My avatar is a shot from one of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (written by Charlie Kaufman), with a text overlay of the nickname “Gaz” as some refer to me as. For the record, you are welcome to call me Isaac OR Gaz. I will respond to either. “Gaz” is a shortened name my grandfather, mother, and brother used in school from our last name “Gazmararian.”
The process of designing an avatar was surprisingly hard for me. I knew it would include something related to film, as that is a big passion of mine, but I struggled picking any specific film because I love so many of them. Initially, I worked on combining an image of the black hole from the film Interstellar with the image from the film City of God, as both films are two of my favorite movies, are from completely different genres, and relate to my other passion for space. However, I struggled with the layout of the images and how to best overlay/crossfade them, which eventually led me to simplify my design and settle on the image from Eternal Sunshine.
For those who don’t know, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a film about a two people who decide to erase all memories of the other from their own minds after they break up. The film flows in and out of reality and memories as events bleed into each other and the protagonist (played by Jim Carrey) questions whether or not he wants to finish the memory-wiping procedure. While the story seems fantastical, the film hits on some ruthlessly real emotions. It deals with the breaking down of the idealization of a romantic partner, how people change in relationships, how all-consuming romantic relationships can be, and much much more. I love the film for its realistic portrayal of human emotions which can’t be cleanly categorized. There are only two films in my life that have helped me through romantic break-ups, the movie Her by Spike Jonze and Eternal Sunshine. Both films share a certain level of humility and vulnerability that I find lacking in other “romantic” films. The film also has beautiful cinematography, which smoothly moves the viewer through memories (sometimes in one shot!). That type of lucid cinematography is something I have learned from and attempt to apply it to my own short films. The film is also written by my favorite writer of all time, Charlie Kaufman (writer of Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, Synecdoche, New York, Anamolisa, etc.), who consistently crafts wholly unique films with an odd sense of structure, pacing, and character which I cannot find nowhere else. Kaufman’s films almost feel like a character itself.
Suffice to say that this film has impacted me many ways, as a person, a cinematographer, and a writer. There are few out there like it. I initially chose to slant the text because I thought it would look cool, but now the more I think about it, I like how it almost feels like the name “Gaz” is laying down next to Clementine and Joel, as if I am part of the film.
“Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.” – Mary Svevo, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Poster Image