In Theatres: TABLOID

Coming to theatres this Friday, July 15: TABLOID

Errol Morris’ latest project debuted at Telluride and Toronto last Fall and has since screened at a number of events leading up to its theatrical release via IFC Films. The doc opens in NY, LA, SF, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Chicago, and DC this Friday, and expands nationwide next week. It opens “Errol Morris’ America,” a month-long retrospective of Morris’ work at NYC’s Museum of the Moving Image, tonight at 7pm.

In 1977, Kirk Anderson, a Mormon missionary, went missing in the UK, allegedly abducted by a former beauty pageant winner, Joyce McKinney. When the tabloids got ahold of the story, they ran with it, printing salacious stories about the “Mormon sex in chains case,” and jubilantly painting McKinney as a sex-crazed predator. In her defense, McKinney denied the accusations, claiming that they were involved romantically, and that Anderson joined her of his own free will, but later fabricated the abduction story out of religious guilt. Morris delves into this sensationalistic story, but also specifically focuses on how that sensationalism was actually concocted in the UK tabloids, providing a fascinating look into the mechanics of celebrity, infamy, and scandal. Morris’ films and essays have long engendered stimulating conversation and careful consideration. Along with only a handful of other directors, he has often successfully crossed over from a core of self-selecting cinephiles to reach more general movie-goers, helping to expose broader audiences to the possibilities and diversity of documentary film. With its unusual and salacious background story, his latest has the potential to strike a chord with a younger audience reared on reality TV and celebrity scandal – but, at the same time, to show those viewers how such a story can also be well-told. It’s also just a lot of fun – the twists and turns of McKinney’s life make for a tale that truly is stranger than fiction. The protag has had the tendency to show up at past screenings and debate certain aspects of how she has been represented, so audiences might be in for a show not only on screen but also offscreen…

Note: Errol Morris will be present for the screening tonight at MoMI.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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