Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tabloid (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway


Joyce McKinney is quite a woman. She is part Mae West, part vampire, maybe, but a Mormon-eater definitely. She is a woman that I would like to meet. Just to say hi. A one in a million zany vamp. Whether you sympathize with her or not, (and you just might after seeing this documentary) McKinney is unforgettable.

"Tabloid" the new documentary by Errol Morris focuses on the eerie and darkly desperate story of Joyce McKinney and her melodramatic saga of how she fell for a young Mormon named Kirk Anderson, followed him to a British LDS Mission, kidnapped him and chained him to a bed. I was too young to remember the case in the mid 1970s with Scotland Yard hot on her tail, but who needs John Waters or "South Park" when you have this spitfire demonizing Devon and trying to corrupt a Mormon on his Mission duties.

The film in content and attitude is an echo of the 2007 documentary "Crazy Love". That film by Dan Klores was considerably more visceral and disturbing as it involved acid in the face thrown by a rejected suitor, but "Tabloid" is no less quirky, or bizarre. And we are left with the same questions, how crazy can love become? As the emotion and irrationality of romantic love is one of our most primary and primal emotions, the vermillion thread between danger and carnal consummation is decidedly thin. 

After all, we live in a tabloid world where a NASA astronaut, Lisa Nowak recently chased down a romantic rival in diapers.

"Tabloid" the film, shows Miss McKinney in a very human light. She is no Alex Forrest from "Fatal Attraction". McKinney was simply trying to hunt down her fiancé who disappeared. But she is a bit off her rocker, no two ways about it. McKinney hires a pilot and takes her man by gunpoint and attempts to remove his temple undergarments.

Land Sakes!

Never has an agonizing tug on the heart been so entertaining. During the first half of the film you think this woman is right out of Stephen King, but by the second half you see her truly pained by human events. I have to say that my heart goes out to her. But she still seems a nut. McKinney has so much Force about her. Such is love.

The film has a slow, musical pace in suspense that builds like  ua collaboration between John Waters and Alfred Hitchcock. The bold faced titles merge with animated fadeouts in a direct quirkiness  that has been Morris' trademark. 

"Tabloid" is not without its humor but it is manic and madcap along with a bit of eerie Alpha drive from McKinney. It is as entertaining as it is elusive from the standpoint of common sense. Needless to say, she is left with her cloned dogs, a confirmed bachelorette    and after her experience, I can't say I blame her.  

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