Director Errol Morris, famous for his documentaries like “The Thin Blue Line” and “The Fog of War,” has delivered another excellent film entitled, “Tabloid.” Telling the tale of the former model who was accused of kidnapping and sexually enslaving a young Mormon in England, is riveting. Utilizing Morris trademark elements, he lets the protagonists tell their own story and spices it up with vintage clippings and amazing photo album images.

When Joyce McKinney, the former Wyoming beauty queen and part time model falls hard for a young Mormon man named Kirk Anderson, she thinks her fairy tale dream is about to come true. But Kirk is soon whisked off to England to complete his Mormon mission leaving Joyce behind. Joyce enlists a few friends, a prop gun and some chloroform and with a plan to “un-brainwash” him, she sets off to get her prince back. What follows is a feeding frenzy in the English tabloids as the prurient elements of the story bubble to the surface. Just when you think it can’t get odder, it does. Morris interviews all living, and willing participants to craft an intriguing “he said, she said” story that is stranger than fiction, and far more entertaining.

A darling of the indie film festivals this year, this film is compelling and fascinating to watch. Unfolding in 1977, one has to wonder if it was the beginning of the end in terms of our cultural infatuation with stories like this, especially if they contain sex, religion and crime.

“Tabloid” is playing at the Loft Theatre starting September 2. 3233 East Speedway, 795-7777 for showtimes.


About Herb Stratford

Arts and culture writer and film reviewer. Historic theatre restoration consultant. Artist and arts educator.
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