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September 24, 2011 | 9:28 a.m. CST
Fiancés found tied to their beds, illustrious love affairs and provocative photos used to be the topics that made headlines on the front-page of gossip weeklies more than twenty years ago, before Kim Kardashian had a sex tape and Lindsay Lohan began frequenting rehab facilities. The woman behind those headlines was Joyce McKinney, and the new documentary Tabloid explores how young love turned into one of the most salacious headlines in England.
Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris brings to movie theaters another quirky tale told using seemingly simple production – confessional interviews from the story’s stakeholders with a soundtrack from regular Morris collaborator, John Kusiak, laced underneath.Related Movie
What appears to be a simple production style, however, is actually a complex element of the film that helps to add fervor and pace to McKinney’s story. Quick shots, animation and a collage of headlines from actual newspapers advance the story and evoke comical relief as well as a clear explanation of the story’s plot.
From the first shot, audience members know what they are walking into, and McKinney adds her magnetic personality to the screen with stakeholders in the story offering their commentary and insight. The documentary does not shy away from McKinney’s personal story, which is filled with its own oddities.
The most interesting aspect of Tabloid is its relevancy. The impact of McKinney’s story and the instant celebrity she became in the 1970s relates to the reality TV-driven celebrity era the media obsesses over today. Tabloid proves that once a person is a celebrity, he or she can always get their story back in the spotlight.