Yesterday morning we shuffled into the Odeon Leicester Square for the official programme launch of this year’s London Film Festival. There were croissants and coffee and everything, so yeah, it was great. As for the films in this year’s programme, well, there was one in particular that perked up our ears: Louis Theroux’s long-gestating Scientology documentary My Scientology Movie (previously titled Stairway to Heaven: Louis Theroux and the Church of Scientology).
We were also gifted a clip from the doc, directed by John Dower (Thrilla in Manila), in which we see Louis harassed and filmed (all the usual tactics) by a feisty affiliate of the Church. The bespectacled journalist presents her with a document that says he has permission to film on the public road. She's not having any of it and physically shoves Louis, cool and composed, off the road. As we learnt from Alex Gibney and those before him, making a film about Scientology is no walk in the park.
Earlier this year, Theroux tweeted about another intriguing documentary. “Just been informed by Scientology lawyers that Scientology is working on a documentary about me. Little bit excited; little bit nervous.” The tweet received over 8,000 retweets, suggesting there might be more interst in their documentary than his. Which isn’t really suprising given he's a compelling oddball presenter, hey?
‘My Scientology Movie’ will premiere at the London Film Festival this October.