Random Thoughts on Valentines Day

"Random thoughts for Valentines day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap".

In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, Clementine (Kate Winslet), has her relationship with her boyfriend, Joel (Jim Carrey), erased from her memory. Heartbroken, he contacts the company that carries out the process and arranges for his memories of clementine to be wiped out as well. As the treatment begins to erase Clementine from his memory he realises that he still loves her. Even if he can't have her he still wants to remember her and struggles to stop his memory of Clementine from being erased.

Memento is another film that focuses on memory and loss. In this film the wife of the central character has been murdered and he has lost his ability to form Long Term memories. He has the same memory problems as H.M. (Milner, 1966, Cardwell p13).

Both films have been praised by psychologists for their accurate depiction of human memory, Memento for its depiction of the effects of Anterograde Amnesia, Eternal Sunshine for the role of emotion in memory.

Both films are also open to a psychoanalytic interpretation of the role of loss and memory in human behaviour. As Shelby, the lead character in Memento says, "can't remember to forget you", as good a definition of loss and repression as I've ever heard.

Why remember a painful love affair? This spring, clear your mind, contact Lacuna Inc.

Link to an article on Memory loss at the Movies.

Link to an article on the psychology and neuroscience of love and attraction: "The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love".

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