Friday, 29 July 2016

Author: The JT Leroy Story: The Best Doc this year so far

Sorry guys but I didn't tell you that I WENT TO SUNDANCE!!!!!! I decided to keep it under wraps until it actually happened and the film was on its way to come out but it was good guys! But now the film is actually coming out so I thought I'd Review it.

Now you may remember I actually blogged about Sundance and which films I was super excited for (post here for reminding purposes). I went and saw the fantastic Documentary Author: The JTLeroy Story.  But now I can finally regail you to the details.We also had the privilidge of the director Jeff Feurzeig  to come in and do a Q and A session. I am truly blessed!
For those who need some context JT Leroy was a literary sensation in the 90's. A trans ex-child prostitute who wrote semi biographical works. JT's book Sarah was an instant hit and another work was turned into a film "The Heart is Deceitful above all Things". However There was one problem JT Leroy wasn't real, He was a character written by author Laura Albert and played by Savannah Knoop Albert's Husbands family member. It was a massive scandal and one that could be said to be Albert's cash grab.

Feurzeig could have easily portrayed Albert as a con artist. Someone who wanted to make a buzz by creating false miseries however he does the complete opposite. He gives the story over to her to explain herself not like a criminal in court but more like a patient talks to a therapist.You look not just at what she did but why. How JT Leroy started off as a child living in her head and how he escaped into the big world.

Feurzeig was lucky enough to stumble upon the motherload with this documentary as Albert recorded everything. Leroy's first appearence on the phone to a psychologist all the way to the bitter end.  Her recordings can definitely be interpreted in two ways, Some in the screeening thought it was a set up after all why record your entire life but I think it shows as a further look at her character.  A woman that keeps every single thing cataloguing Leroy like some parents do with their children. His first appearance and his first interview kept like a first tooth or a lock of hair.

Feurzeig said in his Q+A that Albert was the superior storyteller. That he focused on her for a reason and that is definitely true. She was truly captivating and for a moment I felt less like I was in a cinema and more that I was around a campfire hearing someone's life story. It was bizarre, sometimes horrible, sometimes you wanted to walk out as she seemed to dig the hole bigger and bigger.

In a desperate attempt to shrink JT more characters came to life and you were left with a mess that seemed to only start to clean itself when you found out about her personally. Her trouble childhood, her time in care, her thought processes. I felt by the end that I knew her and maybe I didn't understand her but I wanted to.

There is going to be a movie starring Jame Franco and Kristen Stewart but honestly nope nope nope. This is the one to watch. Feurzeig portrays not just the greatest literary hoax but also a strange sadness and one woman's quest to bring the child in her head to life. As there is a film of one of JT's Works (The Heart is Decietful Above all things directed by Asia Argento, of which JT had a fling) I may try tracking it down at teh very least it will fill a gap for 52filmsbywomen.

Feurzeig has made a truly excellent documentary and it may just end up being my documentary of the year. Yes it's just that good.

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