this section in 2 parts, and one very lengthy footnote
as of YDAU --ie backstory
narrated in third person
This section is narrated in third person, with a detached tone. ETA has been in operation for 3 pre-subsidized years + 8 subsidized years [ie since 1999] First it was under Dr. James Incandenza then under his half brother-in-law Charles Tavis. Incandenza was the only child of a former Jr. tennis player and then promising pre-Method actor. The father is driven back to his native Tucson, and works as a tennis pro and a low-rent actor. He is crippled by arachnophobia and stage fright, and becomes more obsessed by Method acting. He makes his son into a tennis player 'the way other fathers might restore vintage autos.' James was compliant and became a gifted Jr. player,using tennis scholarships to fund his education, which eventually led to a Navy funded doctorate in optical physics, and top level government defense jobs, where 'his development of gamma-refractive indices for lithium-anodized lenses and panels' helped make possible cold annular fusion leading to US energy independence. He then made a fortune in related patents and retired to start ETA and begin working on 'apres-garde' experimental film. His film work was still too ahead of [or behind?] it's time to be appreciated at the time of his death in YT-SDB , although much of the film work was plain pretentious, due in part to his descent into alcoholism. [here there is an 8 page footnote listing the complete filmography of JOI, which is discussed separately below]. Incandenza had a May[or July] -October marriage to Avril Mondragon a prescriptive linguist with ties to Quebecois Separatists made obtaining visas difficult, and Orin's birth was in fact partly a legal maneuver. In his last five years, Incandenza liquidated his assets and ceded control of ETA to his wife's half-brother. His subsequent film career earned a small academic following for 'technical fleck and for a pathos that was somehow both surreally abstract and CNS-rendingly melodramatic at the same time.' His untimely suicide at 54 was held as a great loss in the military, film and tennis worlds.
YDAU  Nov. 1
narrated in third person
This part is narrated in third person, with close ties to Orin's perspective. Orin and his team are hang-gliding in bird-suits from the top of Mile High Stadium to the football field below, presumably as a pre-game ritual/stunt. Orin hates it 'with a clusterfucking passion.' He has told no one on the team or the counselor about his fear of heights and descent. he whispers 'please lord, spare the Leg' before each landing.
footnote 24, ['James O. Incandenza, a filmography']
by my count there are 78 films listed here. There are several series of films 'Cage' I through V, mostly unreleased; 'Found Drama' I-XI, all 'conceptual, conceptually unfilmable, unreleased.' And most notable 'Infinite Jest' I-V, with each being an attempted remake of it's precursor, and all unreleased. The final 'Infinite Jest (V?)' was his last film [starring only "Madame Psychosis"] and 'though no scholarly synopsis or report of viewing exists' it has been described in journals as his 'most entertaining and compelling work' and allusions have been made to 'radical experiments in viewers' optical perspective and context.' The 'master cartridge was vaulted sui testador'
Many of the films are unreleased, and the ones that predate subsidized time are not dated exactly. The films vary from documentaries, to narratives to parodies and P/R shorts for advertising. Several synopses sound familiar to events in the book, for example the scene with Hal and Himself posing as the shrink. There are actors and narrators that recur throughout the filmography, notably 'Madame Psychosis,' Cosgrove Watt, Pam Heath, Judith Fukuoka-Hearn, Pamela-Sue Vooheis, Paul Anthony [P.A.] Heaven.
The filmography is so rich, that it could almost stand alone as a short story. I'm convinced that most everything in there is relevant to some part of the main story, and I feel like my cursory summary probably warrants expansion.