Amazing series primarily using Errol Morris' invention the Interrotron for unusual people to tell their outré stories directly into the camera to the viewer. Almost every half-hour ... See full summary »
Tabloid stories centered on the activities of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen with a self-reported IQ of 168, over her life are presented. Beyond her beauty pageant days, McKinney first hit the tabloid pages in Britain in what was largely coined "The Case of the Manacled Mormon". As reported by McKinney in interviews, she, a southern Christian originally from North Carolina, got involved with a group of Mormons in her pursuit of true love, without knowing they were Mormons or anything about Mormonism. She fell in love with one of those Mormons, Kirk Anderson, the two who were to be married. After he disappeared without saying anything to her, she, with the help of a private investigator and some male friends and new acquaintances, tracked him down in England where he was being brainwashed by Mormon elders, that brainwashing which included the notion of sex with and marriage to her, a non-Mormon, as taboo. He left with her voluntarily, she who took him away to a secluded cottage ... Written by
Some people are serial fantastists, or serial self-publicists: it can be hard to tell the difference. Errol Morris' entertaining film 'Tabloid: Sex in Change' will seem familiar to anyone whose seen the (altogether more serious) film 'True Lies': in both cases, someone collaborates with a contemporary film-maker to tell "their story", even though the film-maker is able to simultaneously compile a large body of evidence to suggest that this story is utter tosh. The protagonists of both films could be considered con-artists, but if so, neither of them are exactly very good: in taking part in these films, they manage not to control the narrative, but to destroy themselves (although, if self-publicity is the aim, they do succeed, albeit in a peculiar fashion). Joyce McKinney's story (both the real one, and the one that she tells) is straightforwardly bizarre; while the linked tale of the behaviour of tabloid newspapers is predictably depressing, although one can't help but wonder whether or not Morris would have done better to let sleeping dogs lie (something McKinney didn't do when she had her dead pet cloned) rather than give the whole affair another publicising blast of the oxygen. It's hard to draw many conclusions from such a weird tale about the state of our society, or even about the interior workings of McKinney's mind; yet it's also impossible not to be entertained, albeit in a prurient way, by the extraordinary details of her tale.
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