Subscribe     Check0 items AU$0.00  

 



VIEW THE TRAILER


Press Kit
Image Library

Tabloid

  Add to cart
Genre:

Documentary

DVD: Available Now
Format:DVD
Rating:M
Consumer Advice:

Sexual references

Run Time:
88 minutes
Languages:

English

Director:

Errol Morris

Featuring:

Joyce McKinney - Miss Wyoming
Jackson Shaw - The Pilot
Peter Tory - Reporter, Daily Express
Troy Williams - Salt Lake City Radio Host
Kent Gavin - Photographer for the Mirror
Dr. Hong - RNL Bio, Scientist

Web Links:

 

 

Now available to watch on beamafilm

Also available on:


   

  

 

 



 


Synopsis:

Documentary maestro Errol Morris - director of award-winning films such as The Fog of War (Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature 2003); The Thin Blue Line; Mr Death and Standard Operating Procedure - relishes the bizarre, often laugh-out-loud, details of one of the most notorious exploitation stories of the 1970s with a headline made in heaven for the UK's tabloid press - 'The Case of the Manacled Mormon'

Morris’ Tabloid follows the much stranger-than-fiction adventures of Joyce McKinney, a former “beauty queen” whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe and directly onto the front pages of the British tabloid newspapers. Joyce’s crusade for love and personal vindication, as illustrated by Morris, takes her through a surreal world of gunpoint abduction, manacled Mormons, oddball accomplices, bondage modeling, magic underwear and dreams of celestial unions. This notorious affair is barking mad.

Equal parts love story, film noir, brainy B-movie and demented fairy tale, Tabloid is a delirious meditation on hysteria – both public and personal – from a filmmaker who continues to break down and blow open the documentary genre with his penetrating portraits of eccentric and profoundly complex characters. In Tabloid, Morris concocts another jaw-dropping portrayal, this time of a phenomenally driven woman whose romantic obsessions and delusions catapult her over the edge into scandal-sheet notoriety and an unimaginable life. Long before the days of Lindsay, Britney and the 24-hour news cycle, Joyce McKinney reigned as the ensnaring Femme Fatale accused of sexual defiance. In Tabloid, she is back, and Morris offers up his best guilty treasure.


Reviews

THE CIRCLE Ten.com.au - James Mathison

 
A fascinating yarn, all the way through...I loved it...great documentary...one of the best doco's I've seen all year.

 ABC At the Movies -

 Margaret Pomeranz & David Stratton

                  

It's absolutely hilarious - Margaret Pomeranz

... a ripping yarn if ever there was one - David Stratton

View their review here

The Age - Kylie Northover

Wading through the fog of a true tale that's stranger than fiction

Filmmaker Errol Morris has long been drawn to stories from the fringes but in his latest feature documentary, Tabloid, he might have uncovered the living embodiment of the adage ''truth is stranger than fiction''.
In a departure from his most recent subjects - the 2003 Academy Award-winning The Fog of War and his 2008 inquiry into the incendiary photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison, Standard Operating Procedure - Tabloid explores the bizarre life of Joyce McKinney, the subject of a British tabloid frenzy in the late 1970s.
McKinney was a former beauty queen from Wyoming who fell in love with a Mormon, Kirk Anderson, and followed him when he left the US in 1978 to do missionary work in Britain. With a private pilot and a bodyguard who might or might not have been in love with her, McKinney took chloroform, listening devices, bondage equipment and a fake gun.

What followed, depending on who one believes (Anderson didn't take part in the film), was either a kidnapping by an obsessive woman or the rescue of her lover from a religious cult.
However, there is no doubt about the tabloid scandal McKinney created. With British press coverage at the time, and McKinney's love of being photographed and filmed, Morris had a wealth of material.
Tabloid uses his signature interviewing technique, in which subjects look directly at the camera through an ''Interrotron''. The Interrotron, which Morris invented, is a modified teleprompter that projects his and his subject's faces on a two-way mirror in front of the camera, allowing interviewees to make direct eye contact with viewers and speak more candidly than they might if looking into a lens.
The story also features extraordinary escapes, outlandish disguises, movie stars, rock stars and puppy cloning.


