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[Updated 9/9] Confused about Ending Things? The internets are here to help.
[Update: added a link to This Is Barry.]
If you've seen I'm Thinking of Ending Things, you might've struggled to put it all together, particularly the ending. At least, that's what the internet thinks, because a whole lot of sites are posting explainers about the film. Headlines and their opening blurbs below:
I’m Thinking of Ending Things Has a Confusing Twist. The Book Can Explain. (Slate) There’s a pretty straightforward narrative explanation for why things get so weird, and it’s spelled out more explicitly in the book than in the movie. Here’s a tentative explanation of what’s going on.
Charlie Kaufman’s Guide to ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’: The Director Explains Its Mysteries (indieWIRE) If Kaufman's enigmatic Netflix drama has you scratching your head, fear not: The director has answers. [Note: that headline is misleading. Charlie doesn't really provide answers.]
Let’s talk about the ending of Charlie Kaufman’s new movie, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (AV Club) Spoiler Space offers thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot points we can’t disclose in our official reviews. Fair warning: This piece reveals major plot elements from both the movie version of I’m Thinking Of Ending Things and the Iain Reid novel on which it’s based. The endings of both will be revealed.
Charlie Kaufman’s Confounding I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Explained (Vanity Fair) How both the original book and the musical Oklahoma reveal the true meaning behind Kaufman’s ambitious film.
Spoiler Specials: I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Slate Podcast) Dana Stevens and Matthew Dessem spoil Charlie Kaufman’s twisty ending.
‘i’m thinking of ending things’ Ending Explained (Movie City Drive-In) If you clicked on this article then you have already seen Netflix’s newest movie i’m thinking of ending things, and if you haven’t this is your last warning.
Simplified Explanation Of I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (This Is Barry) This film has details in so many layers that one can write endless articles about them. Instead, I’m going to focus a quick and dry explanation and a semi-detailed one lining out all the critical points.
Rosa Tran on animating that Tulsey Town commercial
Animation Scoop has a neat little interview with Rosa Tran about the animation for that creepy Tulsey Town commercial in I'm Thinking of Ending Things.
Jackson Murphy: How did you and Charlie Kaufman decide to reunite on this?
Rosa Tran: He texted and said ‘what’s up!’ LOL. He reached out to both Duke Johnson and myself, and said he needed some animation done. We both love working with Charlie so it was a happy surprise.
JM: I know in the book the characters visit Dairy Queen. How did you come-up with Tulsey Town?
RT: This is ALL Charlie. When he talked to us about the Tulsey Town spot, he already knew what he wanted. Production even had the logos designs with napkins and bags printed. (Source)
And via r/kaufman on Reddit, here's a commercial that looks a bit familiar:
Variety ponders Ending Things' Oscars prospects
I'm thinking No, because I'm a pessimist. Variety is thinking maybe:
My gut check says Kaufman could find traction in the adapted screenplay race this year.
The standouts in the cast fall within the two jaw-dropping performances from Buckley and Plemons. Buckley, who garnered many breakthrough prizes last year for “Wild Rose,” including a BAFTA nomination for leading actress, is brilliant. Uniquely expressive in her facial movements, and even more with her line delivery, Buckley is ushered by Kaufman through a world that unfolds simultaneously for her and the audience.
Plemons continues to expand and show his acting range, and as the unpredictable and slightly overbearing Jake, he gets to explore some new areas of his abilities. Not sure we can ever listen to “Oklahoma” the same way again. By far his strongest, fully realized turn of his career, Plemons’ acute and peculiar choices that he’s been known for, is a perfect marriage of art and artist.
[...] In navigating the world that Kaufman builds, it’s hard not to appreciate the cold yet bold camera work of Lukasz Zal, previously nominated for “Ida” and “Cold War.” It’ll be interesting if the DPs bite for him, along with the production and set designers coming to bat for Molly Hughes (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I”) and Mattie Siegal, in her set decorating debut.(Source)
Good interview with Ending Things composer Jay Wadley
Spitfire Audio have a good interview with Jay Wadley, the composer behind Ending Things' musical score.
How did you land the I’m Thinking of Ending Things gig?
Anthony Bregman [a producer on I’m Thinking of Ending Things] is the one who reached out to me. He and I had worked together before on the film Indignation back in 2016, so that's how we had gotten to know each other. He was just like “can I interest you in a Charlie Kaufman movie?” And my jaw dropped and I probably passed out. I did not see that coming. There were a lot of very specific things that he wanted in the score that he felt were really uniquely suited to my experience and my background, which was pretty cool.
