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TABLOID

Director: ERROL MORRIS

87 minutes, U.S.A, 2010, Colour, D-Cinema


Tackling subject matter as varied as pet cemeteries (Gates of Heaven), miscarriages of justice (The Thin Blue Line), and U.S. military misdemeanours in Iraq (Standard Operating Procedure), Errol Morris has forged a deserved reputation as one of America’s leading filmmakers. His abiding fascination with the vagaries of the human psyche is entertainingly explored in this latest offering, which delves into the tabloid hysteria surrounding beauty queen Joyce McKinney back in 1977, when stories exploded that she’d pursued her estranged Mormon boyfriend across the Atlantic and then shackled him to a bed in a Devon cottage for serious sexual de-programming. 

Interviewing the parties involved years on, Morris finds that the truth’s not only stranger than the headlines, but an elusive beast in itself – how could the same events prompt such divergent recollections? That question provides the film with a thoughtful underpinning, but as the bubbly and quite possibly bonkers McKinney holds court, Morris’ film jauntily navigates from amused to bemused and back again. It’s terrific fun. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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