Tabloid

In the view of HE’s Telluride correspondent Glenn Zoller, Errol Morris‘s Tabloid, which screened late last night, is “the equivalent of a normal-seeming documentary, handsomely shot and edited, that has dropped a tab of acid. What a trip! Morris fielded a few questions at 1:15 am and seemed almost as shell-shocked as the audience (and the subjects) from this wacky but intense memory-lane fever dream.”

In Contention‘s Kris Tapley also attended, and has given Tabloid three and a half stars. “It’s a great year for documentaries at this year’s fest and Errol Morris’s latest is right at the top,” he says. “[It's] a masterful work with Morris’s trademark sense of humor splattered all over it…one of his best films in years.”

Tabloid “tells the twisted story of beauty/tabloid queen Joyce McKinney who, in 1977, was accused of kidnapping her one-time Mormon sweetheart, Kirk Anderson, sequestering him in a cottage in rural England, tying him to a bed and ‘raping’ him for days. The case set UK tabloids alight and was dubbed ‘The Mormon sex in chains case.’

“It sounds too sensational to believe, but it is, every bit of it, absolutely true. And McKinney makes for as fascinating a subject as Morris has ever documented — a deranged, somewhat monstrous woman who you find yourself loathing and pitying with equal measure. And just when the story seems to have been fully unveiled, Morris takes us in a completely different direction in a ‘wait, it gets better’ sort of denouement.”

How does a woman forcibly rape a guy? If McKinney raped Anderson in a hetero-missionary way, he’d obviously have to “participate” by getting and sustaining an erection during each violation. If McKinney didn’t like the idea of being forced into sex, he could have used the ultimate trump card — i.e., flaccidity. So I’m not getting how this happened. Unless McKinney made Anderson “the woman,” so to speak, and penetrated him with a cucumber or something. Certain specifics need to be addressed.