Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 by Russ Fischer
If you follow Errol Morris on Twitter, you’ll know that he’s been finishing up a new film called Tabloid. For the most part, we haven’t known much about what the film covers, as he’s been quite oblique in referencing the project. But the simple fact of Morris making a new movie is exciting enough. The man hasn’t made a bad documentary (OK, his dramatic feature The Dark Wind isn’t so hot) and many of his films hold well-earned spots on best-of lists for the year of their release.
Now we know a bit more about Tabloid, and if the pieces are coming together as appears to be the case, then it might be one to please audiences who take more to the quirky, focused portraits Morris sometimes creates.
The big clue to Tabloid was a recent tweet by the director, which said “Joyce McKinney is my favorite protagonist.” That kicked off some digging by The Playlist, which ended up with enough details to compile into some vision of the film.
First, check out Joyce McKinney. She became a tabloid fixture in the UK in 1977 when accused of kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary named Kirk Anderson. ‘The Case of the Manacled Mormon,’ as it was called by one paper, became a sensation. Arrested and charged, McKinney denied the charges and eventually fled back to the US. She was never extradited, and while McKinney was arrested by the FBI in 1979 on a different charge, her sentence was suspended. Much later, McKinney had her dog cloned in Korea, apparently making her pitbull the first successfully cloned canine.
Sounds like the perfect subject for Morris. Indeed, The Playlist reports that the film is said to be “quite funny and odd.” In conjunction with the subject matter that will likely call up memories of Vernon, Florida and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control more than recent Morris films like The Fog of War and Standard Operating Procedure. (The former being essential and the latter being wildly ambitious, but sometimes unfocused, and both quite serious.) The site’s sources also say the film is being submitted to Cannes.
As for Morris, he remains quiet, though he did tweet recently, “I have finished my first love story since “Gates of Heaven.”