Tabloid is as much about the search for truth as it is the retelling of a crazy saga. ''Certainly, there are two aspects to what I do,'' Morris says. ''On one hand, it's this pursuit of some real, objective truth and on the other hand it's showing how difficult it is, sometimes impossible, to recover that truth.''
After the British press heard how McKinney ''kidnapped'' Anderson, taking him to a rural cottage where she tied him to a bed and forced him to have sex with her, the case of the manacled Mormon made international headlines. Morris worked on Tabloid for about a year but its release date coincided with the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. ''I think the tabloids in the movie are certainly more innocent than today, but you can see the elements of that in the late '70s and '80s,'' he says.


McKinney's evident joy in telling her story and her self-mocking quality make it hard to see her as a victim.
Charged with raping Anderson, she told a packed London courtroom the pair were in love: ''I loved him so much that I would have skied down Mount Everest nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.''
Morris says it was ''quite clear McKinney was not a complete victim of the story - she was a willing participant. That's not to say … she was in any way treated well by the tabloid press; she wasn't. On the other hand, she is exploiting the tabloids. It's a complex relationship and a complex story''.
Along with the court case, the bail-skipping, the pretending to be part of a deaf-mute theatre troupe to escape Britain - seriously - Morris has included footage of McKinney reading from her autobiography in the early 1980s.


''That footage is amazing, Morris says. ''After she got back to the US in the early 1980s, a filmmaker, Trent Harris, decided he wanted to make a film about her. He shot that material, her reading from her autobiography. It's extraordinary - it's like she's predicting her own future.''
McKinney's adventures might have been consigned to tabloid history had it not been for another bizarre chapter in her life, decades later, when she became the owner of the world's first commercially cloned dog.
''It makes me wonder, that part of the story, whether we all script our lives and then just re-enact them, almost as if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy,'' Morris says. ''We just imagine who we are and what our life story will be and then we act it.
''That seems like what Joyce has done. And that, to me, is the most interesting and disturbing aspect of the whole story.''

The Courier Mail - Andrew Fenton

A kinky tale told by the tabloids

OSCAR-winning documentary maker Errol Morris knows how to get his audience interested in a subject.

"I would never have heard of it, save for the dog cloning," he says, in one of the more intriguing beginnings to an anecdote a director has offered in a while.

It turns out the "dog cloning" aspect is simply a bizarre postscript to the even wilder tale told spun in his salaciously entertaining new film Tabloid. In 2008, a middle-aged American woman calling herself Bernann McKinney made international news after she had her dog Booger cloned five times in a South Korean lab. But Fleet Street hacks of a certain age quickly unmasked her as Joyce McKinney, the protagonist in a 30-year-old sex scandal known as "the case of the manacled Mormon".

Morris was instantly hooked.
"I was excited," he says. "That combination of dog cloning and the 'sex in chains' story made me think I may have something here - it was crazy!".

Tabloid is a funny and entertaining film, in contrast to Morris' two most recent and very powerful political films Standard Operating Procedure, about Abu Ghraib jail, and The Fog of War, about former US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara. The facts of Tabloid are in dispute but, according to breathless media reports in 1977, busty former model McKinney stalked her Mormon missionary lover Kirk Anderson to England where she kidnapped him from a church at gunpoint, drove him to a love cottage in Devon, tied him spread-eagled to a bed using mink-trimmed handcuffs and repeatedly had her way with him. At her remand hearing on rape charges, McKinney famously declared they were in love and she was so devoted to him: "I'd ski naked down Mt Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me."

The long-lasting media frenzy included twist after twist, including a daring escape disguised as mime artist, a reappearance as a nun and some shocking revelations about her past. At the heart of Tabloid lies a jaw-dropping interview with McKinney, conducted using Morris' "Interrotron" - a teleprompter-style device that helps him build rapport with his interview subjects by showing his face in front of the camera as he asks questions.

A former model with an "IQ of 168", McKinney should be awarded the Oscar for "best performance in a documentary" if such a category existed, says Morris.

"It turned out to be really extraordinary," he says. "At one point she blurts out: 'Thank you to all those years of drama school' and it's clear she sees it as a performance."

Even now, after years spent researching the story, Morris says he still isn't sure where the truth lies. "I would say that I have about 90 per cent uncertainty," he says with a laugh. "This was a story about what might really have happened, and about the stories that people spun around those events. It's one of the finest examples of that sort of thing that I've been ever able to create."

