July 15, 2021

SCREEN | Zoe Lister-Jones Figures Out 'How It Ends'

"It's like an existential scavenger hunt for your soul."
Zoe Lister-Jones Cailee Spaeny Daryl Wein | How It Ends
American International Pictures / Mister Lister Films
Starring multi-hyphenate actress/filmmaker Zoe Lister-Jones as well as co-written and co-directed with her husband Daryl Wein, their latest indie comedy How It Ends was shot on the fly (at a distance) around Los Angeles during lockdown in the thick of the pandemic. The pair called up various actor friends and colleagues with no other plans to assemble a charmingly haphazard film about seeing friends on the last day before the world ends.

Co-starring Cailee Spaeny as a younger version of Lister-Jones' Liza (her sort of inner/outer child) who appears less than imaginary, they wander the streets of L.A. confronting different characters—standing six feet apart and outdoors, of course—as Liza and her metaphysical self try to make plans for the very last time and find some kind of closure on their various relationships.

Split up into digestible segments featuring one-scene appearances from the likes of Nick Kroll, Fred Armisen, Olivia Wilde, Lamorne Morris, and many other recognizable faces who show up for varying amounts of screen time, there's an endearing quality to the slight but limited nature of the film's ongoing narrative.

It's a decidedly chill, ultra laidback take on the apocalypse. How It Ends has a very loose, artful appeal with shades of artistic experimentation similar to the works of Miranda July. Full of sidetrack detours that make up an entire film, Lister-Jones charms as she and Wein try to make sense of a collective sense of isolation heightened by a sense of urgency brought on by impending doom.

How It Ends is available to stream on various digital platforms and through video on demand starting July 20th.


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