Talk:Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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References to use[edit]

Please add to the list references that can be used for the film article.
  • Grau, Christopher, ed. (2009). Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Philosophers on Film. Routledge. ISBN 0415774659. 
  • Harbidge, Lesley (2009). "A New Direction in Comedian Comedy?: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love and the Post-Comedian Rom-Com". Falling in Love Again: Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema. I. B. Tauris. pp. 176–189. ISBN 1845117719. 
  • Miah, Andy (2009). "'Blessed Are the Forgetful': The Ethics of Memory Deletion in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". In Shapshay, Sandra. Bioethics at the Movies. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 137–155. ISBN 0801890772. 
  • Nungesser, Verena-Susanna (2009). "I Forgot to Remember (to Forget): Personal Memories in Memento (2000) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)". Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory. Media and Cultural Memory. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3110204444. 
  • Walters, James (2008). "Return to Innocence: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michael Gondry, 2004)". Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema. Intellect Ltd. pp. 81–104. ISBN 1841502022. 
  • Wartenberg, Thomas E. (2007). "Arguing against utilitarianism: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 76–93. ISBN 0415774314. 


Cleaned up several sections[edit]

There were several minor errors in various sections and some clunky prose that I cleaned up. There was also a bit of unnecessary detail IMHO about the scene where Joel and Clementine were watching a circus parade that didn't really fit in with that section about deleted and dropped scenes.Senegalparrot (talk) 01:18, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Reverted major changes that were made to the page without discussion[edit]

It was my understanding that people shouldn't do major edits (like bagging an entire section and rewriting another) without explaining what they are doing here. I'm referring to the detailed linear chronology section and the plot one. IMHO, those two sections were fine the way they were and were in place for four years when someone decided to change them. So I'm changing them back. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Senegalparrot (talkcontribs) 05:33, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Tweaked the discussion about the looped ending[edit]

Somebody really went out on a limb with an interpretation of the scene of Joel and Clementine playing in the snow meant "and they lived happily ever after"...With respect to that person, it's a nice interpretation, but it isn't supported by shooting script or comments made by Gondry or Kaufmann. So I got rid of that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Did a few more tweaks on the linear chronology[edit]

I noticed that the chronology got shortened down some and for the most part, I think it looks better than when I last saw it. I did do a number of tweaks and added a bit more description of the final scenes.

Did some tweaks on the analysis of the end[edit]

I did a bit of editing on the last paragraph of the end section. I thought it was a bit too speculative in its interpretation of the snow scene. I am willing to discuss this with whoever made the change. But I really do think that it's better to say that this is one interpretation (based on the fact that we saw a snow-memory of Joel's getting erased and the hair color thing).

Frankly, I think when the snow scene during the credits took place is not terribly important. But at the same time, I've seen some people come along and deride this page for having content that extrapolates too much, and I figure that the paragraph as it was originally worded is like waving a red flag to a bull. But let me stress, I am willing to discuss this.

Did Joel really overlook the skeleton drawing?[edit]

I just watched the movie and my memory is that Joel didn't overlook his drawing of Clem as a skeleton when he gathered up things to bring to Lacuna. Don't we actually see him pull out the drawing during the "gathering things to bring to Lacuna" scene? That would imply he brought it. And the second time we see it is after Joel openshis file and is listening to the tape, so I assumed the drawing was part of his file (for some reason it wasn't among the items Patrick stole). I'm not sure about this so I won't change the page. I'm not going to go watch the movie again to check it, but I'm sure someone here is willing to watch for this next time they watch the movie.

I've seen the movie a bunch of times, and I think that implication was clearly that Joel simply overlooked the sketch when he was clearing out Clementine's effects. He wasn't exactly going about it in a slow, methodical way, and I find it easy to believe that he could have overlooked it in the state that he was in. God knows that I've forgotten things when I have been distraught like Joel was.
I agree with the first person. I believe that drawing of Clem with the body of the skeleton was part of the file that Joel received in the mail and not something that he forgot to bring with him to Lacuna. One reason is the color of Clem's hair. After Joel had the procedure and he met Clem (again) for the first time her hair was Blue. She must have changed it from orange to blue sometime between the last time Joel saw her before she had the procedure and when he met her again in Montauk. The color of her hair in the drawing was red. Red was the color her hair was before she dyed it orange. If he just happened to see that drawing the day he got his file from Lacuna in the mail then how was he was supposed to know it was a drawing of Clem? He had met Clem only two days before that (after his procedure) and he knew her with blue hair. It makes sense to think that drawing was something that was returned to him in the mail. Not everything that he brought with him to Lacuna was returned because Patrick stole most of it but that drawing was one of them. Ospinad 15:20, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with the people who think that the painting was in the file (does it really matter that much anyway?). Joel said to Clementine, "Look what I found" (indicating the painting). Moreover, he had obviously been tearing his apartment apart looking for evidence of their relationship. If he had just gotten the painting in the mail, he would have said something like, "Look at what was in my envelope." Besides, all their respective mementos were a lot more than what could be stuffed in a large envelope. But then, does it really matter? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I really feel in some odd way it does matter. First of all, I know that the people who made this movie emphasized certain things in a certain way for viewers to take notice. There is a purpose. It lets your imagination soar and think of those things and their significance/meaning/relevance, and the endless possibilities and combinations that we can create with our minds. It is also somehow clever because in the end you're STILL left wondering. I feel like there is a everlasting impression, in which I want to know the actual ending to their relationship but I will never know (and in turn, joel and clementine, as they are presented in the end, also wonder about the future of them as a couple. Despite those doubts, they do it anyway). This movie was based on the idea of Albert Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus"(according to my philosophy teacher)and therefore, a philosophical movie.The point of philosophy is to make you think. And this is exactly what this movie did.

