Great piece over at the Los Angeles Review of Books by Boston writer and filmmaker, Bill Lattanzi (he's also working on a film about the work of David Foster Wallace) about his Infinite Jest walking tour, Messing with Maps: Walking David Foster Wallace’s Boston:
[...]I started searching out the sites of Infinite Jest shortly after Wallace died by suicide in 2008. Like a lot of Wallace fans, I didn’t quite know how to work through my feelings, and exploring the geography of the novel seemed like something I could do. Since then, I’ve given a few tours to interested parties, including friends and fans and radio people and students of mine, as well as Adam Kelly’s class from Harvard [Previously, The Map and the Territory], all of us to different degrees captivated by Wallace and wanting to get closer, to better understand him, to walk where he walked in some sort of strange, secular haj.
It’s weird. Wallace only lived here for three years, but you might think he was an Allston-Brighton lifer from all the geographic shout-outs in Infinite Jest. Hospitals, businesses, streets, schools, parks, tourist attractions, T stops, and signage all but crowd out the characters that move among them, each spot located with GPS-like precision. Maybe he was aping James Joyce, who hoped Ulysses could be used to reconstruct Dublin were it ever destroyed. But walking a couple of miles in Wallace’s footsteps makes Infinite Jest start to look more like a fragmented, compressed, and rebuilt version of every experience, thought, and feeling he had here, every one of them registered deeply in the writer’s part of his skull, transformed, slotted into a newly created imaginary space, and put to use.[...]
Continue reading here.
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 15:36
Okay, I won't.
Spencer Kornhaber reflects on past experiences for The Atlantic in, Advice: Don't Try to Write Like David Foster Wallace:
“DFW” is David Foster Wallace, and I feel okay laughing like Ryan Gosling at people who try to write like the Infinite Jest author because it wasn’t long ago that I was one of them. (Sometimes, as when inserting a comically self-scrutinizing and ostentatiously detailed parenthetical, I become one again.)
When I was 17, my aunt got me a subscription to The Atlantic, and the first issue to arrive was the one whose cover featured Wallace’s profile of conservative Los Angeles talk-radio host John Ziegler. The piece exploded my little high-school-newspaper editor brain. Here was journalism’s potential not only as literature, but as form-breaking, highly entertaining art.
Continue reading the article here.
Re: David Foster Wallace's Host I just remembered Marie Mundaca's piece over at Hipster Book Club (now gone?), The Influence of Anxiety: Wading In, about her involvement in the book design of some of Wallace's publications for Little Brown including Consider the Lobster and thus, Host:
Consider the Lobster was a little different. Most of the book was very typical, but there was one particular essay called "Host" that required some special treatment. Wallace, infamous for his footnotes and endnotes, wanted to try something a little different with "Host." He wanted to stress the immediacy of communication and the speed of thought that occurred in the studio where the talk radio DJ John Ziegler worked. The Atlantic Monthly had already run a version of this essay and did a spectacular design job, using a format with color-coded callouts, as if someone had highlighted a script and made note in the margins. However, there are intrinsic differences between a magazine and a book. The Atlantic Monthly used color; we were not going to do that. Magazines are usually 8-1/2 x 11, and we were 6 x 9. We had to figure out a way to do this essay.
A page from David Foster Wallace's essay "Host" in Consider the Lobster.Wallace's idea was to have leaders and labels, like a diagram. He wanted something that looked like hypertext rollovers that were immediate and at hand. I thought this whole thing might be a bit much for me to design. It seemed like it might be a full-time job. I sent it off to one of my favorite designers, who shot me an email back saying something along the lines of "There is not enough money in the world to make me do this."
So I did it. Had I realized at the time that this job would entail my spending close to an hour every few weeks talking to my favorite author ever on the phone, I would have never considered giving it to anyone else. Mostly we just went over changes that needed to be made, but initially we had some very intense discussions regarding the semiotics of the leaders (the lines going from the text to the boxes) and the tics and the line width of the boxes and the ampersands. He'd leave me voice mail messages at work in the middle of the night, telling me what time I should call him the next day. One time when I called, I got his answering machine, but when I began to leave a message, he picked up. "I heard your mellifluous voice," he said. Sometimes I'd hear the dog barking in the background. He was recently married, and he obviously relished saying "my wife" when he would tell me about upcoming plans and where I could find him if I needed him.
