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Sunday, August 29, 2010
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Since I first started covering the annual awards seasons a decade ago, one of the most striking trends I have observed has been a marked uptick in the quantity and quality of documentary features. Each November, the Academy’s documentary branch selects 15 for a shortlist from which they ultimately pick five nominees. This year, I don’t know how they’re going to do it — Fall hasn’t even arrived yet and there are already way more than 15 worthy candidates. Frankly, I don’t think it would be going out on a huge limb to declare 2010 the strongest — or, at the very least, the deepest — year yet in the history of documentary filmmaking.

Here’s a bit of commentary on each of the docs that are registering strongest on my radar at the moment…

Now in Theaters

  • “The Tillman Story” (The Weinstein Company, 8/20, trailer) — Amir Bar-Lev (“My Kid Could Paint That”) tells the true story of the man who gave up a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the U.S. Army; who was killed in Iraq in 2004; whose “heroic” death the Bush Administration tried to use to increase public support for the war; but whose family — most of whom granted interviews for the film — ultimately discovered that the true manner in which he had been killed had been buried as part of a cover-up that led directly to the highest reaches of the military and government.
  • “A Film Unfinished” (Oscilloscope, 8/18, trailer) — The object of recents raves in Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times, Yael Hersonski‘s doc deconstructs “Das Ghetto,” a Nazi propaganda film of Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto that was shot in 1942, and which for 40 years was considered to be unmanipulated footage until another reel was discovered and exposes it as anything but that. The most powerful part of this multi-faceted effort to set the record straight: testimony from five Holocaust survivors who lived in the ghetto, as well as one of the cameramen who filmed it.

  • “Restrepo” (National Geographic, 6/25, trailer) — American journalist Sebastian Junger and British photographer Tim Hetherington co-directed this film, which chronicles the year that they spent embedded with an American platoon in Afghanistan as part of a story for Vanity Fair. The winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, it derives its name from the outpost that the platoon was charged with protecting, which in turn derived its name from a fallen member of the platoon.