  • What i also found interesting was the fact that almost every character is left wondering about SOMETHING. Joel wonders what will happen, knowing that in the past they just broke up! Clem thinks the same. Dr. Howard is left wondering, thinking what if I did pursue this relationship with her instead of my wife? I wonder did anyone think about that, in general? It's crazy though (the idea) . And that's why i LOVE this movie even more now. All thanks to my class.

As he's cleaning he comes across a few letters and pauses and you know that he is reading them. You have to feel his anger. He seems ANGRY that he doesn't understand WHYY! and the fact that he's going crazy because of this. But yet, he's sad and just feels completely helpless. He looks at her baby picture and REMEMBERS to look at the back to see this signature or a note from Clem, or just the fact that he wanted to see her handwriting for the last time. But the fact that he does send this very powerful message through such a small/quick emphasis on a tiny detail! (an example..)

  • To just comment on the first msg, I don't think that they showed anything of the skeleton painting. I think i didn't catch it, but it is the part when he's cleaning out stuff that reminds him of her, am i correct? I am really confused as to what you are talking about. I know it's the skeleton picture but where is it when he's cleaning?.


  • Why is Angelas' text (above) going off the right side of the page? :Please fix it. I dont't know how! (Yet)

Fixed (hope its ok to have done so Angela) N.b. It was caused by a single space at the start of your sentence.

  • Why aren't people signing? **Four 'tildes' remember? (talk) 04:10, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

someone's question about memory scenes being correct[edit]

someone posted a question about the memory scenes section asking if they were correct. I think the answer is pretty much yes (although I suppose there is always room for "happy" to "glad" type word changes

Cleaned up the section on Joel's childhood[edit]

I took a crack at cleaning up the language in the "Joel's childhood" section (moving part of it to the section about how erased memories appear and hopefully clarifying the lead-in sentences that someone added to the section.

Science catching up to fiction...[edit]

Memories Selectively, Safely Erased In Mice: —Preceding unsigned comment added by JaffaCakeLover (talkcontribs) 11:01, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Quick question[edit]

... anyone else think Stan's a bit of an idiot because he's had his memory erased a few times? It IS brain damage, and I'm sure the good doctor wouldn't think twice to tweak his employees' brains rather than pay unemployment, or get sued, etc. Just a thought. I actually like the article. Phoenix frou 15:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

That's an interesting thought, but I figure that there's no evidence to suggest that. I suppose it would be something that Gondry or Kaufmann could answer.
I don't believe Stan was like that because he had his memory erased a few times. First of all if the doctor wanted to, "tweak his employees' brains rather than pay unemployment, or get sued, etc," then Stan would have had to submit to the procedure. There's no way that the doctor could've done the procedure to anyone without their consent and no way that he could've tricked anyone into erasing their memory. Even if Stan wanted to erase some of his memories about something else the doctor couldn't have "gone behind his back" and erased different memories. All the memories that were to be erased had to be "mapped" before the procedure. Ospinad 15:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, I got the impression that Stan was a bit of a stoner...smokes dope, drinks (maybe heavily), listens to really loud music, etc. You could get that way without having your memory zapped.

I don't know if the movie has inspired any fanfic, but I suppose someone who was into that could use that as a theme.

and more[edit]

actually i'm not really taking you into consideration. you're the problem here, one which i couldn't be bothered dealing with.

constructive criticism[edit]

Frankly, statements like "this tripe does not belong in Wikipedia" aren't terribly helpful. I assume that Wikipedia's amorphous standards call for people to say things like, "this section needs to be changed because..." or "this could be written in a format that consists of..." instead of things like "this sucks, and I'm not going to bother to tell you specifically why."

And as far as claims that I'm acting like I "own it," that is untrue. I have not objected to substantive alterations to the input that I have provided to it over the last two years. For example, I had no problems with someone reformatting most of my input from an "FAQ" that I did for the site into something that looked a lot better and apparently conforms to wikipedia standards.

I'm just not willing to agree to deleting huge sections of the page without the person making such demands providing detailed reasons why such changes should be made.


Extremely poorly written. No, that is not subjective. It's just terrible. You're acting like you own this page. This tripe does not belong in wikipedia.

hey, hey, hey[edit]

The article has been pretty much the way it without anyone else objecting to its structure for over two years. I think "extremely poorly written" is pretty much a matter of opinion. I also think that trying to compress a movie as complex as ESOTSM into a one paragraph summation is not realistic and would pretty much moot the whole point of providing a "detailed chronology" (that readers are entirely free to skip). I also think that it's worth looking at how long the page for the movie "Memento" is as well. The chronology there is pretty long too.

This being said, I will take another look at the chronology and see if I can winnow it down some. However, I don't think that it's realistic to demand/ask/suggest what you're asking/demanding/suggesting. I'm more than willing to debate and discuss how this chronology can be improved. However, to do that, you've got to be specific in your criticisms (i.e. "get rid of all of it" is a pretty sweeping demand).

