Monday, January 03, 2005

Spotless and blue

I am in such a pissy mood today.

We watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night. Finally. After having exhausted his list of must-sees and on my promise of sexual favours, J-F agreed to rent it.

J-F hates renting "downer" movies. I admit, I sometimes miss them (along with the art films and foreign crap I used to immerse myself in), though to some degree I've adopted a more escapist attitude toward movie rentals. But this movie is labelled a romantic comedy.

I cried. Much. Still crying (on the inside).

I'm not a sentimental person, not in an openly schmaltzy way anyway — I choose my sentiments carefully and keep them close. If my memories of anyone were to be erased, sure, life would be different, in the way that everything leaves an imprint on all it comes in contact with. But would any one person's erasure (Helena excepted, but even then... ) leave a marked lacuna in my life?

The movie was sad. Sadder is that I may not be desperately close to anyone the lack of whom would produce such a profound sense of something missing. Not more so than I go through life anyway with that profound sense of something missing.

Before anyone tells me it's a wonderful life, blah, blah, blah, go see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and consider very seriously all the implications of the technology it postulates. How would you know something (someone) was missing if you were programmed to be not aware of the lack?

(Elaine and I used to spend hours discussing the difference between being really truly happy and being deluded into believing you're happy — as in a cult for example. I think it's how we became friends finally in grade 8. On the rare occasions I see her or we exchange email, the subject is alive.)

The Mundane Manifesto promotes science fiction that adheres to the following rules:

No interstellar travel — travel is limited to within the solar system and is difficult, time consuming and expensive
No aliens unless the connection is distant, difficult, tenuous and expensive — and they have no interstellar travel either
No Martians, Venusians, etc.
No alternative universes or parallel worlds
No magic or supernatural elements
No time travel or teleportation

That's the best kind of SF really.

I've been watching my houseplants die. Every day for over a month now I noticed them and would think I should water them, and then I'd do something else, cuz one more day couldn't hurt. It hurt. Today finally I pored over these two once-luscious masses of vines and hacked them back to inches. Part of me wanted to throw them in the trash, but I'd already acted such a monster toward them, I couldn't bring myself to do it. So they're pruned, extremely pruned. New year, fresh start and all that.

The business on the first floor of our building suffered water damage this morning, a leak through the ceiling. Our landlord is certain that we're at fault — clogging the kitchen sink and letting the water overflow. Never mind that our kitchen sink is just fine, we're puzzled how our actions on the third floor could impact the first floor so catastrophically while bypassing the landlord's unit on the second floor entirely.

We've been watching Blue's Clues: Bluestock. We don't get to see Blue's Clues in these parts (to my knowledge anyway) though we're familiar with the show by reputation and have even seen a couple episodes while off visiting. So we picked up a DVD last week, and I might add it's a breath of fresh after watching the Caillou's Holiday Movie a gazillion times in December.

From the start Helena had a special fondness for Macy Gray's number cuz it encouraged her to "dance like a monkey." However, the phrase about dancing "like you have ants in your pants" has made an impression. She sticks out her diaper-clad bottom, pulling on the waist, and says "Regarde Mama, Papa. A bee!" Sometimes it's a spider.


martha said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure what I think about the mundane manifesto. They're all good points. I guess it comes down to how hard you want your science in science fiction. Also, it seems important to recognize that science is all about surprises, and about us discovering that we don't know as much as we think we do. And what about the fun??!!

I also cried over Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and share your questions about that sense of something missing, or for me, more a permanant sense of loss, of grieving. I have no notion of whether I would sense that I had lost my spouse or one of my children. I had always had a strong sense that I was in control of my body, and my mind, until recent encounters with my own physical limitations made me aware that I can't simply WILL my body to do something that it can't do. Any more than anyone can stay awake when the anaesthesiologist is counting backwards as you go under.

I just discovered your site, and look forward to reading more.


Cisdesir said...

Eternal Sunshine is a movie i hold dear to my heart.

clementine. her free spirit. her moments of insecurities. her impulsiveness. her aversion to the word "nice." joel. his introspectiveness. his loneliness. his tendency to "fall in love with every woman who shows...the least bit of attention." his shortcomings. his self-realization. his disappointments.

their idiosyncracies. their nature. their connection. their mistakes. their miscommunication. their loss. their memories.

intimacy is delicately women into the story. intimacy in the sense that two people share their most personal thoughts, fears, and doubts. there is also humor in just the right moments, and a bit of romanticism, as well as disturbing subplots, twists, and characters. i could not have imagined a better ending, the final moments between joel and clementine are as real as they are perfect. perfectly real. and this realness is what blows me away.

this quote captures most of the movie:

They aren't easy, he's saying, but they're vital. The flaws, the arguments, the pet peeves -- these are the necessary tradeoffs for human connection... Sunshine's wintry mood is warmed by the idea that two people, even knowing that they failed to make a go of it before, might be brave enough to play the game of love again -- memories wiped, sure, but with eyes wide open. --Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal

Aussie Mama said...

Eternal sunshine - I am yet to see it. A movie I would strongly recommend is 'A walk in the clouds' it just melts me, so beautiful, romantic, I love it.

Anonymous said...

My favorite movie last year, Isabella; I'm glad you enjoyed it, too.