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).