First show: April 25
San Francisco’s most infamous literary hoax gets a thoroughly invigorating redraft in this exquisitely cast feature based on the memoir of LeRoy’s physical avatar.
Co-screenwriter/author Savannah Knoop & director Justin Kelly in discussion with author, musician & dancer Brontez Purnell after the Sunday 4/28, 3:15pm show!
A scenery-chewing Laura Dern inhabits the uber-talented, shape-shifting San Francisco rocker & author Laura Albert, while Kristen Stewart burrows within Savannah Knoop, the physical manifestation of the media-shy, genderfluid novelist of the best sellers Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
Just to recap for those who weren’t around, or just don’t remember☺: Both turn of the 21st century books were purportedly semi-autobiographical accounts by a teenage boy of his experiences of poverty, drug use, and emotional and sexual abuse in his childhood and adolescence. In fact both were penned by Laura Albert, who also spent hundreds of hours communicating with (and recording) writers, celebrities, psychiatrists and others in the persona of her psychologically damaged nom-de-plume, JT LeRoy, via phone and e-mail. As calls for appearances with the author grew, Albert convinced her hubby’s (Jim Sturgess) self-effacing, young sister (Stewart) to assume the physical role in public. While significant literary and celebrity attention mounted, Asia Argento (here named Eva Avelin – licentiously portrayed by Diane Kruger) jumped into the mix, securing the film adaptation rights to “The Heart Is Deceitful…”, in which she starred and directed. When persistent questions of authorial authenticity peaked with a series of exposés, the entire fraud unraveled in utterly spectacular fashion, leaving a huge wake of the disoriented and demoralized, along with a flurry of lawsuits.
“Enjoyable as the film is in its own terms — between its strong performances and its intermittent insights into sexuality, gender, and the nature of constructed identities… (it adds) more than enough layers of metatextual intrigue to the story of a bisexual woman who pretended to be a bisexual man who was entirely the creation of another woman.” – Variety
Directed by Justin Kelly. Written by Savannah Knoop & Justin Kelly, based on Knoop’s memoire, Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy. With Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Diane Kruger, Jim Sturgess & Courtney Love. 2019. DCP. 108 mins.