Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


This presentation is part of the sixth annual National Week of Science on Screen, which takes place from March 20 – March 26 at select independent cinemas across the country. Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.    

The Loft Cinema presents a special screening of the Oscar-winning 2004 comedy/drama, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, featuring a live introduction by Stuart Hameroff, MD, Director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Consciousness Studies. Dr. Hameroff’s lively discussion, entitled “Eternal Sunshine … with a chance of showers,” will explore scientific prospects for real memory manipulation, based on events portrayed in the movie, as well as current understanding of consciousness, self, and our place in the universe.   

“A remarkable film! Don’t expect anything standard-issue from this uniquely funny, unpredictably tender and unapologetically twisted romance.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

In this off-the-wall, sci-fi-tinged comedy/drama from acclaimed director Michel Gondry, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star as former lovers who find that forgetting one another may not be as easy as they thought.  Joel (Carrey) is stunned to discover that his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Winslet), has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), on behalf of the mysterious Lacuna, Inc.  Not to be outdone, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself to have Clementine removed from his own memory.  But as Joel’s memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover their earlier passion. From deep within the recesses of his brain, he attempts to escape the procedure and save his cherished memories of the woman he loved.  As Dr. Mierzwiak and bumbling underlings (Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst) give chase, it’s clear that Joel just can’t get Clementine out of his head. A heady, hilarious and heartbreaking romance filled with mind-bending ideas, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won writer Charlie Kaufman the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. (Dir. by Michel Gondry, 2004, USA, 108 mins., Rated R)

Stuart Hameroff, MD is an anesthesiologist and researcher and director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Consciousness Studies which organizes the well-known conference series ‘The Science of Consciousness’. His research focuses on how the brain produces consciousness, and how anesthetics act to erase it, e.g. via dampening quantum vibrations of microtubules inside brain neurons. With famed British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, Hameroff developed the controversial ‘Orch OR’ theory in which consciousness derives from microtubule quantum vibrations connected to the fine-scale structure of the universe. Hameroff is also working to develop ‘transcranial ultrasound’ (‘TUS’) to improve mood and brain function, apparently by resonating microtubules. He has written or edited 5 books and over a hundred scientific articles. He appeared in the film WhattheBleep?, as well as numerous shows on BBC, PBS, Discovery, OWN, RT, History Channel and YouTube.