Esteemed documentary maker and British national treasure Louis Theroux will make his silver screen debut with his first feature film, released on Monday 10th October. My Scientology Movie documents Theroux’s adventures with the most notoriously strange of all America’s theological creations: the church of Scientology.
Theroux’s documentaries with BBC 2, including Weird Weekends and When Louis Met…, have garnered him a unique following in the documentary filmmaking industry. He is adored by the mainstream public (responsibility for this in part due to the ubiquity of the BBC) whilst he also enjoys a cult following. His famous charm, both quick-witted and insightful, probing yet distant, dreamy and macabre, has earned him a special reputation among his contemporary public.
Proof of his popularity lies in the amount of sold out screenings of his first film, premiering on Monday 10th October, whereby many cinemas do not have available tickets until the following weekend after the film’s opening. Cinema goers on Monday will be treated to a screening of Theroux’s movie followed by a Q&A which will be streamed into cinemas across the country live from London’s Southbank Centre. With director John Dower and the Oscar-winning producer of Searching for Sugarman, Theroux has produced a debut that has been called a “Pythonesque delight” by critics.
Decades of documentary making has culminated in this first feature-length film. The film is distributed by Magnolia Pictures and follows Theroux’s attempt at uncovering the intensely private world of Scientology by investigating its operations through interviews with ex-members and young actors auditioning to play high-profile members of their hierarchy in their recruitment videos. The trailer for the film shows the belligerence of indoctrinated individuals that meets Theroux as he tries to learn more about the church of Scientology’s values. Like most of Theroux’s repertoire, the film has been received as brilliant, baffling, and downright bonkers.
The film’s release comes just one week after Theroux’s most recent BBC documentary entitled Louis Theroux: Savile.The new film re-examines perhaps his most famous film, When Louis Met… Jimmy, which explores the interactions between Theroux and Jimmy Savile. Theroux’s self-perceived failure in not outing Savile’s paedophilia in his original film is his subject as he interviews a number of Savile’s victims.
Louis Theroux: Savile airs on BBC2 at 9pm Sunday 2nd October 2016.
My Scientology Movie is showing in cinemas from Monday 10th October.
By Charles Bliss