First Hit: Recalling the 2005 public outcry that JT LeRoy wasn’t real, this film thoughtfully, engagingly and summarily tells the story behind the story of Laura Albert’s creation.
I recall reading stories about how the media thought they had been duped by Laura Albert to the existence of JT LeRoy (JT standing for Jeremiah Terminator). From first glance and reading the media’s views, it was understandable. Yet something was hauntingly strange about their indignant hurt.
One day, in 2013, I learned that Laura was a client at our SF Marina Bar Method Studio. When we spoke and I was quickly reminded about the hoopla that transpired in the press in 2005.
Although I learned a different story that day and in during subsequent conversations, it wasn’t until this film did I “get” the depth, complex and interesting portrait of her story. Laura was rightfully put off by the perception that she pulled off a “hoax” by asking her son's aunt Savannah Knoop, to be the public face of JT LeRoy.
While watching this film, we take a deep dive into the events of Laura’s life and her path into writing, thus furnishing Albert with a way to express the life being lived inside. The film, through the use of an unfathomable library of saved voicemails and telephone conversation recordings on mini and standard tape cassettes, we learn how Laura’s life unfolded and how creating stories allowed her a way to express herself through a difficult upbringing.
Although I think the film might have been stronger through some judicious editing, thereby reducing its running time, I found myself engaged and wanting Laura to be seen as someone who cares about living her life and the life of the characters she creates because they are part of her.
Jeff Feuerzeig wrote and directed this film. He did an effective job of moving back and forth through time to tell Laura’s story and how JT was created.
Overall: It was a fascinating look into an author’s life, author Laura Albert.