Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cinemania - a doc about NYC hardcore film buffs

I had never heard of this 2002 documentary, surprising as that may sound, until a week ago when my friend Mike told me that I absolutely had to see it. I ordered it straightaway from Amazon and watched it at my earliest opportunity.

I've seen countless documentaries about fandom, subcultures, and people on the fringes.  I dare say it's my favorite documentary sub-genre.  From sports fans to bird-watchers, I cannot get enough.  I wouldn't put Cinemania in the upper ranks in terms of quality within its contemporaries, but because of the familiar subject matter, I enjoyed it a great deal.

I desperately wanted to live-tweet my impressions as I was watching.  But I try not to be terribly irrelevant so I resisted the urge.

Allow me, though, to type here what I would have said.

I think the reasons I didn't think it was a better film was because of its unstructured nature.  Way too much time was spent following the subjects as they just wandered through pedestrian crowds and subway platforms going from movie to movie.

I also wouldn't not have minded a bit more diversity in the subjects.  Like - all these folks were hoarder types without jobs.  Maybe one can't find shades of grey within intense movie fandom - it's clear these guys are on a different level than I - but, it would have been interesting to see a slight variation.  Not only folks on the fringes.

I found it very interesting to see what movie theaters looked like 10-15 years ago. It looks like the Film Forum has not changed much. 

I wish the IFC center had been open while they were filming this.  I wonder if any of these guys are members. I will look out for them. I know at least one of them has died, though. (?)

I am particularly susceptible to this but… the movie makes me want to get off my couch and see movies. It's definitely stressful, like I am missing stuff. The subjects described this feeling of not knowing how to decide what to see, having so many conflicting showtimes, etc. That resonated for me.

I wasn't sure if most of these guys never see any first-run films, or of the movie just decided to focus more on their love for the old stuff, but it seemed odd that someone would love movies so much and not be as excited by what's coming as they are for what's past.

They don't seem to watch too much in their own homes but there was one scene where a couple of them did. It was sure painful to watch them pop in a DVD and watch it on the shittiest little TV. WTF guys.

I wish there were more interviews with programmers/theater staff.

Loved the MoMI stuff, 'cause I never went there before it was renovated

I would love to have one of these fierce motherfuckers behind me nowadays when there's someone on their smart-phone, or talking, or something.

I'm so glad I am not too particular about technical details. That's taking it too damned far.  I don't even usually notice.  I guess though once you notice, you can't turn it off, you can't unsee.

I really loved the concept of one's love life failing because it couldn't compare to cinematic images.  I'll be thinking of that comment for a while. As if I hadn't been thinking about it for some time already.

Overall I am quite thankful for the recommendation and glad I saw it. I'd like someone else to make a follow up with maybe a slightly different structure - a little broader, not necessarily focused on individuals but rather a community. I'd Kickstart that real quick.

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