Also, I will remove the sentence that you find objectionable about why Clementine knew Patrick was a creep. I think it is not such an unreasonable inference to draw, but it is not worth getting in a fight over.

hey, "hey, "alteration""[edit]

The entire plot of the movie is far from encyclopaedic. I do agree that as its narrative is far from linear an outline of the chronological plot may be in order, but what we have here is overkill. I stress also that the material in question is incredibly poorly written. The fact that the entire plot is there isn't the problem, it's all of the extra bits and pieces that are thrown in - these are clear to see but I put down a few examples previously. You could coherently some up the chronological plot in a relatively small paragraph, this just isn't necessary.

If anybody with any authority in wikipedia was to stumble upon this apparently inactive article I'm quite sure they would agree with me.

Ergh. And I notice that extra bit has been put back in. I'm not going to remove it, what's the point. I might as well delete the whole damn thing. Seriously, this is poorly written material that does not belong in Wikipedia. Move it to your website and add a link at the bottom for all our sakes. I see you've repeated in response to me the same text as begins the entire thing (confusion on imdb), so I assume you're the original author. Move it to your website.

hey, "alteration"[edit]

I don't have a problem with you removing the speculation about why Clementine told Patrick to get away from her. But I DO have a problem with any changes to the synopsis of the film. YOU may find it rambling. But I do not, and I suspect a lot of other people do not either.

As for the level of detail, if you read the postings about this, you would have been amazed at how much confusion that there was over the sequence of events in this movie. The detailed synopsis of the plot was designed to answer people's questions about what happened.


I deleted '(a logical explanation for that being that she had read his name in her file and realized that he was involved in the memory erasure process)' for two reasons. The first is that this is not a good explanation at all - would clementine really have sat down and read the file through in her injured state after the confrontation in Joel's car? The second is that either way we don't know, so let's not bother including anything on that matter.

I might add that this synopsis of the film is highly speculative. It rambles on and at points isn't as coherent as a wikipedia article should be. It strikes me as something which should go on the original authors website - it should be removed from this article.

Infact I'll take a few quotes to illustrate this:

'Patrick approaches Clementine on the steps to her building, but she angrily tells him to "get the fuck" away from her.' / 'Meanwhile, Mary has come over ostensibly to help Stan and Patrick with the procedure. However, given the fact that she and Stan kiss each other, it is obvious that she is there more to see Stan than to do any work.' / 'They travel back on the same train, and both find themselves --for them-- mysteriously drawn to each other.'

This is a poorly written and subjective blow by blow recount of the entire story and does not belong here.

// I agree with the fact that it is a poorly written summary of this movie. As the person above me said, it is meant to make you think (which is what philosophy is all about)'s very broad, if you watch what's open for discussion...anything it possible. if you look at what I said in the section about Clems skeleton pic being over looked, i wrote that this film was based on the idea of Albert Camus' "Myth of Sisyphus", which was, Yes to life! You embrace it and to embrace your life, you must embrace both the good and the bad. And though you embrace it, at the same time, life is pointless and repetitive (just as if someone is working and they do it over and over and over, there is a reason! the reason is to make money...but what happens after? it is inevitable that death is going to come. and our bodies die. so the idea is simply put: what is the point of actions, if we are going to just die? that's how it is pointless and repetitive). In simpler terms, Joel got what he asked for. He chose his fate. The moment he agreed to delete her from his mind, his fate was inevitable, and in a way sort of predestined just because it was inevitable, whether you're conscious of it or not. My final point is that you cannot absolutely not write this summary in the way of YOUR vIEWS. And i'm not saying this to be mean or to tell you you're wrong, i'm saying this only because it will harm the thoughts of others who have not seen this can give your opinion but you must state that it is YOUR opinion and not the RIGHT way of thinking or anything like that. You should just give a very extremely brief explanation of what happens, not in detail.

Try not to state your opinion unless you have another article of text or an idea that proves your opinion/judgments/argument/idea, then you must compare and state how your evidence justifies your argument. until then do not mess this movie up for others. On top of that i agree that you didn't even give the correct details! at least be correct in what might be an interpretation of what you though but you shouldn't. it will influence others. and in a bad way too. =angela

speaking as the author of the dearly departed faq[edit]

I have to really disagree with the the poster below who thinks the interpretation of the ending needs to be changed. He or she needs to read the interview in the back of the "script book" which quotes Kaufman as saying, more or less, "the hallway scene marked the end of the story and that it is up to the viewers to decide what happened." I agree that the passage below that states "Clementine" feels the same way is too speculative. But I stick to my guns that the way Joel said, "Okay" meant "I don't care." And if you look at the very end of the scene, and you study the expression on Winslet's face, its undeniable that at first, she's confused by what Joel said, and then she nods her head. Then they both start to laugh. How speculative is it to conclude that both characters were laughing because, "this is weird, weird, weird"? I don't think it is speculative at all. What is a bit more speculative is the conclusion that I drew that they had decided to live in the moment and not worry about what is preordained.

I really do believe as I stated before on the IMDB comments of this movie, that ESOTSM is sort of a psychological rohrschach test (inkblots). People who are pessimistic are likely to see a darker ending. People who aren't are more inclined to see a happier one. I think I take the middle course and say that it was a "hopeful" ending.

overly specualtive interpretation of the ending, NEEDS to be changed[edit]

This article speculates that joel and Clementine get back together at the end, even though the movie leaves it ambiguous. Although the last shot in the film is of the couple frolicking in the snow, Gondry and Kaufman both admit on the DVD commentary that this could be an earlier scene of the two, and does not neccesarily mean that they are back together. That information, taken with the fact that the WHOLE movie is out-of-order chronologically, means that you can't definitively say that they do get back together.

