July 15, 2011 |
Majestically swathed in a pink evening gown and tugging the leash of one of her cloned pit bulls, Joyce McKinney was ready for her close-up. The zaftig former Miss Wyoming was milling outside the Vista movie theater in Los Feliz, minutes after a Wednesday night screening of "Tabloid," the latest film from Oscar-winning documentary maker Errol Morris. "Tabloid," which opens in theaters Friday, unspools the outlandish tale of a '70s transatlantic caper involving McKinney's alleged abduction of her Mormon missionary boyfriend, kinky sex, ethically challenged Fleet Street reporters and a shadowy cast of supporting characters straight out of a film noir.
May 25, 2008
Late in the summer of 2003, former senior administrators of American correctional institutions were busy refurbishing the cellblocks at Abu Ghraib. Saddam Hussein's prison had been a symbol of torture and abuse, and after the U.S. Army routed the tyrant's forces, American officials set out to remake the prison in our own image. That was the plan: Instead of dungeons and torture, there would be a modern corrections facility, guided by humanitarian values and the rule of law. That was the plan.
May 2, 2008 |
"Standard OPERATING PROCEDURE" is not the first documentary on Iraq. It's not the first film on America's embrace of torture as a weapon of choice. It's not even the first picture to focus on the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. What it is is the first time Errol Morris has looked at these issues, and that makes the difference. Morris, one of the world's premier documentarians and an Oscar winner for "The Fog of War," has done something quite unusual. He's taken the prison everyone's heard of, the photographs everybody's seen and the torture that people are either ashamed of or in denial about and looked at it all with such a fierce specificity that to experience "Standard Operating Procedure" is to feel as if we haven't focused on those things at all. And focus is really the heart of Morris' unsettling film, which strikes a remarkable balance between art and disturbance, between beauty and pain.
April 27, 2008 |
"The concept of the interview is endlessly interesting to me," Errol Morris said with a wistful smile. The filmmaker tapped his fingertips together. "I have given interviews a lot of thought through the years, and I still think about them quite a lot. In a real sense they are a basic human relationship. But an interview is also an artificial frame, a focus, and that, well, that's even more interesting."
April 19, 2004
Re "Not Across My Daughter's Big Brass Bed You Don't, Bob," Commentary, April 16: My hat is off to Leslie Bennetts for having the chutzpah to make the implicit, explicit. As a poet, a male, a pacifist and a soon-to-be 50-year-old with his draft card still in a personal archive, I wondered, as I heard of Bob Dylan's newest enterprise, if I'd gotten stuck in one of writer-journalist Hunter Thompson's mind warps. What comes next? A JFK line of unisex thongs? Chicago Eight body jewelry?
March 1, 2004 |
In the highly competitive documentary feature category, Errol Morris' "The Fog of War" walked off with the Academy Award on Sunday night. It was the first Oscar -- and nomination -- for the veteran filmmaker who saw releases such as "The Thin Blue Line," "A Brief History of Time" and "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control" bypassed by the academy. "I'd like to thank the academy for finally recognizing one of my films.... I thought it would never happen!" said an ebullient Morris.