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JAMES ELLROY’S FEAST OF DEATH

UK, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Vikram Jayanti

"A gripping peek into the dark places of America's prime crime writer. This brilliant, harrowing documentary traces Ellroy's life, work and personal odyssey. Exceptional." - The Guardian

Academy Award winner Vikram Jayanti's film weaves together a number of strands reflecting different aspects of Ellroy's life. We join the 'Demon Dog' cruising mean LA streets in a patrol car with his pal, homicide detective Bill Stoner, talking of his grim childhood and failed career as a petty criminal. These passages are paralleled with Ellroy combing crime archives for information about the murder of his mother and keeping crowds in stitches at book readings and personal appearances.

The final, and possibly most fascinating sections, are the 'Feasts of Death': two luxurious dinner parties conducted by Ellroy for select guests, all veteran cops. These ghoulish gatherings probe the facts of the infamous and unsolved Black Dahlia case and even present, for the first time anywhere, the most probable suspect - itself an extraordinarily bizarre yarn.

"Vikram Jayanti has layered a series of interlocking stories in a way that would have done justice to an Ellroy thriller." - The Times

Vikram Jayanti has been involved in documentary filmmaking as a director and producer since 1981's The Three Worlds of Bali. He has tackled a wide array of topics in over two dozen films including The Lost Tribes (1984), Last Images of War (1992), I Am a Sex Addict (1993) and The True Life of Barbie (1996).

See also...

IL MIO VIAGGIO IN ITALIA

Italy/USA, 2001
If Martin Scorsese never made another movie, he could unquestionably sustain a career as one of the greatest ever teachers of film. This is an epic masterclass on how to watch films, how to interpret… More »

TO BE AND TO HAVE

France, 2002
To Be and to Have (in Official Selection at Cannes this year) follows an academic year in the lives of a dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, who are taught every subject, from math to gym, by one dedicated … More »

THE TRAMP AND THE DICTATOR

Germany/UK, 2001
When Victoria Chaplin, daughter of Charles, rummaged through her father's effects she stumbled across a pile of new film rolls. Revealed here for the first time, the find is Sydney Chaplin's colour d… More »

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

USA, 2001
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film t… More »

CINEMANIA

USA/Germany, 2002
Are you prepared to alter your diet to avoid the need for toilet breaks, thus fitting in more movie screenings each day? Do you take changes of clothes to the cinema to avoid coming home? Can you liv… More »

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