I'll quote what the wiki article says:

"Clementine...tells Joel that their relationship is bound to fail. Joel shrugs and says 'Okay' in a tone which indicates that he accepts that it will likely fail, but still wants to experience it. Clementine feels the same way. Both of them begin to laugh over the absurdity of the situation and with relief that they aren't going to walk away from what may turn out to be a rewarding relationship"

I think the whole "Clementine feels the same way" and "relief that they aren't going to walk away from what may turn out to be a rewarding relationship" part of this entry is bullshit and speculative. How does the author of this entry know how Kate Winslet's character feels at this point in the movie? And does Joel's "tone" of voice really indicate as much as this entry's author speculates?

This is all one person's interpretation of the film, when I saw it I thought the opposite, that they did not get back together. The last shot of them together in Montauk could be from any time in their relationship. But I don't insist that my interpretation is right and present it that way, as this page's author(s) did. The article should note the ambiguous nature of the ending and state that the film leaves it to the viewer to figure it out. If a registered user doesn't make those changes, I might just edit the page myself.

I agree; go ahead and see what you can do. There is a lot of speculation about this film; most of it is very amateurish, anyway, and is not supported by the film. As Roger Ebert says, if it's not in the film, it doesn't exist. paul klenk talk 23:07, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

more comments on the ending...[edit]

Probably disrupting some compromise here but I think it has to be said... Currently the article states:

". Clementine tells Joel that their relationship is bound to fail, based on what they now know about it. However, Joel just shrugs and says "Okay" (indicating that he doesn't care about what may happen in the future)."

We don't actually know what the "okay" means, so... saying that it indicates that he doesn't care about what may happen in the future doesn't actually add anything to the article. There are three main scenarios as I see it. 1) "Okay" means that he doesn't care about what happens in the future and wants to give it a go in case it doesn't fail 2) it means that he doesn't care about what happens in the future so it's worth them getting back together even if it does fail or 3) that he's agreeing with her, it's bound to fail and they shouldn't get back together, indicating that he does care about what happens in the future. Not all the scenarios envisage him not caring about what may happen in the future so... that part should be deleted. In any case it's not for a Wikipedia article to imagine what a character in a film might possibly be thinking...

If no-one disagrees I will remove the bracketed line...?

-- Lochaber 00:14, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

WHOA. What's the deal with this "FAQ"? Is that encyclopedic?-Branddobbe 02:37, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)

It could certainly be edited to make it so. --Lukobe 04:22, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

So--shall it be done? I'd be happy to start in on it... --Lukobe 04:40, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I think my biggest problem with it isn't that it's in FAQ format — that's easy enough to fix — but that it's mostly just interpretation, and I'm wary of including that in an article, even with (or maybe especially with) a "some people think" tag at the front. -Branddobbe 06:56, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

Well--in the cases where the particular interpretation is widely accepted by critics and the like, I think it's appropriate. I'll look into it. --Lukobe 19:18, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Are all of those FAQ questions and answers your own work? RickK 00:07, Jun 13, 2004 (UTC)

Is your question directed to me? If so, the answer is no--I would have posted it under my own name. If your question is directed to the anon poster, I can't speak for him, but I believe it was his own work. I met him on the IMDb board for the movie, and invited him to incorporate his FAQ into the Wikipedia article. He posted it (without registering) but didn't integrate it, so rather than have it deleted, I thought I'd help with the process. --Lukobe 00:25, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

-Gah, the FAQ is annoying and should go.

This article was good and in-depth until I came across the FAQ. Come on, this is a silly Q&A: "Did Joel slit his throat in one scene?" The FAQ should be made into a paragraph called trivia or something because there is some nice trivia such as the elephant parade scene for people that haven't watch/hear the DVD features. --Anonymous Cow 21:39, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think the plot needs the part about how Mary finds out about the affair and the subsequent memory erasure right before Joel wakes up on Valentine's Day. Because this event served as a catalyst for how Joel and Clementine find out that each of their memories has been altered (Mary breaks into harold's office and sends all the former patients their info). I would do it but my memory is sketchy about the details. (no irony intended with that statement) Mimsie 00:23, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It's there, in the linear chronology section. Lukobe 00:34, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Since this happened before Mary mailed out all of Lacuna's files and tapes to Mierzwiak's patients, there is no way that the cassette could have been either of the ones that Joel or Clementine made denouncing each other immediately prior to having their memories erased." - This doesn't necessarily have to be true... The discussion about the original intention for the credits being to show the cyclic nature of their relationship, I suppose it could possibly be that when we see Joel throw out the cassette, it wasn't in the first iteration of their relationship. However, I'll confess that this didn't occur to me until after reading this article and it's more likely just a solution looking for a problem...

I think it's overly specualtive to think they didn't get back together, or to think anything else in a movie like this, I do think that the page should say that they COULD have gotten back together, but to simply deny it completely is just stupid.


Is the Lacuna link at the bottom of the page supposed to be a joke? Is this treatment real?

It's a promotional website for the movie that was put up a few months before its release. The treatment is definitely not real. --Lukobe 16:30, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Huckleberry Hound[edit]

This article states that the second time (chronologically) that Joel meets Clementine, he says he doesn't know the song "Clementine" or anything about Huckleberry Hound. It explains the fact that he knew about both the first time he met Clementine by saying that knowledge was too closely tied in with the relationship and so was deleted from his mind. I think it is much more likely that Joel decides not to say he knows the "Clementine" or Huckleberry Hound. Why he might decide to do this, however, is very much unclear.

