Saturday, January 21, 2017
AUTHOR: THE J.T.LEROY STORY (2016)
Written & Directed By: Jeff Feuerzeig
Cinematography By: Richard Henkels
Editor: Michelle M. Witten
Featuring: Laura Albert, Savannah Knoop, Dennis Cooper, Bruce Benderson, Ira Silverberg
The story behind literary persona JT LeRoy, the fictional writer created by American author Laura Albert.
As a fan of the books of the author during the hoax. I was quite interested to know from the inside. How this all happened as I had only learned bits and pieces from various articles before.
The books to me are still good even if the built up story behind them aren't. More hype than anything. Sort of like what happened with writer James Frey and his book A MILLION LITTLE PIECES. Which is still a good book. It just doesn't have the truth that others believed it had. Only here it ends up being more confusing.
Though me and a friend both early on questioned what was real about the books and what obviously had to be made up on the books. As if this all really happened shouldn't it be more in the biography section?
I tend to agree with her point about the books being fiction ever thing is extra only that you choose to believe.
Essentially the story is about a woman's breakdown and mental illness issues as she tries to give voice to herself and come out of her shell. She makes a creation that is part of her but finds with fame that she loses control and distancing her actual self out to play out this character or characters. As they are all part of her various personalities and it only seems to fool Hollywood but ends up becoming a celebrity and causing an international incident.
The film also takes a look at celebrity culture. How they all revolve around her or who they think she is, as a fan and whose story and words affect them, but also seek to all want to be around someone so creative to them that is also like a charity case. While letting them get some more attention.
One story that is given short shrift is the surprising romance between J.T. Or st least who was playing him & Asia Argento.
It ends up becoming a story that resembles the story of Icarus. As she gets too. If and too famous. People start looking into her past. As the level of reclusiveness gets some to want to try and solve the mystery of J.T. So she stroke the bite of the media by flying too close to the sun. During more of a victory walk.
We end up watching a dual story in the film. The part she played in all of this and she ends up becoming a supporting role. As her creation like Frankenstein grows and stumbles. Though you find yourself questioning if intentionally self destructive. Especially after telling a few people and getting more a separate identity. Bringing the curtain down but conveniently has all these recordings of all these conversations with celebrities. Which helps the documentary though makes you wonder, why even if she is crazy. Though can understand reactions as all feel betrayed with some exceptions. They have the carpet pulled out from under them. Plus made them look stupid after
How close and friendly get were as physically Savannah is J.T. And Laura does all the other work such as the writing and phone calls and deals. Though Savannah gets all the glory. The mastermind actually does all the grunt work.
If this was all planned. It would have been a brilliant art project.
It would have been nice to if we had more participants in the hoax or involved in all of this like Asia Argento, Geoff (Laura's boyfriend than husband) and savannah or even Billy Corgan speaking for themselves. The little we do get is through recordings and old footage. That help fill in the story that would make a great film itself. While also still think the original book written SARAH would still be a controversial bit good film. And wonder if someone could tie the actual story behind the book with the book in a film.
Creating their own legend beforehand. Can see why they weren't as the film along. Like that towards the end we do get more reactions from those involved.
Still like that the documentary keeps building and pulls you in and you begin to care. Again it becomes so big, grand and crazy that you couldn't make it up m. There is too much detail into the absurd and it all coming together.