Author: The JT LeRoy Story

500 Days Of Film Reviews Documentary, Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Author: The JT LeRoy Story explores the fascinating life of writer, Laura Albert, whose literary alter-ego, JT LeRoy, took on a truly remarkable life of its own.

Is It Any Good?

Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary has an incredible story to tell. However, his film is less concerned with Jeremiah Terminator 'JT' LeRoy and more interested in creator, Laura Albert. 

 

Albert tells her own story - direct to camera. She explains that she suffered a troubled childhood and that she would often call helplines for advice and comfort. Unable to be herself during these calls, she would invent characters and stories instead.

 

This combination of avatars and storytelling eventually inspired Albert to create JT LeRoy - a young drug addict with a tragic background featuring prostitution and abuse. 

 

Albert wrote a number of bestselling books as JT and amassed quite the celebrity following. Feuerzeig’s film shows a range of evangelical fans - including Winona Ryder, Bono, Courtney Love and Gus Van Sant. 

 

Many of these fans and supporters were devastated when they discovered that JT LeRoy did not actually exist.

 

 

Author: The JT LeRoy Story is a fascinating and a frustrating film. While, Albert’s past is undeniably intriguing, she is too in control of her own story. The documentary does not question or challenge her actions and, as a result, we are left feeling rather unsatisfied with her version of events. 

 

In addition, Feuerzeig uses telephone recordings to back up Albert’s narrative. Are these actual recordings or reenactments? We are never sure. Yes, this plays into the film’s exploration of what is real and what is false in storytelling but, for me, it felt jarring.  

 

Author: The JT LeRoy Story is a compelling tale which raises a number of interesting literary questions. However, I would just have like the film to have been more robust and feature additional voices to balance that of master storyteller, Laura Albert.

Random Observations

Have you seen Author: The JT LeRoy Story? If so, what did you think of this documentary? 

 

I would love to know… why not leave me a comment in the box below.

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