I think Joel honestly doesn't remember the song. Why do you think he does remember it? Oh, you say the reason is unclear. Well in that case, let me urge you to reconsider the position that he does not remember it, because at least this position has a clear reason; the memory was deleted. When Joel first mentions the song, he also mentions that his mother used to sing it to him. At another point of the movie, they actually show a scene where his mother is singing the song to him, and then show the scene get deleted. It's not only the obvious conclusion that the song was deleted, it's more or less explicit. -Lethe | Talk 22:06, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)
It's pretty clear Joel doesn't consciously remember neither Clementine nor the song at that point in the movie. They have been erased. Why would he lie, anyway? Andran 07:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
It seemed to me that the significance of his not remembering the references was to further the notion that memories are more deeply linked than we might expect; rather than just reflecting on his former girlfriend, his memories of her also tie into many other parts of his consciousness. He couldn't remove her without removing other things significantly tied to his personality.
But that is not the only interpretation. First of all, I think it's safe to assume that the only memories that got deleted were the ones that we saw got deleted. We saw the entire process from beginning to end (or rather from end to beginning). Also, I don't think that if what Joel said on the beach was true, that it was his favorite doll when was little and that his mom used to sing that song to him all the time, then I don't think that the one memory of his mom bathing him in the sink would have been the only memory he had about Huckleberry Hound or the Clementine song. So even if that one memory of his mom bathing him in the sink was erased then I don't think that would have caused him to forget all about Huckleberry Hound or the doll. Someone asked why would he lie about not knowing about it? Well, maybe it was because she just got finished telling him that she didn't want to hear any jokes about her name. Maybe he said he didn't know any because he was trying to get her to like him and he didn't want to make fun of her. Ospinad 15:22, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I do think that is a way too speculative theory. As it is a movie it has its temporal limitations, thus it can’t show every single time Joel was thinking of Huckleberry Hound. Joel’s memories of Huckleberry Hound are connected to his memories of Clementine – as she interferes with his childhood memories. Nothing what so ever suggests he is lying to Clementine, everything in the plot suggests that those memories were deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Deleted FAQ[edit]

That FAQ was annoying me so I fucking deleted it.

That is all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:43, 30 March 2005

Your actions were pretty rude and probably vandalism. But you know...? I kinda don't like the FAQ either. -Lethe | Talk 03:00, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Montauk next day[edit]

Both Joel and Clem go back to Montauk the very next day and I found that peculiar while watching it. However, they did account for it if you think about the chronology. Clem whispers in Joel's ear, in the final memory to be erased "maybe in Montauk", which could be construed as a subliminal message still left behind about something wonderful happening there.

Similarly, Clem is reliving some of her experiences with Patrick, who's using Joel's and Clem's memories. This may have served to reawaken in her some memories of Montauk as well, and cause her to go there. Do you think this bears mentioning in the article? Otherwise, forget it. -- 03:43, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Did Clem say in the final memory to be erased "maybe in Montauk" or did she say "meet me in Montauk"? Rhallanger 05:35, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I think she clearly said "Meet me in Montauk". -CGK

Lacuna (the word)[edit]

I don't know where in the article to put this, but the word 'lacuna' is italian for 'empty' or 'gap', and I think the significance of that word choice is worth noting. It might also be worth stating a reference to the band Lacuna Coil, the title of which translates to 'empty spiral'.

SonOfNothing 16:49, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

In might be worth noting just in case someone doesn't know the word. It's originally Latin for pit or hole, and the Oxford English Dictionary defines "lacuna" as
  • 1. In a manuscript, an inscription, the text of an author: A hiatus, blank, missing portion.
  • 2. Chiefly in physical science: A gap, an empty space, spot, or cavity.
--Plumbago 17:19, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
It could go under trivia, no?
Inferi 05:40, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Huckleberry Hound and Joel being an active part of memories[edit]

Here is what I interpreted about the Huckleberry Hound motif:

Joel never connect Clementine's name with Huckleberry Hound unless she prompts him to. That is to say, when they're on the train, he doesn't make the connection until she tells him "don't make fun of my name." Whether or not he's aware of Huckleberry Hound doesn't matter. The reason why he sings it during the memory of the party at Montauk is because this is one of the memories that he takes an active role in while it is being erased. Remember how Clementine says "This is it...etc." This shows that this memory is the type that the article calls number 4, "Memories in which Joel is a participant but can "break character" and change the way the scene turns out." He knows the Huckleberry Hound reference already, and he brings it up. However, when he's on the train, he doesn't make the connection, because, obviously, he doesn't know her.

