and Jennifer Kirby

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474456012

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474456012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Apocalypse Ever After: Lifted Veils and Transcendent Time in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Apocalypse Ever After: Lifted Veils and Transcendent Time in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter 8 Apocalypse Ever After: Lifted Veils and Transcendent Time in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Michel Gondry
Author(s):

Sheheryar B. Sheikh

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474456012.003.0009

In this chapter Sheheryah B. Sheikh examines the narrative organization of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2014)’s love story through the lenses of apocalyptic literary theory and eschatology. Drawing from the writing of Frank Kermode, the chapter argues that the film’s primary narrative problem, the disappearance of Clementine from Joel’s memories, constitutes an eschatological occurrence on a personal scale. However, the film is “apocalyptic” in another sense: while Joel is trying to prevent this cataclysmic event, he revisits his memories and uncovers greater meaning in them, simultaneously revealing these details to the audience, and thus the film “lifts veils from” Joel’s memories, which is the etymological meaning of the apocalypse. Sheikh argues that, through the film, Gondry advocates strongly for the need to revisit and re-assess memory, rather than rejecting memories, even if they are painful.

Keywords:   Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Narrative, Eschatology, Apocalyptic literary theory, Frank Kermode, Michel Gondry

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