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A WRITER'S VOICE: 'Me Earl and the Dying Girl' - Two Levels of Structure

Jacob Krueger discusses films as having two different levels of structure. There is the Primary Structure, which is the story that the character is telling themselves as they experience the events of the movie.

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Whether you loved or hated Me and Earl and the Dying Girl– whether you were part of the crowd that was ready to stand up and cheer at the Sundance premiere (after which the film was immediately snagged up after a fierce bidding war) or whether you’re one of the more skeptical audience members who have accused the film of being cliché in its depiction of Earl and of its self-aware film references– one thing that you have to admit about Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is that, for all its humor and all its fun, ultimately the movie is devastating.

It’s not easy to devastate an audience. Especially when they come to a movie called Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It’s not easy to actually move them to a point of personal exposure with a film like this, because of the protective wall that the audience is naturally going to put up between themselves and the film.

So, I want to talk today about how you get an audience to take down their walls.

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A WRITER'S VOICE: 'Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl' - Two Levels of Structure

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

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