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TransFatty Lives

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Patrick Sean O'Brien

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About the Movie

At 30, Patrick O'Brien was TransFatty, a New York City DJ, internet personality, and filmmaker. He spent his days as a beer-drinking creative force, making art films about perverts, vulnerable souls, and Howard Johnson's restaurants. Then his legs started shaking. Defying sentimentality, TRANSFATTY LIVES takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from Patrick's wild, fun-loving days into the dark heart of ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease). Given 2 to 5 years to live, Patrick first loses his ability to walk, then to move his arms, then to swallow, and even to breathe. With the support of his bewildered friends and family Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. As the director and star of his own documentary, Patrick films every step of his debilitating journey from first diagnosis through his current paralysis. Forcefully lacking self-pity, he captures the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life as he makes art, gets political, falls in love, fathers a son, and fights extreme depression and paranoia. At 40, Patrick has completed this film by typing directions to his editors with the movements of his pupils. Miraculously, TRANSFATTY LIVES is not a movie about death. Because, while Patrick’s brain stopped being able to control his muscles, it remains brilliantly alive, allowing him to ask: “What if my diminishing physical abilities can be inversely proportional to my journey inward?” And, more importantly, "will there be bacon and unicorns once I get there?”

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 8
  • Fresh: 7
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 8.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An unusually playful and emotionally involving first-person chronicle of serious illness. – Dennis Harvey, Variety, Nov 23, 2015

Fresh: For much of the time, "TransFatty Lives" is an affirming rage against stillness, of any kind. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Dec 22, 2015

Fresh: Deeply moving and rambunctiously funny. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 16, 2015

Fresh: A doc as vibrant as its auteur's mind, even as his body is rendered immobile. – Meave Gallagher, L.A. Weekly, Nov 19, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Amazing and full of heart

tough to watch but so worth , patrick’s dealing with the toughest of diseases in not only enlightening but inspiration , worthy of academy mention if not nomination


brilliant, funny, and necessarily emotional in all the right ways. this story is a gift and one that we should all gift ourselves.

Must See!

The eye of the film maker has been our vessel for compelling experiences many times, but likely never before when it was the sole tool for the film maker to create his film. Using just his eyes, Patrick O'Brien gave us a film that assaulted the audience at TriBeCa; making us squirm in our seats. Something he's been unable to do for years. Audacious. Loving. Brutal. He spits in the eye of the monster that is ALS for the love of a young boy. See. This. Film.

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Customer Ratings