Already Came and Went

  • “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” (IFC Films, 6/11, trailer) — The pioneering female comic granted filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sunberg unrestricted access to her for a year, and the resulting footage — the best of which captures her interacting with regular people who have vulnerabilities and frailties just like her, such as a man who heckles her during a peformance and a woman she visits with her grandson on Thanksgiving — shows that she’s not just another pretty, plastic surgery-enhanced face. (Check out my interview with Rivers.)
  • “Countdown to Zero” (Magnolia, 7/23, trailer) — Lucy Walker‘s cautionary film focuses on the security (or lack thereof) of the world’s 23,000 nuclear weapons — particularly those located in unstable countries, like Pakistan, or that have been unaccounted for since the fall of the Soviet Union — and emphasizes the urgent need to reduce the number of them to zero. (See interviews with producer Lawrence Bender on “The Rachel Maddow Show” and outed-CIA spy Valerie Plame on the coincidentally-titled “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”)
  • “Exit Through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency, 4/16, trailer) — The street artist Banksy takes us inside the underground world of street art following a bizarre chain of events: Thierry, a Frenchman now living in LA who videotapes everything, gained entree into the city’s subculture through his cousin, a well-known artist, and recorded piles of footage for a film. When he tried to cut it down into something watchable, though, he found himself overwhelmed, and — in an unexpected twist that has some calling the film a hoax — Banksy takes over the filmmaking while Thierry becomes a street artist.
  • “Babies” (Focus Features, 5/7, trailer) — Thomas Balmes‘ visually stunning doc is reminiscent of the Oscar-winning “March of the Penguins” (2005), only it focuses on babies instead of penguins, and specifically on the commonalities of and differences between four from different places in the world — Mongolia, Japan, Namibia, and the United States — during the (adorable) first years of their lives.
  • “A Small Act” (Harambee Media, 4/?, trailer) — Jennifer Arnold brings us the incredible, moving story of a Holocaust survivor now living in Sweden who sponsored a young Kenyan student years ago and then forgot about it, only to learn one day that — thanks to her simple act of kindness — he completed secondary school, attended Harvard Law School, became a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, and started up a scholarship program of his own in her name. Rarely before has a film so effectively conveyed the reverberating power of both good and evil. (It should be shown as a double-feature with the upcoming “Waiting for Superman,” which deals with similar problems in a vastly different setting.)
  • “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” (Magnolia, 5/7, trailer) — Alex Gibney, the prolific filmmaker who won the best doc Oscar for the Afghanistan-set “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), now ventures into the domestic “dark side” in this two-plus hour study of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The film presents “Casino Jack’s” evolution from an impassioned College Republican into the chief orchestrator of a massive Indian casino bribery scandal — trading expensive gifts, meals, and sports trips in exchange for political favors — that eventually led to the indictments and conviction of himself, a U.S. congressman, two White House officials, and several congressional staffers.
  • “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel” (Phase 4 Films, 7/30, trailer) — 25 years after Brigitte Berman made a doc that won an Oscar and led to an unlikely friendship with Playboy‘s founder, she is introducing people to his “other” side — his relentless defense of First Amendment rights, civil rights, and, yes, even women’s rights — largely through never-before-seen footage, his personal scrapbooks, and interviews with high-profile figures who, like most other Americans, either strongly support or strongly oppose the man and everything he represents. (See my interview with Berman and chat with Hef)
  • “Smash His Camera” (Magnolia, 7/30, trailer) — Much like seeing how hot dogs are made can make them seem less appetizing than they did before, this doc peels back the curtain and reveals the grotesque forces who make their living by feeding the celebrity obsession that has enveloped our society in recent decades. It focuses its lens on Ron Galella, an eccentric character who has snapped — and as much as any person in his profession, antagonized — the rich and famous for 50-plus years (the most famous examples being Marlon Brando, who broke his jaw and knocked out five of his teeth, and Jackie Kennedy, who took him to court).
  • “The Oath” (Zeitgeist Films, 5/7, trailer) — Laura Poitras, the Oscar-nominated director of “My Country, My Country” (2006), brings us the story of a friendship between two men that began in 1996 and led to some of the darkest places in the world. One man, Osama bin Laden‘s former bodyguard, is today a free man driving a taxi in Yemen, while the other wound up in a prison cell in Guantanamo Bay charged with war crimes. The doc offers a view of the War on Terror unlike any that has been shown before.
  • “Waking Sleeping Beauty” (Disney, 3/26, trailer) Disney, the studio most synonymous with animation, had lost much of its luster by the mid-1980s, when clashes among its staff and other factors resulted in a string of duds and, for the first time, lower box-office intake than rival animation studios. Don Hahn‘s doc recounts how the company, in the aftermath of a 1984 stockholder revolt that ushered in a terrific new management team, managed a remarkable comeback and produced a half-dozen instant classics over the next decade.
  • “GasLand” (HBO Films, 6/?, trailer) — 37-year-old filmmaker Josh Fox makes a strong impression — not least through his creepy narration — with this muckraking doc that exposes “fracking,” the extraction of “natural gas” (one of the oft-promoted “alternative sources of energy” that, we are told, could reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil) as an outrageously dangerous process (the gas frequently seeps into drinking water) that is already in practice and making people sick across much of the country. (Check out Fox on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”)
  • “12th & Delaware” (HBO Films, ?/?, trailer) — Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the Oscar-nominated co-directors of “Jesus Camp” (2006), a film that chronicled the education or indoctrination (depending on your viewpoint) of young Evangelicals, even-handedly tackle another divisive subject in this film, which presents America’s battle over abortion rights through the microcosm of an unassuming street in Fort Pierce, Florida that is home to an abortion clinic on one side of the street and a pregnancy care center on the other.
  • “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” (D&E Entertainment, 6/10, trailer) — Less than a year after “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” took the doc world by storm (and was then snubbed by the Academy), along comes another doc about eccentric Canadian musicians who formed a band and have performed together for decades. The big difference? Rush has been consistently performing to packed houses since the sixties, and this film explores not a comeback but rather a long and fruitful collaboration in an industry in which such a thing is incredibly rare.
  • “8: The Mormon Proposition” (Red Flag Releasing, 6/18, trailer) — Reed Cowan‘s timely doc delves into homphobia in the Mormon community and how it motivated its members, who account for only 2% of California’s population, to contribute 71% of the monetary contributions that helped to pass the state ballot measure Proposition 8 in November 2008, which amended California’s constitution to proclaim that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” effectively banning gay marriage within its borders.
  • “Winnebago Man” (Kino International, 7/9, trailer) — In 1988, pitchman Jack Rebney tried to shoot an advertisement for Winnebago motor homes, but — thanks to a tongue-twisting script, a bad morning, and a bunch of “fucking flies” — the attempt was a disaster. Over 20 years later, the leaked footage of his expletive-laden outtakes (see the original footage) had made him a YouTube phenomenon as “the angriest man on Earth,” but the man himself was nowhere to be found… that is, until Ben Steinbauer found him and got him to tell his story.
  • “Best Worst Movie” (Abramorama, 5/14, trailer) — Today “Troll 2” (1990) is widely regarded as the worst movie of all-time. This doc is directed by a man who had a starring role in that film as a kid and who uses it to showcase the unlikely cult following that “Troll 2” now possesses. One of the more moving storylines: another man who always dreamed of being a famous actor appeared in “Troll 2” and then gave up the profession to became a small-town dentist; 20 years later, the film’s rabid fan-base are allowing him to realize his dream, after all.
  • “South of the Border” (Cinema Libre Studio, 6/24, trailer) — In this doc, lefty filmmaker Oliver Stone offers a controversial paean to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and six of South America’s other democratically elected leaders. Traveling through Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Cuba, he is granted unprecedented access to their leaders, and comes to believe that the mainstream media has willfully or ignorantly failed to report on what he regards as marked social and political improvements across the continent.

