THIS IS HAPPENING tells the story of an estranged brother and sister (played by James Wolk and Mickey Sumner) forced to go on the road together to track down their fugitive grandmother (Cloris Leachman). What begins as a comedic tale of a broken family forced to come together under the pressures of an absentee father (Judd Nelson) evolves into a journey about learning to find your family in order to find yourself.
On a snowy night in New York City, a Columbia professor is brutally mugged on the doorsteps of an apartment building. Director Tim Blake Nelson’s haunting meditation of city life traces the chain of events that precipitate the attack, examining the inextricable and unforeseen forces that bring a group of disparate individuals together.
In 1996, shortly after the publication of his groundbreaking novel Infinite Jest, acclaimed author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) sets off on a five-day interview with Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg). As the days pass, a tenuous yet significant relationship develops between journalist and subject. Lipsky and Wallace bob and weave around each other, revealing as much in what they don’t say as what the say. They share laughs, expose hidden frailties, yet it’s never clear when or to what extent they are being truthful. The interview is never published. Five days of audio tapes are packed away in Lipsky’s closet, and the two men never meet again. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]
One night in Harlem, sour, aging Mat reunites with his younger brother Alan, just before Alan heads out for a long-planned vacation with his live-in girlfriend Farrah. Only days later, much sooner than expected, Alan returns home from his vacation to find his apartment commandeered by Mat, Mat’s girlfriend, and Mat’s girlfriend’s son. As doors slam and the power gives out and the threads of family fray, a mystery lingers: why has Alan returned home without Farrah? [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]