...which, oddly, presented a great challenge for me. I say oddly because I remember it as such a visual film. As my second favourite movie of 2004 I like Gondry's film a great deal and even as I'd agree that it is well shot I never had a shot in my head to choose. Usually, for films I've seen before, I know what I'm looking for and there are many images within Eternal Sunshine which call for "best shot" focus but there was no singular image I felt certain of. I have only seen one other Best Shot entry for this week before writing, but there seemed to be three especially fertile moments to choose from: childhood Clementine and Joel, Joel and Clementine on ice, and Joel and Clementine on the beach. After consideration, I thought I'd find something there, too. But, I don't know if it was just my general inclination to be contrary thought. As arresting as those choices were I could not submit to any as one which defined the way I felt about the movie. Which is, indeed, asking too much of a single shot. Nathaniel just asks us to choose our favourite. But, I feel I must choose one which exemplifies what the film means to me. Which put me in a weird quandary where the shots I kept gravitating were not the ones which showcase Ellen Kura's skill as a DP as good as they ought, at least on an aesthetic level.
For the dozen of you who have not seen it, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tells a story about Joel Barrish who decides to erase his girlfriend of two years from his mind when he finds out she has done the same to him. Due to some glitches during the process, his subconscious rejects the erasure and we follow him through his mind as he tries to stop the process.
From the 10 shots I shortlisted the most objectively, aesthetically pleasing one was this.
As the film nears its climax we reach the first time Clementine and Joel met and he talks of being scared of her then. Scared of her unpredictable nature and her nerve. So scared that he cut their first meeting short.
I walked out the door. I felt like a scared little kid. I was....like, it was above my head. I don't know...
It's why my best shot is an image that is aesthetically not very appealing but gets to the root of Joel so hard that I kept coming back to it. And, this is my best shot.
(Bonus: My second favourite shot was this one.
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