Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cinemania (2002)

Directors: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak

Starring: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, Harvey Schwartz, Richard Aidala, Tia Bonacore, David Schwartz, Michael Slipp

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Reel obsession

Plot: This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. The filmmakers expose this delightfully deranged cult by capturing the daily lives of its members. Interviews in movie houses, on the street and in the homes of the subjects tell the story of each individual. Many cannot hold a job, or choose not to. All of them have demoted the importance of the real world, giving all of their attention to the fantasy world of the movies. These human encyclopedias of cinema see two to five films a day, and from 600 to 2,000 films per year. Many have no physical sex lives, living instead in a world of romance with stars like James Dean or Audrey Hepburn. In Cinemania, Hollywood's biggest fans become the true stars. This is the story of their lives, their memories, their unbending habits and the films they love.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Doubtful.

I watch a lot of movies...A LOT of movies and more than anyone I know (I think), and only a tiny fraction of which are at the theater.  The people in this documentary are scary in that they 'don't have a social life and there's a reason for it' kind of scary.  Roberta Hill is the worst of the bunch.  What a bitch.  She's a selfish monster when she doesn't get her way. All of the subjects spend every single day going to movie theaters in NYC.  They spend an extraordinary amount of time making schedules from all of the theaters and coordinate that with public transportation schedules in an effort to see as many movies as possible.  Very few of them watch them at home and most of them are socially inept and have few friends, if any.  I was so glad that I didn't see myself in any of these people.  I can't afford to go to the movies like that.  I'd love to spend every day in theaters like that but it's just not going to happen.  It's remarkable that all but one of the subjects (who's aunt died and left him enough money to live the rest of his days going to the theater and not needing a job, that is if he doesn't blow it all on hookers (his words)) lives off of welfare or some kind of governmental assistance.  Wow.  I left the film feeling like more should have been explored and that they should have included a wider range of extreme cinefiles and not just this one small sample.  That could have made for a more compelling film.

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