 

Urban Cinefile - Louise Keller & Andrew Urban

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Riveting cinema, Tabloid explores the life of Joyce McKinney, and it's a story that keeps giving, with many elements: a beauty queen, kinky sex, straight sex, sex for sale, organised religion, brainwashing, tabloid press, false papers, cross-Atlantic escape, true love, true faith and dog cloning. Errol Morris hits the doco jackpot with a story that is both resoundingly human and resoundingly ironic about an ex beauty queen with a shady past (as unearthed by London's Daily Mirror, anyway) who falls in love with Kirk Anderson, a young man whose strict religion forbids sex.

And there's more: even as their instant romance is about to be consummated, he is whisked away by the Mormon elders for training in far-off London - but to McKinney he has just disappeared. This is where the main story of Joyce and Kirk really begins, when she sets out to 'rescue' Kirk. Evidently cashed up, she hires body guards to track him down across the Atlantic and takes along her faithful friend (her 'slave') Keith Joseph May for support.

Their plan to kidnap Kirk from the Mormons is like a spy thriller in real life, but half way through McKinney's therapeutic sex-slave antics with Kirk, his brainwashing kicks in and he's off again.

Morris explores how McKinney tells her story from today's perspective (and she tells it with gusty and humour as well as pathos) alongside how London's warring tabloids, the Express and the Mirror told it, back in 1997. He uses some effective devices, such as an old TV to play archival footage, and lots of tabloid-like graphics of headlines and clippings.

All through the seemingly endless revelations that give her story a new twist every few seconds, McKinney comes across as an ordinary woman and now a rather lonely elderly figure, who stands by everything she did in her youth, with admirable guts. Morris doesn't
judge McKinney, nor does he judge the media. He lets us draw our own conclusions on its role. He puts together an amazing profile of a life that is both tragic and noble, with no black and white compartments.

It's what I would have called a gee whizz story, if I had stumbled across McKinney when making my social doco series Front Up, for SBS TV in the 90s.

Review by Louise Keller:
A scandal involving a beauty queen, sex-in-chains, a religious cult, kidnapping and the tabloids are the ingredients of this bizarre true story that gets more fantastic as it goes along. Filled with wall-to-wall sensationalism, filmmaker Errol Morris has plenty into which to get his teeth as he prises open the lid to the scorching story of Joyce McKinney, the all-American pageant winner with the high IQ who would have skied naked down Mount Everest, pink carnation in her nose for the man she loves. Intriguing, compelling and shocking, it is the contradictions of this obsessive woman that are most fascinating as we make up our own mind about the story that played out in the tabloids.

Like umpteen teenage girls, Joyce McKinney is waiting for her prince charming to whisk her away to her dream life. When we first meet the middle aged Joyce McKinney, she tells us about her early years in the small town in Carolina and the special guy she hoped she would meet. She starts dating aged 17 and meets Kirk Anderson, a tall, 19 year old Morman driving a Corvette, who becomes the object of her desire (just like in the movies) and with whom she falls hopelessly in love.

I won't reveal exactly what transpires but when Kirk's parents show their disapproval and Kirk 'disappears', Joyce jumps into action in a bid to 'rescue' the man she then calls 'cult Kirk', hoping he will become the Kirk with whom she has fallen in love. The characters involved include a body builder, a pilot, a doting architect called KJ, who fly to England with a gun, handcuffs and a grand plan which is executed on blue silk sheets (to match Kirk's eyes) with cinnamon oil in what Joyce describes as 'a honeymoon cottage'.

Not surprisingly, when Joyce is arrested, the tabloids jump on the story. Morris has woven Joyce's dialogue to camera with archival footage, interviews, clips from movies and intriguing graphics, as we tag along for the adventure. As it happens, the kidnapping is just a small part of the revelations which include prostitution, naked photos, S & M practices, wresting with tigers and much more. Tabloid proves once again that truth is much stranger than fiction. It's beguiling cinema that will make you scratch your head in amazement.

