Cultural Icons Spock And JT LeRoy

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek‘s first television broadcast with the theatrical opening of the weekend. It’s a documentary about the actor who played the Trek character Mr. Spock. Helming the film is the son whose father who became an indelible TV icon.

Equally high-profile but much less revered nowadays is writer JT LeRoy. Once an alternative culture literary icon, LeRoy fell from grace once he was revealed to be the fictional creation of one Laura Albert. Jeff Feuerzeig’s new documentary tells Albert’s story of why she perpetrated this literary hoax.

For those desiring a surfeit of real-deal icons, definitely check out the restoration of Elevator To The Gallows. Louis Malle’s memorable directorial debut stars famed French actress Jeanne Moreau plays the femme fatale. Jazz legend Miles Davis provides the unforgettable musical soundtrack for this film noir classic.

Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Writer JT LeRoy captivated the literary world for a decade with powerful tales drawn from his sordid childhood. LeRoy’s glamorous career came to an end when the New York Times publicly exposed the author as a hoax. The so-called writer and his books turned out to be the creations of one Laura Albert. She’s a former phone sex operator turned San Francisco housewife. Director Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) records Albert’s account of the LeRoy project. Is Albert a contemptible fraud or someone who took an unusual path to personal creative expression?

Opens September 9 at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Baar Baar Dekho

Prospective bridegroom Jai Varma gets pre-wedding jitters before his marriage to his fiancee Dia. He soon feels torn between his work and Dia. Yet the next morning he wakes up on his honeymoon with no memory of the actual wedding. Jai soon figures out he’s been given an opportunity to live through his possible married future. The experience will help Jai see if all the subsequent highs and lows of marriage are worth it.

Opens September 9 at the AMC Metreon 16

Camp Sawi

In this Philippine romantic comedy/drama, an assortment of women who’ve suffered heartbreak come to the titular resort. There, they hope to move on from their painful romantic losses. Among the visitors are a dutiful girlfriend who’s neither rich nor Chinese, a high school cheerleader whose boyfriend is gay, and a mistress who develops a conscience.

Opens September 9 at the Century at Tanforan

Elevator To The Gallows

Director Louis Malle made his directorial debut film with this exercise in film noir suspense. Scheming lovers Florence (Jeanne Moreau in an iconic performance) and Julien (Maurice Ronet) plot the “perfect murder” of Florence’s husband. But Julien’s tying up of “a final loose end” leads to his getting trapped for hours in the titular elevator. Meanwhile, an unaware Florence thinks Julien has abandoned her. Miles Davis’ amazing score for this film is considered one of the great jazz film scores. Presented in a new 2K digital restoration.

Opens September 9 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

For The Love Of Spock

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series comes this documentary about Leonard Nimoy. The actor made Spock an unforgettable part of the show. Director Adam Nimoy offers this biographical portrait of his father. The film traces Star Trek‘s various iterations over the years, the pop culture impact of Spock, and the director’s own experiences being a TV icon’s son. Interviewees include William Shatner, Zachary Quinto, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Opens September 9 at the Roxie Theatre

Other People

Struggling gay TV comedy writer David (Jesse Plemons) returns home to Sacramento to care for his mother Joanne (Molly Shannon). David’s mother is dying of cancer. But the growing ineffectiveness of her chemotherapy makes Joanne decide to stop treatment and accept the inevitable. Determined to maintain a steady emotional front, David hides the recent breakup of his relationship, a professional setback, and his alienation from his sexually unaccepting father.

Opens September 9 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

In Alejandra Marquez Abella’s debut narrative film, 8-year-old Pepe accompanies his mother Dali and her boyfriend Chavez to a beach resort. But the beauty of the resort can’t distract the trio from their antagonisms towards one another.

Opens September 9 at the Roxie Theatre


Three U.S. Border Patrol officers work languidly at a remote outpost in the Chihuahuan Desert. But a traffic stop turned deadly reveals one officer has been both bribed and blackmailed into helping drug smugglers. Now the corrupted officer’s partner must decide how far he can go in trying to save the blackmailed cop.

Opens September 9 at the Roxie Theatre

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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