Wednesday, August 03, 2011


i saw tabloid, errol morris' latest, tonight. it tells the bizarre true story of joyce mckinney, a woman who followed her boyfriend, or maybe just followed a guy she was stalking, to england and then kidnapped him and raped him, or maybe just ran off with him for a tryst, and the british tabloid sensation that followed. the story touches upon such diverse topics as mormonism, male rape, obsession, the media and, out of nowhere, cloning. it's never made completely clear what actually happened. we are just presented with alternative stories told by clearly biased narrators. a week or two ago i heard an interview of morris about the film on npr's on the media. in the interview, morris joked that he wanted to call the film "rashomormon."

but it's not exactly rashomon. what drives the movie is not the question of what really happened, although there is some of that. it's just that whatever the truth may be, this is too crazy a story to not be compelling.

still, there were some problem. i wish it had dug deeper into the culture and phenomenon of the tabloid press. there also was an implicit critique of mormonism that seemed to rely on this video, the same video i wrote about and criticized relying upon here. none of those problems are big enough to stop me from recommending the film. but i tend to like morris' films, at least his more recent ones.