Your interpretation doesn't work, and the movie makes this thing pretty clear: when Joel is in the train with Clem he doesn't remember the song because it's been already erased by Lacuna employees. He does know the song, he just cannot remember it. However, when he met Clementine for the first time, back in the beach house, he did remember the song because it was from Huckleberry Hound, a cartoon from his childhood. No need for him to "break character"... that part of his memory is just as it happened the first time :-) It's not because he "knows the reference" from the train, which would be impossible since the train meeting hasn't happened yet! Andran 07:32, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the above poster; that interpretation does not work, and the movie makes it clear as crystal. --Shinramen1313 23:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

That's not fair, you are basically saying that his interpretation is wrong because you already have an interpretation. There could very well be more than one way to intrepret the movie. What does, "he does know the song, he just can't remember it," mean? You said that there was no "need" for him to break character but that doesn't mean that he couldn't have broken character. In fact, he was already breaking character and actively participating in that memory long before they got to the house. Remember when he was talking about her sweater, the one that he'd "grow to love, then eventually hate"? At that point he was talking about things that happened long after the memory he was in at that time. Just because your interpretation makes sense to you that doesn't mean another one would be impossible. Ospinad 15:39, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
One more thing. I'm not saying that your interpretation is wrong, I'm just saying that the other one is possible too. And also, I don't think that the first person meant that "he knew the reference from the train" because obviously you are right, that part hadn't happened yet. But still, at that point, Joel had just gotten out of a relationship with her after two years, so he could've remembered the song from the time he spent with her. Ospinad 15:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Script trivia[edit]

Not sure where to include it in the article, but the original script called for a follow-up scene showing an elderly Clementine going in for a memory erasure. The implication being that the two had gone through this dozens of times over their lifetimes.

Summary addition[edit]

This article seems fairly complete, but for some reason I confused it with another one, so had thought of a sentence and wonder if it is worth fitting in. "This poses the question that if, given the chance to make the same choice afresh, whose outcome which we regard in hindsight as a mistake, we make the same choice, can we really regard the original choice as a mistake?" Bit verbose and untidy, yep, but it made sense to me at the time! MartinRe 00:57, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Split proposal for "movie soundtrack" section[edit]

I added it because although it relates to a movie and music, this article currently has 37K and the main article and its soundtrack section need splitting issues. 12:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I support the spilt. 13:45, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I support the split, as well. The movie and the soundtrack are definitely related, but they ought to have their own articles.--Evadb 07:07, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
+1 for the split --Emc² (Contact me Nuvola apps email.png) 14:13, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
This looks like a consensus to me. And over a month has passed with no objections. I'm making the split. Elvrum 21:33, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I recently added an edit to this section concerning the synchronization of this movie to an album- I'm not terribly familiar with wikipedia's formatting/sectioning rules, so I put it where I thought it would most be appropriate. It, however, is not related to the soundtrack of the movie itself. 06:32, 8 July 2006 (EST)

Just Fixed The Image[edit]

I Know the poster was a canidate for speedy deletion, so I speedily uploaded another one and cited my sources, if anyone fixes the other one, feel free to put it back in the article KaufmanIsAwesome 20:51, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


Not NPOV, and certainly not correct tone for an encyclopedia. FerventDove 17:13, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Problems with General focus of the article[edit]

While a large proportion of the article is fine, much of it is rife with WP:OR unsourced analysis. There are a lot of sentences that start with 'this might mean', 'is appears that' and the like. None of this is within the scope of a wikipedia article on a movie. ALL analysis must be sourced to a 3rd party. I'm going to start chopped large chunks of text that are, in my opinion, impossible to successfully edit to conform to WP standards. Ashmoo 06:44, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup tag[edit]

I added a clean up tag, because the article is unfocused and disorganised. It needs asserted work on tone, sourcing, order, detail (more in some areas, less in others) and less opinion statements. I am willing to help, but it probably needs a few heads together. Jdcooper 00:39, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Chopped memory reconsolidation section[edit]

I chopped this section, because, although it is interesting and has cites, there is no cite linking the research to the movie, making it OR.

===Consistence with theories about memory reconsolidation===
Several aspects of the method for memory erasure are actually in good agreement with recent scientific findings. It was found, that consolidation of memories does not necessarily lead to a permanent fixation. Rather, retrieval of a memory can render it susceptible to several amnestic agents such as protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) [1] and electroconvulsive shock (ECS)[2]. After initial training, these agents become more and more ineffective as the memory is consolidated unless the memory is retrieved. Retrieval obviously induces a state of lability which needs a process termed reconsolidation in order to refix the labile memory. Further research elucidated, that recently established memories can be disrupted more easily (with lower doses of amnestic agent or fewer retrieval trials) than older ones[3]. Ongoing research now aims at the therapeutical application of the reconsolidation phenomenon for treatment of maladaptive memories such as PTSD. It was found that the drug propranolol, a β-adrenergic receptor antagonist, can disrupt reconsolidation of auditory fear conditioning in mice[4].

Ashmoo 10:43, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Good call Ashmoo. Jdcooper 17:18, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't understand how that makes it original research. I thought original research meant that it wasn't cited. You can say that it's not specifically about the movie itself but that's not the same thing as OR. Ospinad 15:43, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Unsourced means that its not cited. Original research means that it is an original idea that is not "academically" notable or significantly represented in secondary sources. Inclusion on this article, given that it is not specifically about the movie, makes it original research. Ie, original research that the topics outlined relate to this movie. Jdcooper 16:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Chopped Lacuna Inc section[edit]

I have also chopped the following section, as it seem to just be a reiteration of details that have previously been mentioned (twice) in the plot section.

Lacuna, Inc.[edit]

The fictional Lacuna Inc. was the brainchild of Dr. Howard Mierzwiak who after years of neurobiological research developed a painless method for identifying and erasing specific memories. Lacuna Inc was founded to provide a research facility for the development of this procedure. Over the years, the project has progressed from a mere idea into a full-blown medical service.

