Cinemania Movie Review

Movie freaks are a rare breed. I should know, because I employ a dozen or so of them here at filmcritic.com.

And then I saw Cinemania, a documentary from directors Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak. These guys tracked down five New Yorkers (of course they're New Yorkers...) who live their lives around the movies. No, they aren't film critics or filmmakers. They're just film fans, largely unemployed and living in rats' nests, seeing two, three, four, maybe five movies a day.

They keep elaborate spreadsheets which help track showtimes. One speaks of a decision tree he'd like to create to help him decide what to see. One insists on collecting 150 copies of every flier or film program that she encounters. One keeps a master list of every movie he's ever seen (which, admittedly, many of us critics do by way of our reviews... but we get paid when you read about them). One doesn't like to alter his diet for fear of changing his bathroom schedule (and thus interfering with movie watching). Maybe the most depressing example is one scary film buff who collects film soundtracks and scores... but doesn't have a stereo on which to play them. (He can also quote the running time of any film when asked.)

These people are way more scary than the old ladies who show up at every single advance screening in San Francisco and wait in line for hours on end in order to see crappy horror movies and teen gross-out comedies. You feel relieved when one guy talks about sneaking into movies without paying. It's the only human part of the film. The rest of this is sheer and utter horror -- a la Trekkies or the superiorly hysterical Master of the Rings. But unlike those Trek or LOTR geeks, these guys have to know they're ridiculous. Don't they?

Harrowing and eye-opening. Most film critics are going to hate this one, though, because they see too much of themselves in the subjects. Take that to heart when you see bad reviews....

Comments

Cinemania Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: NR, 2002

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