Coming Attractions

  • “Waiting for ‘Superman’” (Paramount Vantage, 9/24, trailer) — Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), offers a searing indictment of education-inequality in America today, using the experiences of five kids and one school’s lottery system as a microcosm of the problem while also highlighting ideas that might help America’s public schools once again surprass the many other countries’ that it has fallen behind. (The film was recently celebrated by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times.)
  • “Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics, 10/8, trailer) — Charles Ferguson, who made millions in Silicon Valley before turning to film and directing the Oscar-nominated Iraq War doc “No End in Sight” (2007), once again employs a professorial and interview-centric approach in his second film, which suggests that America’s financial meltdown was and/or should have been anticipated by more people than has been widely reported, and questions why those most responsible for it have thus far escaped harsher punishment. (Matt Damon narrates.)
  • “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” (Magnolia, 11/5) — Alex Gibney, who scored a best doc Oscar nod for “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (2005) and won for “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), returns to their themes of greed and secrecy, respectively, in his study of New York’s ex-governor. The man once regarded as “The Sheriff of Wall Street” and a possible future president all but imploded his career (and nearly his family) after it was revealed that he had regularly used a prostitution service. His supporters and detractors, some of the service’s call-girls, and even Spitzer himself are interviewed in the film.
  • “Freakonomics” (Magnolia, 10/1, trailer) — This adaptation of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt‘s 2004 best-selling book of the same title, which debunked a great deal of “conventional wisdom” about the ways we experience life, is divided into five segments directed by the acclaimed filmmakers responsible for “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” “Jesus Camp,” “The King of Kong,” “Super Size Me,” and “Why We Fight.” (It has the potential to become a rare profitable doc, argues the New York Times.)
  • “Bhutto” (First Run Features, 11/?, trailer) — The story of Pakistan’s Bhutto family is something like a Greek tragedy, someone says in this film, which tells their story and focuses, in particular, on Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of the nation’s former Prime Minister who went on to twice hold that position herself, becoming the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state. Following charges of corruption, she went into a self-imposed 8-year exile in Dubai, but returned in 2007 to challenge the incumbent president, only to meet a tragic end.

Still Seeking U.S. Distribution

  • “Tabloid” — The great Errol Morris, who won an Oscar for “The Fog of War” (2004) and specializes in what he has called “”sick, sad and funny” films about eccentric individuals, certainly found a plum one for this doc: Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming who allegedly went on to abduct and rape a Mormon missionary; jumped bail; and was later sentenced in-absentia to a year in prison. The best news is that Morris gets McKinney to sit down for an interview in front of his famous Interrotron, and the resulting footage is reportedly awesome.
  • “Lucky” (trailer) — Jeffrey Blitz, who directed the Oscar-nominated spelling bee doc “Spellbound” (2002), now profiles a different sort of competition in which everyone and anyone can participate: the lottery. He highlights a handful of individuals from across America who beat the incredible odds and won huge sums of money, and chronicles the ways in which it has impacted their lives — for the better and, more often than one might think, for the worse.
  • “My Perestroika” (trailer) — In this film, Russian filmmaker Robin Hessman introduces us to five members of the last generation that was raised behind the Iron Curtain in the USSR. We learn their stories — from that time, through the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, through their lives as adults with children of their own in 21st century Russia — through their testimony in present-day interviews, rare home footage from their childhoods, and displays of the propaganda they grew up around.
  • “The People vs. George Lucas” (trailer) — Thousands of “Star Wars” devotees who feel betrayed by creator George Lucas‘ stewardship of the franchise since “The Return of the Jedi” (1983) responded to Alexandre O. Philippe‘s request for video clips outlining their grievances, and many of them appear in this doc alongside critics and Lucas acquaintances. At its heart, the film is an exploration of the question: at what point, if any, does an artist have to answer not only to himself but also to his audience?

