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Documentarian R.J. Cutler to Return to Fiction. Watch His Early Short “Anita Liberty”

Documentarian R.J. Cutler to Return to Fiction. Watch His Early Short "Anita Liberty"

Another celebrated documentary filmmaker is abandoning nonfiction (at least temporarily) for the made-up stuff. Because it’s been so great for Barbara Kopple (“Havoc”), Errol Morris (“The Dark Wind”) and Michael Moore (“Canadian Bacon”). Yes, I’m being sarcastic, even if I’m somewhat happy if documentarians can dip into fiction once in a while if it gives them a nice paycheck to live off while making more docs. I just worry that R.J. Cutler, a longtime producer and director of reality TV and films like the recent hit “The September Issue,” and other filmmakers, will never return to the mode, a la Seth Gordon. Cutler, Deadline reports, is signed on to helm an adaptation of Lee Tulloch’s ’80s fashion-scene satire “Fabulous Nobodies,” which fittingly has a protagonist named Reality.

While this will be the filmmaker’s first fiction feature, it’s not his first foray into scripted work (excluding the writing on his reality shows). A few years after he produced Pennebaker and Hegedus’ “The War Room” and one year following his directorial debut, “A Perfect Candidate,” Cutler made a short film called “Anita Liberty,” which he co-wrote with its star, Suzanne Weber. The film is so very ’90s with its coffee shop breakup poetry, and it reminds me of that bad “Reality Bites” and Maggie Estep part of the decade I hated. Weber actually wrote the book mentioned in the film, by the way. It’s really titled “How to Heal the Hurt by Hating,” and is published under the pseudonym Anita Liberty. And she’s written other books with that pen name since.

If you’re interested in seeing what a Cutler fiction looks like, at least one that’s 13 years old, watch “Anita Liberty” after the jump.

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