After a patient decides what memory it is going to have erased, there is some initial preparation that goes into a successful procedure. The patient is instructed to collect any items or mementos that have any ties to the memory or memories being targeted. These items will be used by the Lacuna team during and disposed of following the procedure. This is to ensure that the patient will not have any inexplicable items after the memory erasure.

While connected to a brain scanning device, the patient is instructed to look at the items, and while reexperiencing the unwanted memories technicians scan brain activity, allowing them to chart and record where the memories are located. The team of Lacuna technicians will use the information they have received from the patient to construct a map of the memory. They will then use this map to extract the memory from the patient's mind.

Following the map created specifically for every patient, that patient takes a sedative. A team then uses a device that systematically retriggers all the memories they have recorded. As they are retriggered, the targeted memories gradually dissolve while the device erases them. The procedure works on a reverse time-line, which means it begins with the most recent memories and goes backwards in time. This approach is designed to target the psychological core that every memory builds on. By eradicating the core, Lacuna technicians are able to make the entire memory dissolve. When the patient wakes from the surgery, they remember nothing.

In addition, Lacuna Inc. sends a letter to the friends and family of the patient, explaining that the patient is erasing the memory of a particular human and asking the recipients to never mention that human to the patient again.

Ashmoo 08:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Chopped 'childhood' and 'Mary Sveno' sections[edit]

I've chopped some more text. These, while interesting, as totally unsourced and simply commentaries on possible interpretations of the film. They would be better suited to someone's personal fan page on the film. I think we need to keep the article as encyclopediac as possible.

Joel's childhood[edit]

The memory of Clementine that Joel's subconscious interacts with suggests that he somehow hid her in other memories in which she did not belong. The apparent idea behind this was that this would preserve Joel's memories of Clementine from the erasure procedure. Joel therefore conjures memories from his early childhood (the scenes in his mother's kitchen), and when this tactic fails, his memory of Clementine urges him to hide her "in his humiliation."

These turn out to be scenes in which his mother walks in on him masturbating and where bullies pressure him into hitting a dead bird with a hammer. The latter scene was meant to express a common early memory, when children are forced by others to do things they don't want to, something Jim Carrey revealed in an interview included as an extra on the DVD.

Hiding Clementine causes problems with the memory-erasing procedure, and leads Dr. Mierzwiak to come over to Joel's apartment to help Stan, which leads to Mary's discovery of her past relationship with the doctor. In turn, this precipitates Mary's decision to mail to all of Lacuna's clients their files (which leads to Joel and Clementine discovering that they have had a tumultuous past relationship).

Mary Svevo[edit]

There are several hints early in the movie that foreshadow Mary's previous relationship with Mierzwiak. The first is the way that she looks and acts around him when Joel first comes into the clinic. Then, when she comes over to see Stan during Joel's procedure, she speaks flatteringly of Mierzwiak's intellect, saying that he should be quoted in Bartlett's. Stan gives a look of exasperation at her fawning over the doctor. When Mierzwiak does come over, she proceeds to fawn over him and mentions some obscure quotes, apparently ones she had used on the doctor before her memory erasure, since Mierzwiak is familiar with them.

Late in the movie, Mary makes her feelings known to the doctor, and they eventually kiss. Mrs. Mierzwiak shows up and in the confrontation that follows, Mary learns that she had had a relationship with Mierzwiak, and she let him erase her memory of it. Devastated, Mary goes to the Lacuna office and listens to her tape. (In a deleted portion of this scene, there is a bit of dialogue in which we learn that Mary had a natal abortion in the wake of the affair.) Mary clears out her desk, steals all Lacuna's files and tapes, and mails them to their clients, on the grounds that the procedure is a mistake.

It is unclear what Stan knew about Mary's relationship with Mierzwiak or her undergoing the memory-erasure procedure. At the end of the movie, he emphatically claims that he didn't, that he only saw the two together one night, and that she looked "happy with a secret", but that he only had suspicions. However, when Mierzwiak comes over, Stan is noticeably agitated, not just because of Joel's procedure being a mess, but of Mary being there. He also honks his van's horn when Mrs. Mierzwiak arrives to warn the two former lovers of her arrival.

Ashmoo 12:32, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

The subplot of Mary's prior relationship with Mierzwiak is pretty important, though. It's clear from the tape that there was a degree of coercion involved in having her memory wiped; it not only provides a plot mechanic for Joel and Clementine to discover their original memories, it also is part of a chain of abuses of the procedure you see throughout the film (Paul, Stan and Mary's partying, Paul's attempt to use details of her memories to seduce her), culminating in Joel's attempt to resist the wipe. Her re-awakened feelings echoes the cycle of memory and forgetfulness in the rest of the movie. (talk) 04:48, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

True Ending? Joel cried and thrown away the tape?[edit]

I'd like to raise a discussion on the true ending of the film.

Just after showing the credits in the beginning of the film, Joel cried and thrown away a tape. Is it chronologically after the 'okay' scene near the end of the film? If no, when did it happen? If no, where did this tape come from?

