Stranger Than Fiction
The subject of Errol Morris’ new documentary Tabloid has sparked even more media coverage in a bizarre crusade against the film.
Tabloid, the new documentary by lauded filmmaker Errol Morris, has inspired the subject of the film, Joyce McKinney, to hijack various screenings across America in a bid to tell her side of the story.
McKinney first caught the public eye in 1977 when, at the age of 25, the former beauty queen fell for devout Mormon Kirk Anderson and was accused of kidnapping him, chaining him spread eagled to a bed and allegedly raping him. Following this, after serving jail time, McKinney enjoyed further tabloid attention from her dalliances with celebrities, but eventually fled the scene with the help of numerous disguises. Pictures later popped up exposing her as an S&M callgirl in the British tabloids causing another media frenzy. Fast forward almost three-and-a-half decades, interest reignited in the ‘Mormon Manacler', fronting the South Korean headlines for cloning her deceased dog, Booger. Her intriguing story is told with expertise and objective guile by Errol Morris, the Oscar winning director of The Fog Of War.
Since Tabloid's completion, McKinney has embarked on a crusade against the film, trailing screenings across the States, waiting until the end of the film before announcing her presence. At each screening she publicly denounces her portrayal in the film, entertaining audiences and further adding to her eccentric behaviour. She has so far been seen in New York, Austin, Sarasota, Seattle and San Francisco.
"I felt really bad when I first saw the movie. I cried, in fact I threw up," McKinney said at an impromptu New York screening, "I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what are people going to think of me when they see the film?' They think I'm an S&M hooker!"
For a post-News of the World society, the film is prescient in its depiction of the British press and its dubious tactics. In the film, one-on-one interviews with opposing tabloid reporters of the time, frame McKinney's own version of events, resulting in an enigmatic story where McKinney's version of events is in stark contrast to the press.
Morris, critically acclaimed as a documentary filmmaker, is best known for The Thin Blue Line which exposed the inconsistencies of convicted murderer Randall Dale Adams' trial. The film received immense media coverage and subsequently resulted in the overturning of Adams' conviction.
Tabloid will be released in cinemas 22 September.