In this cunning avant-garde piece, the subject at first appears to be love, but creator Daniel Fish has a few wild cards up his sleeve, and by the end we’ve experienced nothing less than a radical adventure of Time. Employing his background in both theatre and film, Fish has created a hybrid beast, giving us the unbroken time of theatre and the intimacy of the cinematic close-up. Actors Christina Rouner and Thomas Jay Ryan perform the final scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) on a continuous recorded video loop—for two hours. Their duty is onerous but far from rigid: the only rule is that they have to keep going no matter what happens.
Their performances are superb, and hilariously varied: sometimes the actors emote with the utmost seriousness, sometimes they stammer, sometimes they burst into giggles, all the while pushing bravely on. It’s riveting improv, stretching us out over time, making structure into poetry and blurring the line between performance and reality. Eternal is entrancing, funny, maddening and moving—often all at once. It’s a brave experiment, and one that pays off brilliantly.
Do yourself a favour and go see Eternal… Two extremely talented, receptive actors were committed to this theatrical experiment, and so was I.”