Continue reading Marie Mundaca's piece here.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:14
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 23:17
Nice article over at Hyper Allergic about @CorrieBaldauf's spectacular Infinite Jest Project, Reading David Foster Wallace for the Colors:
[...] The color tabs that began as the mechanism to draw Baldauf away from herself (in her desire not to read the book) and into the world of Infinite Jest have now produced a unique art object that has its own aura of appeal. In the months since Baldauf has gone public with her project, it’s generated conversations with hundreds of people. “It’s the first project I’ve done where the conversation is as creational as the making,” she says.
In her second iteration, Baldauf has also added the dimension of what she calls “digital intimacy.” This is the live-tweeting of her reading of Infinite Jest, using a medium — social media — that has an addictive quality all its own. “Seeing a book in your Twitter feed is nostalgic. It’s a surrogate from a literary time,” she says. This quixotic collision marries Twitter, one of the shortest of short literary forms, with a titan of the long-form. [...]
Continue reading here.
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 14:22
Updated 10:16pm 6/2/15 EST USA
Woke this morning to a flood of positive reviews and comments about James Ponsoldt’s movie adaptation of David Lipsky's interview with David Foster Wallace,The End of the Tour [Previously] shared on twitter and elsewhere. I'll do my best to update the list below throughout the next few days so come back here and refresh for more.
93% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so far.
Also, you might like to keep an eye on my twitter feed in the sidebar (or here) for more up to date news.
- David Rooney's review for The Hollywood Reporter
- Daniel Fienberg's review for HitFix, 'The End of the Tour' sees Jason Segel do right by David Foster Wallace
- Jack Giroux for Film Stage, The End of the TourSundance Film Festival 2015 Review
- Backstory, Infinitely Entertaining Writing in The End of the Tour
- Mike Ryan for UpRoxx Movies, Jason Segel Shines As David Foster Wallace In ‘The End Of The Tour’ At Sundance
- River Grand Rapids' link and twitter wrap, ‘The End of the Tour’ Reviews Call Film ‘Heartfelt’, ‘Fascinating,’ ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Fantastic’
- Kyle Smith for the New York Post, David Foster Wallace film is moving, profound
- Matt Oakes for Silver Screen Riot, Sundance Review: THE END OF THE TOUR
- Brian Raftery for Yahoo! Movies, Jason Segel Hits the Road (and Wows the Sundance Crowd) in 'The End of the Tour'
- Dennis Harvey for Variety, Sundance Film Review: ‘The End of the Tour’
- Rodrigo Perez for The Playlist, Sundance Review: James Ponsoldt’s ‘The End Of The Tour’ Starring Jason Segel & Jesse Eisenberg
- Jada Yuan for Vulture, Sundance: (Very) Early Oscar Buzz for Jason Segel's Portrayal of David Foster Wallace
- New York News, ‘The End of the Tour,’ starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace, wows at Sundance
- Chris Bumbray for JoBlo, Review: The End of the Tour (Sundance 2015)
- Edward Douglas for ComingSoon.net, Sundance Film Festival Diary - Day 2
- William Bibbiani for CraveOnline Australia, Sundance 2015 Review: ‘The End of the Tour’ is One-On-One of a Kind
- Jordan Hoffman for The Guardian, Sundance 2015 review: The End of the Tour – Jason Segel passes infinite test of playing David Foster Wallace
- Richard Lawson for Vanity Fair, The End of the Tour Is a Deeply Affecting Tribute to a Cherished Writer, and a Huge Breakthrough for Jason Segel
- Emily Yoshida for The Verge, The End of the Tour is about the soul-sucking nature of the celebrity profile
- Matt Goldberg for Collider, THE END OF THE TOUR Review | Sundance 2015
- Brian Tallerico for Roger Ebert Sundance, SUNDANCE 2015: “THE END OF THE TOUR”
- Rob Thomas for Madison Movie, Sundance Film Festival: “The End of the Tour” treats David Foster Wallace with compassion and insight
- Joshua Rothkopf for Time Out New York, The End of the Tour
- Amirose and Alicia for AMC Independent, Sundance 2015 - Amirose & Alicia Discuss "The End of the Tour" - AMCi [Youtube]
- A.A. Dowd for A.V. Club, Jason Segel plays David Foster Wallace in a terrific two-hander
- Scott Menzel for We Live Film, Sundance 2015: The End of the Tour
- Ty Burr for The Boston Globe, Sundance day 2: A serious day
- Alex Billington for FirstShowing.net, Sundance 2015: Jason Segel is Incredible in Profound 'End of the Tour'
- Anthony Kaufman for Screen Daily, The End Of The Tour
- Steve "Capone" Prokopy for Ain't It Cool News, SUNDANCE 2015: Capone continues his coverage with two of his favorites so far: James Ponsoldt's THE END OF THE TOUR and Ramin Bahrani's 99 HOMES
- Kate Erbland for Film School Rejects, James Ponsoldt's Deeply Felt The End of The Tour is Worth the Trip
- Chris Lee for Entertainment Weekly, Sundance 2015: 'Mississippi Grind' and 'The End of the Tour' are two for the road
- David Fear for Rolling Stone, Sundance 2015: 'The End of the Tour' Resurrects David Foster Wallace
- Germain Lussier for Film, Jason Segel’s Big Dramatic Debut Is One Of Many Great Things In ‘The End of the Tour’ [Sundance 2015]
- Jeff Bayer for Scorecard Review, The End of the Tour
- Matthew Jacobs' review for The Huffington Post, Jason Segel Stuns As David Foster Wallace In 'The End Of The Tour'
- Sam Adams for Criticwire, Sundance's 'The End of the Tour' Has the Killer Instinct 'The Wolfpack' Lacks
- Zach Goldberg for The Link, The End of the Tour (Mixed reviews?)