I read the script and then had a call with Charlie Kaufman, just to start to get some ideas together as to what sort of approach we’d want to take with it and it seemed like we were on the same page pretty quickly. We had to move fast because I had to write a bunch of stuff prior to shooting. So the ballet and the sort of 1950’s style, weird jingle that they sing on camera – all of that stuff had to be completely written prior in order to shoot with it.
[...] This score demanded a very particular approach, and I wouldn't want to try to live in the world of Jon Brion or Carter Burwell and try to do something that would sound like them. I wanted it to be wholly my own unique voice to bring my own sensibilities to it because I think if I had tried to, you know, do what they do for a Kaufman film, it would be very different. (Source)
Ending Things' Iain Reid talks Charlie's take on the novel
Good article over at indieWIRE, where I'm Thinking of Ending Things author Iain Reid offers up his thoughts on Charlie's adaptation.
“It essentially touches on the same theme [but] in such a different way,” said Reid.
[...] Reid is loath to offer up his interpretation of the movie’s end, instead deferring to viewers and how they might read the conclusion. “I found it exhilarating to watch. I really appreciated what Charlie did. It’s ambiguous in in a different way that the book, [which] is ambiguous to a certain degree. And I’m just curious how people will interpret the end,” Reid said. (Source)
See Charlie in conversation at VIFF, September 28
Charlie will be stopping by (virtually) at the Vancouver International Film Festival to talk all things Ending Things with Curtis Woloschuk. That's on September 28 at 6 PM PDT. Tickets at the link:
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s latest film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, is an uncanny, tightly wound metaphysical thriller streaming worldwide on Netflix from Sept. 4. Adapted from Iain Reid’s critically acclaimed debut novel, the film tackles our assumptions about identity and relationships in Kaufman’s signature surrealistic style. We’re thrilled to host Charlie for a conversation on the process of adapting Reid’s material for the screen. (Source)
Akiko Stehrenberger's new official "Ending Things" poster
Akiko Stehrenberger is a highly regarded designer of film posters, and it's a bit of a coup to have her attached to your project. Here is Stehrenberger's new official poster for I'm Thinking of Ending Things, posted to her Instagram page and shared by tman0508 on Reddit at r/kaufman.
It's Charlie Baby
This is the kind of quality content we don't see often enough.
I tried to embed it here, but it wouldn't work for me.
John Malkovich talks to John Hodgman about Being John Malkovich
Here are 28 entertaining minutes of John Malkovich and John Hodgman talking Being John Malkovich, from the Being John Malkovich Criterion Bluray. (Affiliate link!)
See Charlie and Iain Reid @ Wordfest online
September 15, Charlie will be talking with Iain Reid online as part of Calgary's Wordfest 25@25. Ordinarily the festival is a Canadians only thing, but for Charlie (and because of his connection to Canadian Reid), an exception has been made. You can watch online if you buy a ticket! $15CAD.
We're thrilled to announce that Wordfest fave Iain Reid invited Charlie Kaufman to be his virtual stage mate for this exclusive 25@25 conversation on Sept. 15. (And yes, we know that while Charlie is one of the world's most celebrated filmmakers and the author of the newly released novel Antkind, he is neither a Wordfest alumnus nor a Canadian fiction writer. But he is the director of I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the movie adaptation of Iain's bestselling novel, which debuts on Netflix on Sept. 4. This pairing is such a gift that we had to make an exception.)
The 60-minute conversation, hosted by Shelley Youngblut, will start at 7:00 PM MT. (The pre-show will begin at 6:50 PM MT.)
25@25 pass holders will be automatically registered for this event, with access to the live stream on Wordfest.com, as well as the option of watching it on demand whenever works for you.
Single tickets are now on sale for $15, and include on-demand viewing of this event only. (You can always upgrade to a full pass at any time for access to all 13 anniversary events. Just email .)
You'll also receive our unique Digital Doggie Bag sent to your email after the event, with all the links, goodies, and references from the conversation. (Source)
Little article about it over at the Calgary Herald:
“Charlie Kaufman is obviously the exception to the rule, in that he is neither a Canadian nor a Canadian fiction writer,” says WordFest CEO Shelley Youngblut. “In some ways, this event symbolizes where WordFest is now. I’ve been working for months to get Charlie Kaufman. And we did it, finally. We are the only ones I know of that are actually presenting the two of them together in a real conversation, not just a radio or TV hit. It’s going to be an hour with the two of them.” (Source)