Please keep this discussed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Llf (talkcontribs) 20:52, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I think that scene is just before he gets his memory erased, and the tape he's listening to is a mixtape you can hear playing in the background in another scene. --Closedmouth (talk) 03:49, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Connections to the song meet me in montauk[edit]

Even though it was not confirmed by the band circa survive should it be put on this article? (talk) 07:33, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Special Features[edit]

Is there a need to describe the contents of the DVD in that much detail? Farslayer (talk) 10:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

No. --Closedmouth (talk) 12:41, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Question about "Meet me in Montauk"[edit]

I don't understand how the plot allowed Clementine to whisper that 'message' to Joel during his attempt to escape the erasure process. Was "meet me in Montauk" a preserved memory or a brand new thought? It's the only thing that still confuses me!! Adambisset (talk) 09:58, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Real life memory erasure[edit]

I added the following:

The journal Nature Neuroscience reported in February 2009 that beta blockers can erase memories. Beta blockers interferes with this re-creation of the stressful memory - and prevents the brain renewing it. Wide-scale use of the drug was a long way off.[5]

Ikip (talk) 15:07, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

young bully[edit]

Is it Paulie Litt or Josh Flitter that plays the 'young bully' character, as on this pagge it says Paulie Litt, but on the Josh Flitter page it says he played it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Hey, let's discuss this thing about the chronology[edit]

I don't know why the linear chronology --which has been up for the last few years without controversy-- seems to make people want to delete it without any discussion. It was my understanding that people on Wikipedia are supposed to discuss and negotiate major changes on this page and not just do them.

So let's talk about the linear chronology. It's my position that it's essential to understand the plot of the movie. I can't count the number of times I've seen people asking questions about what happened and getting important facts about the story wrong. I don't think that simply stating the sequence of events in a chronological statement constitutes "original research"...If I had interviewed Gondry and Kaufman and posted my interview there without publishing it elsewhere, it would be original research, but why is simply stating the events as shown "original research"?

I did move it further down the page since I can see why some people might find it too long to be at the top.

per WP:PLOT, our coverage of fiction works should be a brief summary/synopsis of the work, which the current plot does fine. A scene-by-scene description is not appropriate, and is also boarding on original research since some of these facts are not specifically made clear by the movie and only hint at what may have been possibilities. Now, arguably the linear chronology is not a scene-by-scene but its close enough to fall in area of things we don't include. Now, if you can show through sources that this chronology is critical to the work, then we can probably keep it, but I've not seen anything like that. --MASEM (t) 00:44, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. I don't want to get into a revert war, but I don't see myself just saying, "Well, Masem says so it must be so." That chronology was up for years before you came along. Can't we compromise here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Senegalparrot (talkcontribs) 00:54, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Look life is short...How about this, I post the chronology on my blog and we include it as one additional resource? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Senegalparrot (talkcontribs) 00:59, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

We already have a chronology - that's the plot summary which is told in the same order as the attempted detailed chronology. Sure, it doesn't attempt the level of detail for the specifics, but it follows along as it's supposed to, instead of trying to follow the scene-for-scene aspects of the work (which are out of chronological order). Our goal on WP is to inform the general reader - one who may never have seen or will likely seen - the work in question, so we don't go into such detail. A detailed examination of the work is uncalled for, unless that work has received significant critical analysis to merit that (something like MacBeth or Hamlet. Without sourcing beyond the primary work, any further details about the movie are excessive and potentially violating other policies like WP:OR.
As for using your blog, well, that's not a reliable source, so we can't include it as a resource, but that's not stopping the inclusion of a reliable source that details the plot of the movie to be used instead. --MASEM (t) 01:03, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

So, there's nothing wrong with listing as a source a movie review or what not that has errors in it, but listing as a source someone who has studied the film is. Sigh, there's no point in debating this. I disagree with you, but you're an administrator, so I know I'm not going to win. Congratulations.Senegalparrot (talk) 10:59, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that's how we source things - mind you, if there's obvious errors in a review, we ignore those, but if its intepretive errors, there's not much we can do about that. But don't despair that easily. Look at Memento (a similarly convoluted presentation in terms of chronology); the first reference from is a detailed analysis of the film. That's the type of source that would be useful to include here if someone has done a similar approach. This film had similar praise, so it may be a matter of just looking for the right sources (don't forget google books and scholar! there's plenty of hits that a spot check shows, I just don't know how details and which ones are more about the origin of the title vs the movie itself). --MASEM (t) 14:19, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Frames of reference - wrong example[edit]

In the Frames of reference section the article says: "5. Memories in which Joel relives various moments of his childhood with Clementine in the place of one of the people in the memory (e.g., Joel masturbating)." This example is not very good as there is no clear indication of Clementine replacing someone else in this scene. A better and clearer example of this would be when Joel is playing under the kitchen table and Clementine replaces the role of Miss. Hailin (or something), his mother's friend.

Please don't remove my topic just because I am not a regular Wikipedia contributor. The example I am mentioning above is misleading and must be changed.
    • ^ Nader, K., G.E. Schafe, and J.E. Le Doux, Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval. Nature, 2000. 406(6797): p. 722-6
    • ^ Misanin, J.R., R.R. Miller, and D.J. Lewis, Retrograde amnesia produced by electroconvulsive shock after reactivation of a consolidated memory trace. Science, 1968. 160(827): p. 554-5
    • ^ Suzuki, A., et al., Memory reconsolidation and extinction have distinct temporal and biochemical signatures. J Neurosci, 2004. 24(20): p. 4787-95
    • ^ Debiec, J. and J.E. Ledoux, Disruption of reconsolidation but not consolidation of auditory fear conditioning by noradrenergic blockade in the amygdala. Neuroscience, 2004. 129(2): p. 267-72
    • ^ Derbyshire, David (16th February 2009). "Pill to erase bad memories: Ethical furore over drugs 'that threaten human identity'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16th February 2009.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)