Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Commercialized Art Cinema

When the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” debuted, critics were almost entirely unanimous in their reverence for the film. But although many pundits agreed on the overall quality of the film, they tended to disagree on the film’s most impressive characteristics. Some, like Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer, applauded the film for the iconoclastic style of its writer, Charlie Kaufman, and its director, Michel Gondry: “[‘Eternal Sunshine’] feels like something entirely brand new; such are the gifts of Kaufman and Gondry, inventors and magicians.” Wilonsky was most impressed with elements of the film that were quintessentially art cinematic. Others, however, found to piece to be a brilliant adaptation of the classical Hollywood narrative. Glenn Whipp of the Los Angeles Daily News was most captivated by the story and its thematic elements as they were presented in the piece, calling the film “a strikingly affecting look at love, life, and memory that gives us one of the great movie love stories ever told.”

Disagreement among film critics over the proper classification of “Eternal Sunshine” is no enigma. The apparent schizophrenic nature of the film boasts characteristics of both European art cinema, as defined by...

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