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 January 2015 19:52
UPDATE: List of all online reviews here.
Super positive buzz and early reviews popping up after James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of David Lipsky's interview with David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour, screened at Sundance [Previously].
-David Rooney's review for The Hollywood Reporter encapsulates this well:
The same compassionate observation of human imperfections that distinguished Ponsoldt’s films Smashed and The Spectacular Now makes him an ideal interpreter of this material, while playwright Donald Margulies’ thoughtful screenplay brings tremendous insight into the way writers’ minds work. This is no conventional biodrama about the tortured artist, but very much the film that lovers of Wallace’s dazzlingly perspicacious fiction and essays would want.
Read the rest of the review here.
-For Bustle Anna Klassen spoke to Jason Segel on the red carpet about his role in the film, 'The End of the Tour' Star Jason Segel Opens Up About Playing David Foster Wallace At Sundance Film Festival 2015:
The film, which I can proclaim with great joy, is a tremendous success. Segel’s portrayal of Wallace is so captivating, I kept begging for a rewind button. Every syllable uttered more truthful than the last, Segel regurgitated the icon, and his particularly fluid way of discourse in a believable and completely earnest manner.
“I tried to make the character as accurate as possible given the information I had available to me,” Segel said. “I tried to play the character with a lot of love. Performing is all about honesty, so it was very exciting for me to do this movie.”
When I asked Segel if tackling this role had any influence on his perception of journalists, he admitted it only created more of a hesitance. “Well my character, as David Foster Wallace was on the other side of the journalist dynamic, so no, it didn’t create sympathy,” he said. “It was a cautionary tale for me. I learned that there is a very universal human moment that happens around your early thirties where you start to realize that the things you are told to put your values in, aren't going to make you happy. That was what the movie really explored for me.”
Read the rest of the interview here.
-Daniel Fienberg's review for HitFix, Review: 'The End of the Tour' sees Jason Segel do right by David Foster Wallace:
Ponsoldt's restraint is in keeping with the scale of this story, but I'm going to need a few more days (or weeks or months) to chew on whether the story ends on a note of emotional profundity or reportorial gamesmanship. But thanks to Margulies and Ponsoldt and thanks to Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg, "End of the Tour" mostly does right by David Foster Wallace, a not insignificant feat when you're dealing with a figure who generates such passion.
Read the rest of the review here.
-Scott Macaulay's interview for Film Maker, Director James Ponsoldt on his David Foster Wallace Drama, The End of the Tour:
[The End of the Tour] is also a story about meeting someone you’ve admired from a distance, so in that regard it’s an unrequited love story. It’s about meeting that person who you’ve built up, whether it’s an artist or an estranged family member — someone who has taken on an entire constellation of emotion and meaning to you, and who, at the end of the day, is a total stranger. And who, when you do find yourself in their proximity for some time, [your] relationship [with them] is complicated by their own messy humanity.
Read the rest of the interview here.
I'm using twitter to share numerous brief thoughts and impressions, so you might want to check out my stream via @nick_maniatis
If you've seen the film consider adding thoughts to the comments below. Anyone out there want to write a review for me if you manage to see it this weekend? Let me know.