Tabloid

November 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

◊ ◊ ◊ ½

This documentary gets the nod for shear weirdness.  It is from the film maker who famously gave us “Thin Blue Line” in the 1980s and “Fog of War” in the 90s.  It covers the true story of the Mormon missionary in England who was “kidnapped” in the mid-1970s, kept handcuffed to a bed and forced to have sex with a former Idaho beauty queen who had dated him in Salt Lake City and became obsessed with him.  Afterwards, he stated it was kidnapping and rape.  She claims that there was at least some degree of consent but that he was the victim of Mormon brainwashing.  It was referred to in the tabloids as the “Manacled Mormon” case.  The bulk of the interviews were with the kidnapper, who was and still is clearly a bit off her rocker.  The director (who spoke before the film at the SF International Film Festival) called the film a love story.  However, his own directing belied that.  The camera angles, editing and rather brilliant use of bold typed commentary flashing over top of the interviewees, all suggested that he thought she was as loony as the audience did.  The film is difficult to describe and his approach could be seen as off-putting, manipulative or too clever.  However, I really enjoyed the shear wackiness of the whole thing.  There is a point as which, you just throw up your arms and think, “really?  That too…?”

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