Hey robots, I thought that an interesting exercise woud be to make a list of ten writers who have greatly influenced me, who have given me the drive to hit the keyboard, and who astound me by their level of creativity and talent. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor would I dare to say that these are the ten greatest writers ever born. This is just a list of people I admire and enjoy from a variety of fields. I also won’t be putting them in a descending order of appreciation either. I’m just going to post them up. Feel free to post your comments.
Now, on with the show…
For my first writer, I want to surprise you and go with someone that we probably have never talked about on the show. That person is Charlie Kaufman. He is a movie writer, and some of the scripts he’s penned include “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Kaufman’s scripts are always intriguing and inventive, but it’s “Eternal Sunshine” that, for me, puts him near the top of the Hollywood heap. It is just a brilliant and searing story, one that I will never forget.
For those who’ve never seen it, “Eternal Sunshine” is a story about a man named Joel (played so incredibly by Jim Carrey) who decides that he wants to have the memory of his relationship with former girlfriend Clementine (played by Kate Winslet, one of my actress crushes) erased from his mind. In the world of this story, there is a company that can do that, and early on he finds out that Clementine had him erased from her mind. So, in a fit of anger and sadness, he goes to have the same process performed. The rest of the movie follows Joel as his memories are erased, and we watch as he realizes how much he cherishes those memories, even if they hurt. He fights so hard in the film to hold on to them, to keep his love and pain, only to have them taken one by one. By the end of the film, I was as devastated as he was, but even there, in the final minutes, you realize that there’s hope. Just an incredibly story told masterfully well, and I think it will haunt me (in a good way) for the rest of my life.
And isn’t that what good storytelling is all about? So thank you, Mr. Charlie Kaufman. Thank you very much.