Excerpt From “Eternal Sunshine” Essay

The game involves, quite simply, how long the audience can be “fooled”, before they discover that the order of events they had assumed is not in fact the “true” chronology.  Said game is arguably “fair”, in a sense: upon second viewing, it is remarkable how many “hints” are provided by the filmmakers as to the “truth”—the damage to Joel’s car, the color of Clementine’s hair, etc.  Effectively, it is our own preconceived assumptions about the nature of film chronology that keeps us from “winning” the game early on.

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