Photo: Eliot Spitzer speaks during a scene in the doc “Inside Job.” (Spitzer is also the subject of another doc “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.) Credit: Magnolia.

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  • John G

    You forgot The Art of the Steal! I thought it was terrific, albeit one-sided.

    But I completely agree about 2010 being the year of the doc, like last year was the year of the animated feature. Can’t wait for Inside Job, Client 9, and Waiting for ‘Superman’.

  • Hey John, I’m almost positive that THE ART OF THE STEAL exhausted its Oscar eligibility last year, even though it only hit most theaters in 2010. (The same is true for RACING DREAMS, which in my view is even stronger than any of the other documentaries discussed in this piece!)

  • Bankybob

    Did you see the The Two Escobars? I thought it was really well done. A fascinating and unique angle on the Pablo Escobar story. Definitely one of my favorites of the year.

  • I’ve been told by people I trust that the following films deserved to be included on this list:
    -“Catfish” (which is being distributed by Universal and has been called “a reality thriller”; see the trailer here: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/universal/catfish/)
    -“The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town'” — (a doc about Bruce Springsteen that’s set to premiere at TIFF; see a video clip here: http://vimeo.com/14453246)
    -“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” — Werner Herzog’s “3D cave painting doc”
    -“Precious Life” — a remarkable story about a Palestinian baby and an Israeli doctor, soon to be seen at TIFF
    -“Boxing Gym” — the latest film from the great Frederick Wiseman
    -“Do It Again” — chronicling Boston Globe reporter Geoff Edgers’ effort to reunite The Kinks
    -“Do It Again” — which chronicles the quest of Boston Globe reporter Geoff Edgers, a hardcore fan of the Kinks, to reunite the band
    -“The Two Escobars” — (although it apparently only aired on ESPN and not in theaters, and is therefore ineligible for awards consideration)
    -“The Art of the Steal” — (although I believe it exhausted its awards eligibility in 2009)

  • But can we really categorize Catfish into documentary? Because we know they make the film in documentary style but not necessarily documenting something. Is it like The Blair With again?

  • Pingback: Is 2010 The Best Year for Documentaries Ever? « Art in Movies()

