BY her own account Joyce McKinney has attended more prerelease screenings of the documentary “Tabloid” than its director, Errol Morris. She’s turned up in Austin, Tex.; Sarasota, Fla.; Seattle; San Francisco; and at several showings in New York. She’s received rousing ovations and been hassled by ushers. She’s arrived in disguise and, at a recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, more or less pounced: “I sat till the audience started to leave and waited for the precise moment, and then jumped up and yelled, ‘I’m Joyce McKinney!’ ” she said, with considerable glee. “They went crazy.”
Her mission, Ms. McKinney said, is “to clear my name” and undo the damage inflicted by what she calls Mr. Morris’s “celluloid catastrophe.” What she wants to clear up, however, is not so simple a question.
“Tabloid,” which is opening Friday, is the latest by an acclaimed director who has turned his camera on crime (“Standard Operating Procedure”), politics (the Oscar-winning “Fog of War”) and highly eccentric characters (“Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr.”). Ms. McKinney, he said, represents a “compendium of my themes” and is a topic of singular complexity, even for Mr. Morris.