SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPARELis a docudramedy that melds Tao Lin’s autobiographical novel about getting arrested with a film crew’s misadventures with indie filmmaking.

The Beginning

Over the past few years, literary works by Tao Lin have gained increasing popularity, drawing thousands of fans to the unique worlds created in Richard Yates, Eeeee Eee Eeee, and Shoplifting from American Apparel. When Lin’s novella was released on Melville House, director Pirooz Kalayeh entered negotiations with the author and publisher to bring the project to the silver screen. Initially planning on a lavish budget with producer Mark Parsia (Co-producer, THE HUMAN WAR), the economic downturn catalyzed a new approach to the film that would utilize both documentary and narrative techniques to highlight writers within the virtual world (Noah Cicero, Brad Warner, Bebe Zeva, Jordan Castro, and Tao Lin) and incorporate new media and animation techniques to reflect the novella’s nuances alongside the current economic challenges of creating independent cinema.

The hip are bored and they want you to know it. Part absurdest documentary and part cinematic realism, Shoplifting from American Apparel moves between the life of the actual writer who has written the popular novel on which the film is based to the mishaps of a ragtag film crew who offer each other challenges to make certain scenes despite unforeseen creative roadblocks.


Saturday Night in Williamsburg: New York Premiere of Pirooz Kalayeh’s Adaptation of Tao Lin’s “Shoplifting from American Apparel at indieScreen” by Agnes Nixon

Tao Lin’s Shoplifting From American Apparel is Now a Movie About Malaise, Stealing, and Tao Lin by Heather Baysa

Shoplifting from American Apparel Director Pirooz Kalayeh Discusses His New Meta-Film and Its Unique Distribution Process
by Kristina Bravo

Blissful Mediocrity: Film Review by Throwing Rocks at Squirrels

Movie Review : Shoplifting from American Apparel (2012) by Benoit Lelievre

Shoplifting from American Apparel [the movie] at Nth Word

Q&A: Pirooz Kalayeh, director of Shoplifting from American Apparel by Josh Spilker

Of Being and Nothingness but Stylishness [on book and film] by Amaris Kethcum


MS Word Press Materials
PDF Press Materials

If you have yet to see the film, you are welcome to “shoplift” or “remix” the film at the following website