Search - Cinemania on DVD

Actors: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, Harvey Schwartz
Directors: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 23min

A funny yet mesmerizing documentary that chronicles the lives of five film crazed New Yorkers so consumed by their obsession that they don?t have jobs or social lives, out of fear that it would take time away from their mo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, Harvey Schwartz
Directors: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak
Creators: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak, Avi Weider, Gunter Hanfgarn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Studio: Winstar
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 11/04/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Jeff V. (burielofmel) from HARRIMAN, TN
Reviewed on 9/30/2009...
This documentary follows the lives of a group of people obsessed with watching movies (in theaters). The people live for watching movies. One keeps a notebook filled with the names and dates of the movies he has seen. One notebook shows that he saw 1000 movies in one 8 month period. All of these people suffer from some form of mental illness. Schizophrenia is mentioned more than once. Watching this movie made me think someone should make a documentary about people who below to a site where they obsessively talk about movies in the site threads and swap movies with each other.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A poignant and funny portrait of unusual people
Anita | USA | 02/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Here's a problem most moviegoers don't have: scheduling conflicts. If you want to see a movie, it's probably playing at the multiplex all day and evening and you just pick a time and go. But the five people in Cinemania have every film showing anywhere in New York City to choose from, first run movies, film classics, festivals, films shown in museums and small screening rooms. Two of the men have worked out a computerized system to figure it all out. A movie they want to see might only be playing three times in the coming week, at the same time as one or more other movies they want to see. They need help from databases and decision trees. Another guy will only see a movie if it's a good print. He has the phone number of all the projection booths, and calls ahead of time to discuss the quality of the print. Then he brings his cell phone with him into the theater; if something goes wrong with the projection, he doesn't want to have to leave his seat. He calls instead. It's these kinds of details that make this movie fascinating, and fun to watch, in a head-shaking, "I can't believe this" sort of way. It was also sad to see these people driven by an obsession that maybe even they don't understand. It was hinted that at least two of the film buffs didn't know as much about film as they thought they did, and didn't have discerning tastes. That was good stuff, and made me wonder, why do they do it, then? Ultimately, maybe the question can't be answered. There were five people, and five different, complex reasons. I think the movie gave as full a picture of what they were about as is possible in 80 minutes. So even though I wanted to know, and understand, more, I give the movie 4 stars and will watch it again. I do wish there'd been more of sense of the mix of movies they all watched. It seemed that most of them did see a fair number of first run movies, but the documentary didn't get into that much. In one of the deleted scenes, Roberta discusses at great length her reaction to "Pearl Harbor." Suddenly she believes that the other person (another of the cinemaniacs) isn't understanding a word she's saying, and she walks away, frustrated, angry, unable to communicate. There are many small scenes like that one, that show so much just by letting the people talk."
Hansol Lee | 10/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A disorganized, but fascinating documentary about a eccentric quintet of New York cinephiles. It's absolutely surreal and hilarious although parts of it is rather sad and even a little disturbing. The movie could've used better planning though. It's almost as though the filmmakers just put together footages of the so-called cinemaniacs at random. While the movie is super entertaining, it lacks a focus and a flow. Maybe they should've just focused the movie on Jack, who claims that he once saw 1000 movies in one month -- he was the only person who struck me as a true cinephile. Jack is funny, articulate and extremely knowledgeable of films, whereas other characters are borderline mental patients whose obsession with movies is simply a symptom of their obsessive compulsive disorders."
Cecily Champagne | Indiana | 05/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Cinemania is a fascinating and very funny documentary that focuses on the lives of five New York film-lovers. The men (and woman) this film chronicles are not simply erudite, artsy types who can appreciate Bergman. They are people who have literally re-arranged their lives in order to make movie-watching their primary focus. They are all articulate and funny. None of them are normal ... they range from strangely overzealous to OCD to downright creepy. And - while it is frequently hilarious to listen to their testimonies (one cinephile suggested that he's ripped food out of a too-noisy movie-goers hands; another has memorized the precise running time for practically every movie he's ever seen; and another is permanently banned from the MOMA (I'll let you figure out why)), it is also a little sad that these people get more fulfillment from movies than they do from their everyday lives.

This documentary excels most when it asks *why* these people need to watch movies (the answers, I think, also speak to the pleasure each of us gets from escapism). There is a scene where Jack, the main "character" in the film, insists that he could only make love to Rita Hayworth in black-in-white. It's an interesting and telling concept. Cinemania's greatest weakness is probably its amateurish production qualities. Rather than come across as quirky and immediate, they are more along the lines of frustrating. But this is only a minor complaint. Overall, I would still recommend Cinemania. I can pretty much guarantee that, if you give it a shot, you'll be entertained and amazed."