Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin, Jin Han Hong
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Errol Morris
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content and nudity
Running Time: 87
Date: 07/15/2011

Tabloid (2010)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Field Day

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Errol Morris's ninth documentary feature Tabloid is one of his more minor efforts, but it's a fascinating one nonetheless. It tells the story of former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a young Mormon man, Kirk Anderson in England. McKinney attempted to escape the country, but was captured again. The English tabloid newspapers The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express had one of those so-called "field days" that people are always talking about.

Morris interviews McKinney with his trademark "Interrotron" to get very intimate interviews in which the subject seems to be directly engaged with the audience, rather than with an interviewing mediator. (Morris's documentaries never look quite like anyone else's.) As with some of his previous movies, Morris isn't exactly after answers here, but rather to simply explore the mystery of the various versions of this story that circulated; McKinney tells one version, while journalists tell another.

Months after the movie was released, McKinney sued Morris, claiming that she had been misled as to the subject matter of the film. Tabloid won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Documentary award.

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