  • Feman521

    Please remove the libelous comments on the defamatory Errol Morris film “TABLOID” from your list, as anyone stupid enough to do distribution on this filthy libelous film will be sued along WITH Errol Morris. You yourself are also subject to a lawsuit –as Miss McKinney was NEVER EVEN CHARGED WITH RAPING A MAN, and what you are doing is CRIMINAL LIBEL, FOR WHICH YOU CAN BE ARRESTED! Morris failed miserably to tell the TRUTH in his film, and he had his cronie MARK LISON are being sued by Miss McKinney for millions of dollars. In 2009, they came to her –approaching her very aggressively– pretending to do a TV series for Showtime network about “people whose lives were distroyed by tabloids: and told Miss McKinney they need a “short interview”. While the conniving Morris had her busy on camera, Mark Lipson ransacked her luggage and stole pictures of her from a valuable memorabilia collection for which she had turned down several million dollars for from a magazine publisher (Penthouse) because she wanted to use the photos for a book she was writing, and because her family was Christian, she wanted nothing to do with magazines like Penthouse which she felt was an improper forum for her heavy CULT RESCUE story. She wanted to do a hard cover book and feature film instead. Then in the fall of 2009, along came Clearway, Lipson, and Morris with their phony Showtime TV series cover story. LIPSON also stole some film treatments based on her life which she had written, including
    PRESS HOAX: A Very Special Love Story” {one she wrote in 1977-78 about her cult rescue of her fiance who had been BRAINWASHED by the Mormon cult}, and a treatment called To Clone My Friend {about her cloning her beloved dog after he passed away of cancer, written in 2008}. Their silly UNRESEARCHED film is nothing but a fluff piece, a silly sex comedy, when her TRUE story is a serious piece about a Erin Brockovich type woman’s battle with a powerful wealthy cult which prophecies that they will “take over the US government and establish a New World Order”. When her fiance vanished in 1977, a detective located him in England and she went there to rescue him FROM that cult. He was in a state of total disassociation, his eyes dialated, chanting about a polygamous Mormon false prophet. His hair had been shaved off and he had undergone a personality transformation. “They control my thinking for me” Kirk Anderson said of the Mormons, in a TAPED PHONE CONVERSATION with Miss McKinney, wherein he tells about how the Mormons were bringing in PR teams to tell the media a false story that she “kidnapped and raped” him. (She was a 112 pound Miss Wyoming USA a gorgeous model finishing her PhD in Film, he was a pudgey 300 pound 6’5 inch guy who worked at a Taco Bell and at an airport. And IT was HE who chased HER, not the way the Mormon influenced media depicts the story.) Anyway, last year Morris and a dishonest woman named Ajae Clearway (Morris’ assistant and producer wantabe) LIED to Miss McKinney and told her she would be given finally, an opportunity to tell her story. They LIED to her and told her they would clear her name and EXPOSE THE TRUTH. They LIED and told her they would have nothing to do with the tabloids–especially one which had bribed a dishonest crook (and a prostitute cronie who wanted drug money) to break into her home and steal photos of her in 1978,. Instead, they did exactly the opposite in TABLOID. Instead of TELLNG THE TRUTH, they butchered Miss McKinney’s interview until it was almost unrecognizable, then deliberately LEFT OUT the court document of the tape recorded conversation wherein Kirk admits he not only was not kidnapped, but that the church was concerned about their Multi Million Dollar Mormon Image and that spin doctors were flying in to dissiminate the phony “kidnap rape” yarn to the media. The purpose was to silence Miss McKinney, an outspoken dissident (who had worked to expose human rights abuses by the Mormon cult on its victims prior to the September 1977 incident), and cover up a love affair one of their street recruiters (her brainwashed fiance) had with her. Morris and Lipson just didn’t get the point of the whole story, at all, which is why they are being sued. They will be sued over the theft of her synopis and film treatments Lipson stole out of her luggage, possible copyright infringement, emotional distress, trauma (Joyce is having nightmares
    trashy Porno Doc was released, and it put her elderly 81 year old mother who is a devout Christian, into shock and she has been hospitalized since the filthy Morris film came out and could even die), it has also caused severe emotional trauma to Miss McKinney (who had taken years to heal from the 1977 ordeal, now only to have a libelous version of her story resurrected by Morris after he LIED and pretend he would do a deep investigative piece on expose The Truth). Their getting her materials under false pretenses is Fraud and unethical–especially after Morris and Lipson were directly involved in the murder of her beloved service dog Jazz Puppy after they hired an unscrupulous hoodlum to agitate it video tape it barking and give to a pound killer who brutally tortured and MURDERED it instead of getting him out of the pound as Lipson had lied and promised. The real story behind the making of this trashy pice of celluloid garbage is going to come out in court. Don’t advise any distributor to pick it up, as they will be sued along with Morris and Lipson, who had the chance to tell the true Joyce McKinney story but didn’t. And please remove your libelous comments slandering miss McKinney, or you will be sued as well. She was never convicted (or even charged with raping a 300 pound Mormon in England. You could have got court record and learned that instead of just accepting the libelous tabloid version of the story.) Also, she did not “kidnap” anybody, and you slander her maliciously by saying that. It was a CULT RESCUE!

