The End of the Tour & Inspiration

One of the problems that I have is that I’m very aware of myself.  I’m aware that writing like this is silly, and that I’m not as good as I think I am.  I’m aware that the people reading this are mostly people around me, and that scares me not to open up as much. I’m aware that I want to be a writer, and the idea of pursuing something that I actually want to do is a terrifying thing. It’s the reason why my content level fluctuates and why I don’t particularly have a focus on here.  My focus comes completely from inspiration and a sudden drive to write something.  I’m also aware that analysing my own writing is ridiculous considering this page has been looked at less than 700 times.

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I recently did a thing that I only do when I’m sad, or melancholic, and that’s watch a film in the middle of the day.  On Netflix there is a film called The End of the Tour that stars Jesse Eisenberg and is about an interview with writer David Foster Wallace.  I was drawn to it because of Eisenberg then did the terrible thing of looking at its reviews, and seeing it was mostly positive, I pressed play.  On a film making level it scores high, being simple in premise but executed perfectly.  Director James Ponsoldt does a great job of keeping it centred on the dialogue, where the film shines.  Rarely is there any advanced camera movement or edit, and this allows the words being said by the actors to be broad and open. What they have to say is profound and interesting, casting a wide eye on people, politics and life.  Wallace, played by Jason Segel, is a writer of great intrigue to me, and I’ve never read any of his books, so listening to him talk about the world is fascinating.  His back and forth between fellow writer and Journalist David Lipsky (Eisenberg) is the joy of the film. Segel is remarkable in this role and makes Wallace empathetic, awkward and certainly a presence in a room.  From all of this I was inspired by this film within the first ten minutes.

Inspired in a way of the film being about writing, and the problems that come with it. Inspired by the fact that is directed by the same guy who made The Spectacular Now, a film that I adore and a film that has always been a great inspiration to me.  During the film I was laid there, in bed, feeling sorry for myself, having completely nihilistic feelings about my own work. I was getting a sudden urge to do something about it, without having the energy to actually do it.  It’s a sad movie, about a man having exactly what any writer wants, yet feeling so empty by it. Shadowing the film is Wallace’s suicide in 2008, and allows the audience to really engage with why he took his own life.  It ultimately shows how impersonal writing is, and how frustrating and lonely it can be.  I enjoy writing nonsense for 500 words about stuff that doesn’t matter so that people who don’t really care can read it.  Wallace has the opposite, and is still as conflicted as I am.  It reminds me of a quote from Woody Allen which goes: “You know how you’re always trying to get things to come out perfect in art because it’s real difficult in life”.  And that is an epiphany of a few words because why would a piece of writing being so perfect, why would a film be so perfectly made, it’s impossible.  It’s about embracing the cracks and that’s the scariest thing.  Nothing will ever be perfect, or your best work, and you will always be chasing the dragon of art.

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This notion is kind of relaxing, and takes the pressure of a little bit.  I’m not having an existential crisis at 19, nor am I particularly unhappy, but I look around and see only blankness.  It baffles me that there are people that I know and love, who don’t get it. They either don’t get me, or fall in line with my views, or understand what I’m trying to say.  I can’t talk to people, asking someone a question or taking part in small talk is impossible to me.  The bubble I am a part of is so small and the world is so big.  Though I will continue to be inspired, by books, by films, by my girlfriend who surprises me all the time with how she is creatively above the rest of us.  If anyone was destined to catch the dragon it would be her.  The End of the Tour is a fantastic film, and I would advise anyone to watch it, to perhaps get a little taste with how I feel every second of my life, just so incredibly self aware of my own pointlessness.

Side-note: I’ve started an Instagram page where I catalogue every film that I watch.  I’m going to try and attach it to a widget on here, but if you search ‘insiderobfilms’ it will come up.  It would be nice if you followed it.

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