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  • Tabloid | Review

    SXSW FILM 2011

    By | April 3, 2011

    Director: Errol Morris

    Former Miss Wyoming and S&M call girl with an IQ of 168 and a penchant for cinnamon massage oil, kidnaps and rapes a rotund Mormon; years later, she clones her dog…creating five new Boogers! Boy, it sure does not get much better that that. That is the stuff that tabloids — and Errol Morris’ Tabloid — are made of!

    By way of Joyce McKinney (it turns out that you just need to point a camera at her and she will run and run and run with her story), the snarky and sardonic documentarian Errol Morris unearths a subject that allows his off-kilter sense of humor to run rampant. As is typically the case with Morris, Tabloid reveals that his technique is not malicious (unless you’re a Mormon, then you will certainly take offense); Morris allows his subjects to dig their own graves, as he frequently catches the various interviewees flagrantly embellishing their stories and contradicting each other.

    This brings us to Morris’ favorite subject: the truth. In Tabloid, thanks to all of the contradictions and untrustworthy commentary, Morris is unable to reveal an absolute truth. Instead it seems that the truth does not really matter in the context of this documentary (though if you want it, the truth is probably located somewhere in between the interviews). Here, Morris is more interested in how truth can be mediated and distorted. It is often apparent that McKinney’s version of the story is not true, yet she appears to believe her story completely. As McKinney explains, “You can tell a lie for long enough that you believe it” (she is not talking about herself, though the statement certainly fits her as snug as her see-through blouse).

    Morris is documentarian, but first and foremost he is an entertainer. No matter how serious his subject, Morris has proved time and time again that he possesses an obvious knack for comedic timing and punctuation — as with the flashes of words like “Spread-eagle!” and “Barking mad!” on screen in order to further accentuate his interviewee’s verbal flourishes. His other strong suit is his utilization of humorous archival material, which often features quirky film clips from the 1950s and 60s. In Tabloid, Morris utilizes clips from The God Makers (1982), an animated film that takes a highly critical view of the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    McKinney certainly proves that people with a sensational sense of self are engagingly entertaining, but what makes a documentary about McKinney any better than a reality show about the Jersey Shore? Is McKinney’s story strong or meaningful enough to justify a 90-minute documentary about it? Is there anything to be learned from Tabloid? (Besides the obvious “fact” that Mormon’s are incredibly silly!) Is Tabloid a vessel for Morris to comment upon gossip rags, tabloids and “reality” entertainment? Or is this all just for shits and giggles? (Admittedly, I shat and giggled simultaneously when McKinney stated that her raping a man would be like “trying to stuff a marshmallow into a parking meter.” Uh, what?!)

    In case you are wondering, the infamous manacled Mormon (Kirk Anderson) declined to be interviewed for Tabloid.

    Rating: 7/10

    Topics: Film Reviews, News, SXSW FILM 2011 | 2 Comments »

    • Feman521

      NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE: Unless your false and defamatory comments slandering Joyce McKinney are removed, this article will be turned over to her internet lawyers and your will be sued for slander! First of all, she was never even charged with raping the 300 pound 6’5 inch Mormon! Secondly, Morris’ sleazy “producer” LIED to Joyce under false pretenses, and gave her a fraudulent (phony) contract saying he was “doing a TV series for Showtime about paparazzi techniques” to get a rare interview with her, in an effort to steal her story. Then he edited her TRUTHFUL interview and inserted trashy words and PAID tabloid hoodlums pretend to tell her story as if they were IN HER BEDROOM. [Ha! Some “documentarian”–that he has to PAY for interviews!] (One sleazy tabloid kook he interviewed (and PAID) admitted his tabloid was involved in a 1978 burglary of her home–his TABLOID HIRED A DRUG ADDICT —AN EX CONVICT –AND HER SLEAZY BOYFRIEND TO BREAK IN TO STEAL PHOTS OUT OF HER HOME!). In September of 2009, Morris also hired sleazy producer named LIPSON to ransack her suitcase and steal two film treatments she had written, her diary, her parents photo collection, and a VALUABLE photo collection which was to be used for an autobiographical book she was writing about her terrifying ordeal as the victim of a PRESS HOAX. THIRDLY, Joyce was NEVER an “S & M” hooker. In fact she was a CHRISTIAN GIRL, and in fact, a virgin when she met her Mormon fiance, whom she deeply loved. Your attack on her character is malicious and intentional–at her expense–and trashy filth like your comments causes her extreme emotional pain. Did you know her mother, a devout Christian–became severely depress when Morris trashy film started the reporters harassing them again, attempted suicide due to this filthy film and now lies dying under life support in the hospital? Are you aware that Morris “producer” was directly involved in the murder of her service dog, which she needed?–she is now 60 years old, partially blind and physically handicapped). Are you aware of what cold hearted Hollywood Hoodlums he and his associates are in their quest for the almighty dollar–at the expense of an innocent person’s reputation? Are you aware they are being sued for millions of dollars? Are you aware YOU (and liar Errol Morris and his tabloid cronies who he PAID for their interview) can be sued for calling a virginal CHRISTIAN girl an ” S&M hooker”? That is SLANDER. Maybe when you get dragged into court, you will be asked to PROVE your filthy stories that you print so dishonestly. You are disgusting LIAR. As for Joyce, SHE HAS PASSED A LIE DETECTOR TEST. And you are so dishonest you did not even call the courts in England to even SEE if she was charged with rape or convicted of anything. She does TV shows and has huge court cases. She is certainly not a fugitive rapist of a Mormon or anything you and other media nuts suggest. So you can be arrested for CRIMINAL LIBEL for putting in print a person committed a crime for something she was never even CHARGED with. So get this garbage OFF the internet, or she will see you in court! (PS And we have a copy of the trashy Porno Doc Morris did on her. She was wearing a modest long sleeved blue suit, and you KNOW it–NOT a “see through blouse”. You are one big LIAR, buddy! You deserve the lawsuit you are going to get, and you will have to pay her thousands of dollars in damages and for your own lawyer fees, for slandering her on the internet where others can read and repeat your GOSSIP. And Errol Morris and his producers and his MORMON distributors will get what they deserve too!) The goal which you and Morris share, is that you are trying to cast doubt on Joyce’s TRUTHFUL story.

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