Errol Morris

Errol Morris, Director

Director's Statement

Back in high school, Joyce McKinney read a short story by Theodore Dreiser, “The Second Choice.” In Dreiser's story the young woman asks: “Should I wait for the man of my dreams or should I marry the man who loves me?” A conundrum posed by countless young women, but Joyce McKinney wasn't just any young women—she was a beauty pageant queen with an IQ of 168. She didn’t want just any guy. She wanted a special guy. And so she did what any normal American girl would do—she went after him. TABLOID is a return to my favorite genre—sick, sad and funny. It is a meditation on how we are shaped by the media and even more powerfully, by ourselves – by the narratives we construct in our minds that may or may not have anything to do with reality. As a young woman, Joyce made a decision never to settle, to find true love at any cost, and that’s what makes her an enduring romantic heroine. She’s bound up in a dreamscape that she has created for herself, and very little can penetrate that protective bubble. In a sense, Joyce has always been living in a movie, long before she came to star in my film.

– Errol Morris


Roger Ebert has said, "After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven't found another filmmaker who intrigues me more...Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini." Recently, the Guardian listed him as one of the ten most important film directors in the world.

His film, The Fog of War, a profile of former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, received the 2003 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. His films have won many awards, including the Oscar, the Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America, the Golden Horse (Taiwan International Film Festival), the Grand Jury Prize (Sundance Film Festival) and have appeared on many ten best lists. They have been honored by the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the New York, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles film critics.

Morris has made numerous television commercials, including campaigns for Apple, Citibank, Cisco Systems, Intel, American Express, Nike, and, in what he considers his most impressive achievement, over 100 commercials for Miller Hi-Life. In 2001, he won an Emmy for directing the commercial "Photobooth" for PBS.

Morris has received five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2007 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a graduate student at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley.

In 1999, Morris' work received a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and in 2001, he received a special tribute at the Sundance Film Festival.

Recently, Morris has also been a regular contributor to the opinion pages of The New York Times with his blog, Zoom, a series of essays on truth and photography. The collected essays have recently been published by Penguin Press.

Morris lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Julia Sheehan, an art historian.

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Joyce McKinney