     Moreover, by inaccurately saying she “did a year in prison” (untrue) implies that she was actually convicted of a crime which she was never even charged with. That and saying she RAPED A MAN, WHICH IMPLIES THAT SHE IS A SEX CRIMINAL, is CRIMINAL LIBEL ON YOUR PART and YOU CAN BE CHARGED AND CAN ACTUALLY GO TO JAIL FOR THAT. We can trace you via your internet address and press charges in your state for that. So, either remove this garbage slandering her, or YOU will be sued just like Morris and Lipson, who are being sued for millions of dollars. Also, criminal charges may be pressed against Lipson for him stealing the memorabilia collection from her luggage, then him attacking her physically and blackmailing her if she didn’t sign a paper to above him of the theft. The proof of his crime is in the film itself. The stolen photos are illegally used in the film–and coupled with false and libelous Mormon sourced tabloid stories! He also stole home videos belonging to her parents and even of her elderly father in bed after a strike. The McKinneys are religious moral Christian people and did not want to be in Morris trashy “Porno Doc”, which they consider libelous ad defamatory, and they will be suing MOrris and LIson for invasion of privacy. LISON and Morris failed to get their permission to use the stolen photos in her memorabilia collection, home videos, and family photo graph albums, and also used the photos of Miss McKinney and her family, along with defamatory materials, for which they are being sued for millions of dollars. If a film studio or a distributor want to buy the rights to Miss McKinney’s TRUE story, they will be required (because of her bad experience with Morris and LISPON) to sign that they will be commited to telling the TRUE story IN WRITNG. She is also willing to help co-write the script and is an excellent writer herself (so good that LISON stole her treatment she had registered with The Writer’s Guild!–and he also brought her a computer and told her to “write her story”. Guess he wasn’t good enough to write it himself. And besides, NO one can tell the Joyce McKinney story, like Joyce McKinney herself. The NUTS in Morris sleazy film were FAKES. Two of them had never even met her (One was actually a tabloid scoundrel who was actually involved in bribing a man to break into her home back in 1978 to steal photos which they used along with false and libelous stories–even superimposing her had on another model’ nude body and passing it off as”Joyce McKinney in the nude”! Sleazy Lipson and Morris did the same thing, and Miss McKinney has sated “Morris and Lipson are no better than the tabloids themselves. They used the same overbearing, aggressive tactics.” Lipson even trespassed on her property, and physically assaulted her, telling her if she didn’t sign a paper (she later learned it was something to absolve him from the theft of her memorabilia collection) that her beloved service dog JAZZ PUPPY would die. Miss McKinney is now an elderly heart patient, partially blind, physically handicapped, and LIPSON told her if she didn’t sign the paper her service dog would die, and then had hired a man to agitate the dog to get it to bark, and video tape it to turn the video over to a cruel pound killer who would then use that same video to get a destruction order so she could torture and murder Miss McKinney’s beloved service dog! A handicapped woman who desparately loved and needed to dog, Miss McKinney almost had a complete nervous breakdown after the dog’s death and Lipson and Morris didn’t even care about the results of their lie and false promise. Miss McKinney still pines for her little dog and cries herself to sleep at night because she misses him so bad, but all Morris and Lipson cared about was the silly movie and Greed. But now they will lose all they put into it because they will have to pay out damages for doing a false and defamatory film on her life and then passing it off to as “Her story” to the public! “Tabloid” is NOT the TRUE Joyce McKinney story! She is DISGUSTED by the film for the way it falsely portrayed her and is suing them, just as RANDALL ADAMS sued Morris. (Adams was the subject of “Thin Blue Line”, another “documentary” Morris did). Miss McKinney considers this a MOCKumentary, not a DOCumentary, because it slanders, mocks and brings her up to (undeserved) public ridicule. Morris and Lipson also committed Fraud by pretending to be with Showtime, when they weren’t and having a dummy contract. So NO distributors, stay away from TABLOID unless you want to end up sued and in court yourself. On the other hand if you want the TRUE story, by the REAL JOYCE McKINNEY (who got a standing ovation in front of a New York audience who cheered “Write the book. Write the book” after she went onstage to lombast the Morris fiasco) then call her Manager at 718-406-1089 and her lawyers will ask for a statement in writing that the studio and screenwriting collaborators that THEY will be TOTALLY COMMITTED to the TRUE Joyce McKinney story, as opposed to the Mormon sourced TABLOID version which slandered her for thirty three years. Again, she will do a feature film ONLY if she can find anyone HONEST enough to do the TRUE story. Errol Morris had the opportunity to do a tremendous film which could have been Oscar material, had he done it truthfully and based on FACTS. Instead he flubbed it. Let’s pray that a feature film on Joyce’s story will finally clear her name and put an end to exploiters such as Morris and his tabloid cronies!!

    • Madam: While I certainly understand that you’re frustrated with Mr. Morris, you have no claim of any sort against me — we mention that the crimes were “allegedly” committed, and the rest of what we state is documented — so I’d like to ask you to refrain from posting any future diatribes on my site, and I would also direct you to the thousands of other Web sites that state the same things that we did, often less subtly: