Jason Segel gives the performance of his career in portraying the late David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour. But it’s not just about the renowned writer. Jesse Eisenberg portrays David Lipsky, a journalist for Rolling Stone come to write a story about the last leg of Wallace’s Infinite Jest book tour and what it’s like being the most talked about writer in the country. What ensues is a look at what happens between the writer and his subject when the subject is also a writer and the writer also has his own agenda.

In addition to garnerning early awards buzz, the film is also a must-see for writers, both seasoned and aspiring. Through the performances of Segel and Eisenberg, a number of lessons on the writing process can be gleaned. And there's plenty more where it came from. Coupled with some of the other films on writing, one can piece together a manual of sorts to further the craft.

End of the Tour
The End of the Tour
Jason Segel, David Foster Wallace

Advice: Know your agenda.

Rebecca Mead of The New Yorker analyzed End of the Tour based on the interviewer-subject relationship. It’s an interesting dynamic, considering Wallace (a previous interviewer) is the subject and Eisenberg (the subject of many celebrity interviews) is playing the interviewer. In this regard, the best advice from the film comes not from something explicitly said, but that points to Janet Malcolm’s iconic essay The Journalist and the Murderer. This process can be seductive for both the interviewer and the subject, so it’s important to acknowledge your own agenda.

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