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Past Films

Author: The JT LeRoy Story

  • Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
  • Genre(s): Documentary
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 110 min.

On January 9, 2006 The New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about a sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was the creative expression of 40-year-old San Francisco former phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but according to Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.

"Author: The JT LeRoy Story is wildly entertaining and truly stranger than fiction."
- John Fink, The Film Stage
"That Feuerzeig can navigate this hall of mirrors so cleanly and effectively is positively supernatural."
- Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine (Vulture)
"Feuerzeig lets us put together the puzzle pieces of Albert’s story. The film’s final five minutes — a punch to the heart — make it all clear."
- Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
"Author: The JT Leroy Story, a documentary from Jeff Feuerzeig,is as truthful as it gets. Yet its content is so wildly absurd, that it plays like a work of fiction."
- Jason Ooi, The Playlist
"Author is one of the most entertaining documentaries in recent memory — and, possibly, the origin story of catfishing."
- Sara Stewart, New York Post
"A fascinating peek into one of the wildest literary scandals in recent years and the bizarre nature of celebrity relationships."
- Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
"Director Jeff Feuerzeig tracks Albert’s bizarre scheme in her own words, constructing a fascinating treatise on creative desire, internal grievances and fame as compelling as anything the writer herself dreamed up."
- Eric Kohn, indieWIRE
"Author is less a run-through of one of the biggest controversies to plague the literary world in the past century, than an illuminating study of the enigmatic and driven woman behind the phenomenon."
- Nigel M Smith, The Guardian
"Author is a particular kind of documentary: a first-person account of the creation of a myth by its creator. As such, it poses all sorts of questions about the intersection of art, celebrity and psychological disturbance in our media culture, but it also gives us Laura Albert as a shape-shifting artist of astonishing talent, resourcefulness and originality."
- Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com

Showtimes