A Visual Exploration of 'Infinite Jest'


This week, our friends at The Rumpus alerted us to an amazing new project that allows us to indulge our David Foster Wallace fandom/love of all things film-related/geeky sensibilities all at once, and in the best way: Poor Yorick Entertainment, created by Chris Ayers. The website, Ayers writes, is “a visual exploration of the filmography of James O. Incandenza and the world of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest … ‘Poor Yorick Entertainment’ is the name of the fictional independent film company started by James O. Incandenza in David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest. . . . This project is an attempt to bring some kind of visual life to the fictional filmmaker’s body of work.” Um, this is the best idea ever, and it isn’t only limited to fictional movie posters — though those are wonderful. Ayers also treats us to various other artifacts from the novel, so if you’re a fan, be prepared to grin your face off. Click through to see our favorites of Ayers’ work, and be sure to check out the main website for even more Infinite inspiration.

“Valuable Coupon Has Been Removed” – Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad. Poor Yorick Entertainment Unlimited. Cosgrove Watt, Phillip T. Smothergill, Dianne Saltoone; 16 mm; 52 minutes; color; silent. Possible Scandinavian psychodrama parody, a boy helps his alcoholic-delusional father and disassociated mother dismantle their bed to search for rodents, and later he intuits the future feasibility of D.T.-cycle lithiumized annular fusion. CELLULOID (UNRELEASED)

“So, did Hugh/Helen Steepley ever publish that soft profile piece on Orin Incandenza? Or was it just a ruse? She certainly collected enough information on him to actually write the piece. Does Steepley’s deep cover actually require him/her to publish? This is what it might have looked like if it hit print.”

“Subsidized Time is concocted by newly-elected president Johnny Gentle as a way to bring America out of a recession. Inspired by the Chinese Zodiac calendar, Subsidized Time is a way to monetize one of the most ubiquitous things around – the date.

Each year, one of the products is installed in the Statue of Liberty’s torch hand. In the very first year of Subsidized Time, The Year of the Whopper, a giant cast iron hamburger falls from its position and kills one of the men working to install it.”

“The Whataburger Southwest Junior Invitational is a major event on the junior tennis tour. For the top players at Enfield Tennis Academy, “The Whataburger” is quite a source of anticipation. The event is held annually in Tucson, AZ.”

“Kinds Of Light” – B.S. Meniscus Films, Ltd. No cast; 16 mm; 3 minutes; color; silent. 4,444 individual frames, each of which photo depicts lights of different source, wavelength, and candle power, each reflected off the same unpolished tin plate and rendered disorienting at normal projection speeds by the hyperretinal speed at which they pass. CELLULOID, LIMITED METROPOLITAN BOSTON RELEASE, REQUIRES PROJECTION AT .25 NORMAL SPROCKET DRIVE