 

Film Ink - Travis Johnson

 Given the current spate of scandals rocking the tabloid world in general, and Rupert Murdoch's News Of The World in particular, this is a timely release. Seasoned documentarian Errol Morris, who scored a richly deserved Academy Award for 2003's The Fog Of War, dissects the yellow journalism of seventies Britain, using as his scalpel a bizarre story that proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that truth is far stranger than fiction.
 
The twisted tale of former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney is the spine of the film. In 1977, she travelled to London and kidnapped - or rescued, according to her - the young Mormon missionary, Kirk Anderson. After several days of sex, which McKinney says was consensual and Anderson swears was not, Anderson fled, and McKinney was caught and arrested... and from there, the story just gets weirder.
 
The tabloid press had a field day, and it's this that forms the thematic core of the film. Morris wants to talk about the mutable nature of memory and the elusiveness of truth, using McKinney's media frenzy as his case study. Interviews with various figures involved, including reporters who covered the case at the time, as well as McKinney herself, reveal a multifaceted piece of history that goes far beyond the obvious did she/didn't she dichotomy.
 
McKinney is an interviewer's dream: charming, garrulous, and seemingly shameless. Still protesting her innocence, she presents events as a grand romantic adventure, even as the other interviewees draw a much darker and troubling picture of her. Ultimately, Morris is uninterested in which viewpoint is accurate, but rather focuses on the fascinating ambiguity that exists between them all. Even without such a delicate touch, this would still be worth seeing, if only for the chance to spend time with McKinney, one of the most compelling documentary subjects to come along in some time.

 

Sydney Morning Herald - Kylie Northover

Wading through the fog of a true tale that's stranger than fiction

Errol Morris's latest film revisits a tabloid story nothing short of the bizarre.

Filmmaker Errol Morris has long been drawn to stories from the fringes but in his latest feature documentary, Tabloid, he might have uncovered the living embodiment of the adage ''truth is stranger than fiction''.

In a departure from his most recent subjects - the 2003 Academy Award-winning The Fog of War and his 2008 inquiry into the incendiary photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison, Standard Operating Procedure - Tabloid explores the bizarre life of Joyce McKinney, the subject of a British tabloid frenzy in the late 1970s.
McKinney was a former beauty queen from Wyoming who fell in love with a Mormon, Kirk Anderson, and followed him when he left the US in 1978 to do missionary work in Britain. With a private pilot and a bodyguard who might or might not have been in love with her, McKinney took chloroform, listening devices, bondage equipment and a fake gun.

What followed, depending on who one believes (Anderson didn't take part in the film), was either a kidnapping by an obsessive woman or the rescue of her lover from a religious cult.  However, there is no doubt about the tabloid scandal McKinney created. With British press coverage at the time, and McKinney's love of being photographed and filmed, Morris had a wealth of material.  Tabloid uses his signature interviewing technique, in which subjects look directly at the camera through an ''Interrotron''. The Interrotron, which Morris invented, is a modified teleprompter that projects his and his subject's faces on a two-way mirror in front of the camera, allowing interviewees to make direct eye contact with viewers and speak more candidly than they might if looking into a lens.

The story also features extraordinary escapes, outlandish disguises, movie stars, rock stars and puppy cloning.  Tabloid is as much about the search for truth as it is the retelling of a crazy saga.

''Certainly, there are two aspects to what I do,'' Morris says. ''On one hand, it's this pursuit of some real, objective truth and on the other hand it's showing how difficult it is, sometimes impossible, to recover that truth.''  After the British press heard how McKinney ''kidnapped'' Anderson, taking him to a rural cottage where she tied him to a bed and forced him to have sex with her, the case of the manacled Mormon made international headlines.  Morris worked on Tabloid for about a year but its release date coincided with the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.  ''I think the tabloids in the movie are certainly more innocent than today, but you can see the elements of that in the late '70s and '80s,'' he says.
McKinney's evident joy in telling her story and her self-mocking quality make it hard to see her as a victim.

Charged with raping Anderson, she told a packed London courtroom the pair were in love: ''I loved him so much that I would have skied down Mount Everest nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.''
Morris says it was ''quite clear McKinney was not a complete victim of the story - she was a willing participant. That's not to say … she was in any way treated well by the tabloid press; she wasn't. On the other hand, she is exploiting the tabloids. It's a complex relationship and a complex story''.  Along with the court case, the bail-skipping, the pretending to be part of a deaf-mute theatre troupe to escape Britain - seriously - Morris has included footage of McKinney reading from her autobiography in the early 1980s.

