The End of the Tour

Synopsis: The End of the Tour is a 2015 American drama film about writer David Foster Wallace. The film stars Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg, was written by Donald Margulies, and was directed by James Ponsoldt. Based on David Lipsky's best-selling memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, the film was released on July 31, 2015, by A24 Films.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Production: A24 Films
  4 wins & 16 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.3
Metacritic:
82
Rotten Tomatoes:
91%
R
Year:
2015
106 min
Website
980 Views


FADE IN:

1 INT. LIPSKY’S WEST END AVE APT/LIVING ROOM/OFFICE - NYC -

2008 - NIGHT

1

A bright, unpretentious two-bedroom in a pre-war building,

cluttered with books and papers, reflecting its owner’s

lively mind. The decor is that of a perennial grad student’sdigs, the bachelor pad of a New York intellectual.

A dog curled up on the sofa beside him, DAVID LIPSKY, aboyishly handsome forty-three, quick-witted, tightly-wound,

smokes and types speedily from scraps of handwritten notes,

surrounded by books on his current journalistic subject,

climate change. A stack of copies of his recent publishing

success -Absolutely American - looms nearby.

His iPhone vibrates. He gets up and answers the call.

LIPSKY:

Hey, Bob, what’s up?

BOB’S VOICE

(over phone) Listen: According tothis unconfirmed report... DavidWallace is dead.

LIPSKY:

(disputing) What? No no no no, must

be a college prank or something...

Lipsky rapidly googles “david foster wallace death” and scansthe news.

BOB’S VOICE

I thought if anybody knew whether it

was true or not...

Shock registers on Lipsky’s face.

SIEGEL.

OVER:
NPR reporter ROBERT

ROBERT SIEGEL (O.S.)

Now a remembrance of writer David

Foster Wallace...

3 INT. NPR - NYC - 2008 - DAY 3

Lipsky is being escorted to a booth by a college-age INTERN.

ROBERT SIEGEL (O.S.) (CONT’D)

He was found dead, an apparentsuicide, on Friday night. Wallace'snovel, "Infinite Jest," brought himfame and a wide audience.

2.

4 INT. NPR - NYC - 2008 - MOMENTS LATER 4

Lipsky, wearing headphones, heart pounding, nervously waitsfor a cue from a woman producer in the control booth.

ROBERT SIEGEL (O.S.)

...Writer David Lipsky has thisappreciation.

The producer signals to Lipsky, who reads his preparedremarks from his shaky hands.

2

LIPSKY:

“To read David Foster Wallace was to

feel your eyelids pulled open.

EXT. BOOKSTORE - NYC - 2008 - DAY 2

Lipsky, pensive, smoking, walks down the street on a crispautumn day, stops at a window display honoring Wallace withhis picture and copies of his books The Broom of the System,

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, A Supposedly Fun ThingI’ll Never Do Again and his magnum opus, Infinite Jest.

LIPSKY (V.O.)

Some writers specialize in the away-

from-home experience. They’ve

safaried, eaten across Italy, covered

a war. Wallace offered his alive

self...

7 INT. LIPSKY’S WEST END AVE APT/CLOSET - NYC - 2008 - DAY 7

Lipsky rummages closet shelves until he locates a particularshoe box labeled “DFW.” He opens the box: inside are amotley bunch of audio tapes - eight or nine of them -

numbered, scrawled with dates from four days in March 1996.

LIPSKY (V.O.)

...cutting through our sleepyaquarium, our standard T.V., stores,

political campaigns. Writers who can

do this, like Salinger and Fitzgerald,

forge an unbreakable bond withreaders...

He digs out a quaintly clunky SONY tape recorder that wasstate-of-the-art back in 1996. It doesn’t play. He removes

its batteries and looks in drawers for new ones. No luck.

3.

7A

INT. LIPSKY’S WEST END AVE APT/BATHROOM/OFFICE - NYC - 2008 -7A

DAY:

Lipsky takes the batteries out of his electric toothbrush and

puts them in the recorder.

LIPSKY (V.O.)

You didn’t slip into the books looking

for story, information, but for a

particular experience. The sensation,

for a certain number of pages, of

being David Foster Wallace.”

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, he inserts

cassette #1 in the machine and presses play. The sound of

David’s voice mid-tape, is both comforting and moving.

DAVID’S VOICE

(on the recording) -- there was, if

anything, a conscious attempt to not

give overt direction. Although, of

course, you end up becoming yourself.

LIPSKY’S VOICE

(on the recording) Did they want you

to be a writer?

FLASH TO:

6

INT. CAR/OUTSKIRTS - CHICAGO - 1996 - DAY 6

A blurry, indistinct POV shot of DAVID FOSTER WALLACE in the

passenger seat of a moving car: Lipsky’s memory struggling to

come into focus.

DAVID’S VOICE

No, the big thing when I was little, I

was like a really serious jock...

CUT BACK TO:

9

INT. LIPSKY’S WEST END AVE APT/OFFICE - NYC - 2008 - DAY 9

Lipsky listens.

DAVID’S VOICE

...city-wide football as a kid. I was

real big, really strong as a kid. And

then for four or five years, I was

gonna be a pro tennis player. My great

dream. Reading was just kind of fun. A

weird thing that I did on the side

4.

Lipsky stops and presses rewind on the tape player. He

ruminates as we HEAR the whir of the tape rewinding.

FLASHBACK TO:

10 EXT. DOWNTOWN SKYLINE - NYC - 1996 - NIGHT 10

The heart-stopping view of the illuminated twin towers tells

us we are in pre-2001 New York.

SUPER TITLE:
12 YEARS EARLIER

LIPSKY (O.S.)

(reads) “I didn’t understand SoHo...

11 INT. BOOK SHOP - UPPER WEST SIDE - NYC - 1996 - NIGHT 11

Lipsky stands before a paltry turnout - consisting of old

people and a few loyal friends (among them his pretty

girlfriend, SARAH) - reading from his novel, The Art Fair.

Here, Lipsky is 30 years old but looks like a student, his

long, dark, Byronic hair framing his fine features.

LIPSKY (CONT’D)

-the warehouses, the old buildings,

the cobbled streets.

Distracted by disinterested CUSTOMERS who continue to browse,

Lipsky hears a muffled giggle and sees a YOUNG COUPLE in the

audience flirting and clearly not listening.

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Donald Margulies

Donald Margulies is an American playwright and a professor of English and Theater Studies at Yale University. In 2000, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Dinner with Friends. more…

All Donald Margulies scripts | Donald Margulies Scripts

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