AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY
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The film is also available in England as a Region 2 DVD, which you can order HERE.
And AUTHOR aired on BBC Four, and can be seen HERE!
“How brave to face in the most radical way the ambiguities of the self. As the story unfolds, I kept shuddering at the intensity and authenticity of what the material was portraying. As a storyteller, if you’re brave, you give up everything to the materials. You let them take you where they insist on going, and the less that you impose your own psychological predispositions on that journey, the more authentic the journey is. I submit to you that you saw an absolutely authentic journey.” — David Milch, after a screening of Author: The JT LeRoy Story
Master documentary filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig, who made the landmark The Devil and Daniel Johnston, has turned his attention to Laura Albert and JT LeRoy with his new film Author: The JT LeRoy Story.
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Feuerzeig’s immersive account is the first to delve deeply into Laura Albert’s story. He has commented that, in all the coverage about JT LeRoy, “one voice was glaringly missing, that of Laura Albert.” In Author: The JT LeRoy Story, her voice comes through with unforgettable clarity. The film explores her desire to experiment with identity and gender, which led to the writings of JT LeRoy, and chronicles JT’s meteoric rise – and the necessity of Laura supplying a physical materialization of her avatar, which led to JT’s public appearances, attended by Laura as JT’s assistant Speedie. Feuerzeig examines the celebrity enthusiasm for JT, with accounts of Billy Corgan, Courtney Love, Asia Argento, and others, but his film is never distracted by the stars. Instead, viewers are always brought back to the central theme, that JT LeRoy was an author. Laura’s prose is illuminated in captivating animated sequences that remind everyone why this writer attracted so much attention in the first place.
An A&E IndieFilms and RatPac Documentary Films presentation of a Vice production, Author: The JT LeRoy Story combines archival footage, new sequences, animation, home movies, phone messages, and extensive interviews with Laura Albert. This extraordinary documentary brings new light and new life to the recognition and appreciation of Laura Albert, author.
The world premiere of Author: The JT LeRoy Story was a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, with the film’s official opening in select American theaters beginning on September 9, 2016. On Wednesday September 7, two days before, Laura Albert spoke with writer Grant Faulkner at Booksmith; for the San Francisco opening at the Embarcadero Landmark on Friday the 9th, Laura appeared at the 7:00 screening for a Q&A moderated by Sean Howell, Founder and Chairman of Hornet Gay Social Network. At the same time, Jeff Feuerzeig was in Los Angeles for the opening at the ArcLight Hollywood, doing a Q&A moderated by the one and only Peter Bogdanovich. The next day, Saturday the 10th, Laura was in Los Angeles at the ArcLight’s 7:15 screening for a Q&A moderated by the legendary writer/producer David Milch – and followed up on Sunday with Q&As at the Landmark’s 2:00 and 4:50 shows. That same weekend, Jeff was at the New York opening, speaking at two venues: the 4:30 screenings at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on Saturday and at Sunday, and at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, speaking with Richard Hell, on Saturday at 7:15 and Sunday at 2:25.
The Canadian opening of Author happened in November – and Laura spoke via Skype at the Toronto screenings on November 2 and 3. These were part of the Hot Docs series, at the Ted Rogers Cinema, with audience Q&As moderated by Hot Docs programmers. After that Laura was also on Skype with the audience at the Stockholm Film Festival and the Biografen Sture.
There has been exciting press coverage for Author‘s upcoming US release from Entertainment Weekly, The Daily Beast, and Huffington Post, and the advance-word critical response has been overwhelmingly positive – check out these smart and enthusiastic articles: Vulture, IndieWire, The Daily Beast, The Aisle Seat, VOX Magazine, The Hollywood News, Little White Lies, Almost-Kael, The Guardian, The Moderate Voice, OUT, the San Francisco Chronicle, plus this insightful IndieWire follow-up and some more love too! There are also these intelligent reviews from FourCulture Magazine, Vogue, and Film Journal International. And read this superb article by Godfrey Cheshire at RogerEbert.com – and this thoughtful piece by James Franco for IndieWire.
We’re also delighted to announce that Cinema Eye, the organization that recognizes outstanding craft and artistry in nonfiction filmmaking, is celebrating its tenth anniversary and has announced its annual list of The Unforgettables: this year’s most notable and significant nonfiction-film subjects. And Laura Albert and Author: The JT LeRoy Story are among that select company of Unforgettables. There will be an awards ceremony at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in January of 2017 — watch this space for updates!
Laura has spoken about Author with Salon, People, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, Page Six, The Creators Project, OUT, Unicorn Booty, the San Francisco Examiner, New York Magazine, and the New York Daily News. And here are Laura and Jeff speaking with V Magazine, Jezebel, and The Mary Sue, and here’s Jeff talking to Interview Magazine and the Washington Blade.
This podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, has amazing separate interviews with Jeff and with Laura.
David Milch and Laura Albert speak in Los Angeles after a screening of Author.
This is Laura on CBC Radio’s Q with Tom Power.
Here it is on demand, hot from VICE: Laura and Jeff doing Beats 1! You can hear Laura and Geoff Knoop’s band Thistle covering Daniel Johnston’s “Love Not Dead” from The Late Great Daniel Johnston.
Laura eloquently sets the record straight about JT LeRoy in this video clip for Film Courage.
Here are Laura and Jeff Feuerzeig discussing Author as part of aol’s BUILD Series; in conversation with Ben Kenber of The Ultimate Rabbit; speaking to Film Courage; and appearing with San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan.
In this clip actor Alec Baldwin, Co-Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival, speaks with the festival’s Artistic Director David Nugent and Jeff Feuerzeig after a screening of Author.
Here’s Jeff talking to the International Documentary Association. This interview is with Filmbeat. And here Jeff is with Vice Talks Film and with the Boston Herald. In this clip, he speaks about Author in New York at the Film Society of Lincoln Center – and in this one, in Texas with the Austin Film Society.
This charming clip has Laura and Jeff pulling some of their favorite films out of the closet of the Criterion Collection. And check out this wonderful review of Author from coolduder, which starts at 2:22.
This video features Author‘s editor Michelle Witten and associate producer and assistant editor Lucas Celler.
This clip captures a heartfelt response from Laura after Author screened at Sundance.
Here is a glimpse of Laura speaking with audience members after a Sundance screening.
In this wonderful sequence, Stella Okolue, Laura’s group-home housemother, speaks with Laura and Jeff Feuerzeig at an Author Q&A held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
This podcast is a discussion with Author‘s cinematographer Richard Henkels and editor Michelle Witten.
Here’s a brief history of Author‘s 2016 pre-release film-festival appearances:
San Francisco Film Festival, April 22
Independent Film Festival Boston, April 28
DocAviv, May 21, 24, & 28
Seattle International Film Festival, May 30 & June 1
Sundance London, June 4 & 5
Champs-Élysées Film Festival, June 8 & 9
Greenwich International Film Festival, June 10 & 12 — Laura attended the June 12 screening.
Sheffield Doc Fest, June 10 & 13
Provincetown International Film Festival, June 17 & 19
BAMcinemaFest, June 17 — Laura and Jeff Feuerzeig attended the screening.
Oak Cliff Film Festival, June 18 — Laura and Jeff Feuerzeig do a Skype Q&A.
Nantucket Film Festival, June 25 & 26
Hamptons International Film Festival, July 9 — Jeff Feuerzeig spoke with Alec Baldwin after the screening.
Maine International Film Festival, July 10 & 12
Aspen NEW VIEWS, August 8
Austin Film Society, August 12 — Jeff Feuerzeig does a Q&A after the screening and a Master Class on August 13.