Here’s the official trailer. Here’s A.O. Scott’s review. And here’s NPR’s review. The movie was released in New York and LA last Friday. I have no idea when it’ll be released in Baltimore or DC. And I’m very ambivalent about watching it. Dictionary-definition ambivalent.
I went through a DFW phase a few years ago, starting towards the end of my time at St. James (with this famous graduation speech). I’ve read everything of his now except for his short story collections and The Pale King. I love his nonfiction essay collections. I didn’t like Broom of the System. And depending on my mood when you ask, I believe Infinite Jest to be either the second greatest book I’ve ever read or something to be dismissed as mistaking…whatever it is…for “profundity” (a thing I’ve always been skeptical of). I’ve also read D.T. Max’s biography of DFW, Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story, and David Lipsky’s book that the movie is based on, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. I kind of DFW’ed myself out a few years ago.
But now I’m ready to go back to Infinite Jest. Canelli and I are going to reread it this fall. And I’m slowly getting a little more excited about that the deeper I get into BK. But I’m not sure I should see the movie, lest it induce that old sensation of DFW-fatigue. On the flip side, the reviews have been positive. And DFW’s recorded interviews, viewable on youtube (like here or here), are achingly (and maybe exhaustingly) empathetic and sincere. Just like IJ.
So…I think I’m going to have to see this movie. But, you know,….