''That footage is amazing, Morris says. ''After she got back to the US in the early 1980s, a filmmaker, Trent Harris, decided he wanted to make a film about her. He shot that material, her reading from her autobiography. It's extraordinary - it's like she's predicting her own future.''  McKinney's adventures might have been consigned to tabloid history had it not been for another bizarre chapter in her life, decades later, when she became the owner of the world's first commercially cloned dog.  ''It makes me wonder, that part of the story, whether we all script our lives and then just re-enact them, almost as if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy,'' Morris says. ''We just imagine who we are and what our life story will be and then we act it.

''That seems like what Joyce has done. And that, to me, is the most interesting and disturbing aspect of the whole story.''
Read the full review

Wired - Scott Thill
Errol Morris’ latest documentary, Tabloid, was supposed to be a return to the humane quirk of his early work, like pet-cemetery laugher Gates of Heaven, which infamously made auteur Werner Herzog eat his shoe. But then Rupert Murdoch’s toxic News of the World scandal exploded, reminding everyone on Earth that tabloid journalists are mere steps above cockroaches on the evolutionary chain. It also made Morris’ film about the tabloid-ready exploits of a ’70s beauty queen exceedingly timely.
Read the full review

New York Times - A.O. Scott - CRITICS PICK
Although Mr. Morris caters to our never-sated appetite for titillating tidbits — and lets us take a few nips at the ink-stained hands that feed us those shocking, nasty morsels —in “Tabloid” he also offers a bit of escapism. We can turn away from the ugly spectacle of cellphone hacking and political bullying currently roiling Rupert Murdoch’s empire and revisit the once-notorious case of the “Manacled Mormon,” which long ago offered the British reading public a bit of good, clean, dirty fun.
Read the full review

New York Magazine - David Edelstein - CRITICS PICK
With each event—imprisonment, trial, escape, and recent exploits involving dog-cloning—one’s jaw drops further and further. Tabloid is candy for voyeurs. We laugh like mad at a nut whose only mistake was being born in the last century, too early to have made real money.
Read the full review

The Guardian UK - B Ruby Rich
An innocent, beautiful girl from the Blue Ridge mountains, once crowned Miss Wyoming, becomes engaged to a young man, then flies to London to rescue him from the religious cult that has kidnapped and brainwashed him, sacrificing her virginity to make love with him in a desperate bid to restore his sanity. Take 2. A hussy in a see-through blouse is so obsessed with having sex with a Mormon man that she kidnaps him and keeps him in a cottage in Devon where she rapes him for three days straight, as he lies helpless, manacled to a bedpost… What happened?
Read the full review

Moviefone - Aiden Redmond
In true Errol Morris form, it's time to get excited for another documentary about the strangest of subjects you've heard of and probably won't be able to look away from… For a director who's made a career out of finding the most backwoods, bizarro stories and turning them into some of the most well-made, compelling movies you'll ever see, Joyce McKinney sounds like the perfect focus for Oscar-winner Errol Morris.
Read the full review

New York Press - Leslie-Stonebraker
What is so marvelous in Tabloid is Morris’ expert manipulation of tone. One moment warrents uproarious laughter (Hollywood’s screenwriters would be pressed to invent a more absurd tale) and the next sobers completely, as it reveals the plight of a seemingly mentally ill woman. Morris delights in these transitions. He animates Joyce’s fantasies with 1950- era couples footage, only to fully realize that she really does see her life as a movie through home videos she shot of in her backyard.
Read the full review

Read an interview with the Academy Award winning Director Errol Morris in the New York Press


Add to cart


You might also like:


  Four of a Kind
Sometimes You Don’t Have To Lie… Sometimes It’s Better...
More

  Erasing David
David Bond has nothing to hide… but does he have nothing t...
More

  Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
An enigmatic musical poet, world-renowned pianist Glenn Gou...
More
username Exact match Any word

  FOLLOW US ON...   Twitter   Facebook   YouTube   Wikipedia IMDB    
 
Competitions | Terms & Conditions | Contact Us
© Gil Scrine Films. © Antidote Films. All rights reserved.