One of the many story lines in David Foster Wallace's epic novel Infinite Jest involves a videotape so compellingly fascinating that once someone starts watching it, they literally cannot look away. They'll just stay wherever they were when their eyes first met the screen and endlessly stare at the video, unable to do anything else but gaze non-stop at the screen. Soon or later, they'll lose bladder and bowel control, choosing to remain in front of the screen rather than leave for the bathroom, and after enough time they'll eventually starve to death while watching the tape for days on end unless someone intercedes. But if the rescuer's eyes meet the screen, then they're trapped there, too, and you can probably guess some of the problems that eventually ensue.
Much of the novel involves various nefarious agents trying to get their hands on the tape and weaponize it for evil purposes, but the novel never says what's actually on the video. Wallace leaves that to your imagination. He tells you that it was created by avant-garde filmmaker James O. Incandenza and describes several of Incandenza's other films, which sound so experimental and academic as to be unwatchable. But somehow, he must have gotten the elements on one tape just right and managed to create the endlessly fascinating Infinite Jest, and the rest, so to speak, is history.
Of course, if you know me, you know I've spent a lot of time wondering just what such a video would actually look like and that eventually I'd give creating such a Frankenstein film a try. Taking random video clips off the internet and spending hours and hours splicing them together this way and that, and wondering if the Infinite Jest effect was taking hold on the filmmaker but not the audience. But I managed to produce several candidates for Infinite Jest, some of which were unwatchable, many of which were annoying, and a few even managed to turn pornographic on me and were deleted before I'd be tempted to ever post them (you have to be careful what you grab off the net). But one or two, I think, are sort of clever and hypnotic and might make good candidates for Infinite Jest.
Here's the first one I'm ready to release, Infinite Jest I, which I've subtitled Romeo. You'll understand why when you watch it.
I don't own or represent that I own copyrights to any of the materials in this film. I think of the video as a sort of post-modern, free-use pastiche, creating a new and original work of art from the flotsam and jetsam floating out there on the World Wide Web, sort of like collage or plunderphonics. Others might see it as nothing but one big fat copyright infringement and demand I take it down off the internet, so I don't know how long this will last. Enjoy it while you can, but make sure you have someone around to turn it off in case the effect works and you can't stop watching.