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TABLOID to Open Errol Morris Retro at Museum of the Moving Image

Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 by Lauren


July 12–August 13, 2011

Errol Morris, whose incisive interviewing technique has made him one of the most accomplished documentary filmmakers of his time, will be the subject of an onstage interview at Museum of the Moving Image on Tuesday, July 12, following a preview screening of his new film Tabloid. A provocative, entertaining, and complex study of crime, celebrity, and scandal, Tabloid digs into the story of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen whose alleged kidnapping and rape of a Mormon in 1977 made her a pop culture sensation. The screening is part of a five-film retrospective, Errol Morris’s America that will be presented on weekends through August 13.

With deadpan wit and an ability to examine large topics by focusing on his subjects with unflinching scrutiny, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has created a vivid, often comical, often disturbing portrait of America through his films. He has also bridged the gap between art and reportage. His films are deceptive; though Morris seems to be stepping back from his subjects and letting them speak for themselves, his editorial and artistic intelligence is apparent in every frame.

With his 1981 instant-cult debut, Gates of Heaven, Errol Morris began a career of film portraits that interrogate different aspects of American life, ranging from pet cemeteries to crime to artistic obsession to war—each of them treated with the same measure of interest and intellectual curiosity. “After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven’t found another filmmaker who intrigues me more,” wrote film critic Roger Ebert, an early champion of Morris’s films. The Thin Blue Line, which questioned the conviction of death-row prisoner Randall Adams, who was wrongly accused of killing a police officer, was not just a surprise arthouse hit, it became a news story itself when it resulted in the reopening of Adams’s case and the eventual overturning of conviction. (Adams’ death last fall in Oregon at age 61 was just revealed in the media.) In some ways Morris’s most artistically ambitious film, Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control is a kaleidoscopic inquiry into the nature of obsession with four brilliantly interwoven portraits, edited by the late Karen Schmeer, Morris’s longtime editor who was killed last year in Manhattan by a car speeding from a robbery. The Fog of War, released during the first year of the current war in Iraq, is built around a startling in-depth interview with Robert S. McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War.

IFC Films will open Tabloid in theaters on July 15.

Press Contact: Tomoko Kawamoto / / 718.777.6830

All screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY, and are included with Museum admission unless otherwise noted.

Preview screening and discussion with Errol Morris
Tuesday, July 12, 7:00 p.m.
Dir. Errol Morris. 2010, 85 mins. 35mm print courtesy IFC Films. Morris digs deeply into a sensation and salacious news story about Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen turned tabloid queen whose alleged kidnapping and rape of a Mormon in England in 1977 made her a pop culture sensation. Morris examines McKinney’s own account of her life and her fame, uncovering the workings of obsession and scandal.
TICKETS: $15 public / $10 Museum members / Free for Silver Screen and above. Call 718 777 6800 or order online at

The Thin Blue Line
Saturday, July 16, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 17, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. Errol Morris. 1988, 106 mins. 35mm. This artfully stylized documentary, which uses dramatic recreations and a Philip Glass soundtrack, investigates the case of a death row prisoner who may have been wrongly convicted of a police officer’s murder. The film became a news story when the case was reopened.

Gates of Heaven
Saturday, July 23, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 24, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. Errol Morris. 1978, 85 mins. 35mm. Morris’s debut documentary feature reveals the bizarre world of pet cemeteries and the people who operate them. Morris’s straight-faced interviewing style only enhances the film’s surreal comic quality.

Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control
Saturday, July 30, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 31, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. Errol Morris. 1997, 82 mins. 35mm. In his most experimental film, brilliantly edited by the late Karen Scheer, Morris interweaves portraits of four obsessed individuals, as he films a lion tamer, a topiary artist, a robot engineer and a photographer with a love for rodents. Morris brilliantly turns the portraits into a broad philosophical and artistic inquiry.

The Fog of War
Saturday, August 13, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 14, 5:00 p.m.
Dir. Errol Morris. 2003, 106 mins. 35mm. This Academy Award-winning documentary is built around a stunning in-depth interview with the highly controversial Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. Morris divides McNamara’s stories into segments that each serve as a lesson about war.


Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Closed on Monday except for holiday openings).
Film Screenings: See schedule above.
Museum Admission (as of July 16): $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3-18. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Paid admission includes film screenings (except for special ticketed events and Friday evenings) Tickets for special screenings and events may be purchased in advance by phone at 718.777.6800 or online.
Location: 35 Avenue at 37 Street in Astoria.
Subway: R or M trains (R on weekends) to Steinway Street. N or Q trains to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718.777.6888; Website:

The Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, please visit


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