Cinemania (2002)

13 Feb

Review of the documentary Cinemania

As a movie blogger we all have a healthy “obsession” with movies. Most of us love reading about upcoming movies, checking out the latest trailers and discuss the latest movies we’ve seen. Movies are a big part of our lives, but there are people where that healthy “obsession” turns into something which takes over their entire lives. Cinemania looks at 5 of these people in New York who’s lives only revolve about going to the cinema.

The four men and one woman are so fascinated by movies that they basically have started living their lives through movies. Some of them say that nothing is better than seeing a film, sex doesn’t compare. One of them states that he won’t do social events and tells people not to expect them on birthdays, graduations or funerals, because that would mess up his schedule. And all of them have elaborate schedules, taking the programs of all the cinemas home to decide which movies to see and how they can make sure they won’t miss anything by also calculating in their travel times on the subways to get to the next cinema. Some of them collect a disability check, others do have a job (it’s not made clear what exactly) but it’s only needed in order to allow them to see as many movies as they do. They sometimes dream in movies and some of the men fantasize about making love to some stars of the past (which they would only want to do in black and white).

When I heard about this documentary I was interested in seeing it, because it’s easy to imagine having something take over your life if time allows it. I could imagine that if I was living on my own without a family I might go to the cinema almost every night just because I could. I don’t think I’d ever turn into one of the anti social people in this film, but as I was watching this I did feel that becoming addicted to something can happen quickly. The subjects of the movie were proud that they were not normal and would wear their “cinephile badge” proudly. Real life didn’t suffice because at the end of the movie the character in the movie walks into the sunset and in reality that’s not the end and you have to go home.

I was expecting to hear these movie buffs talk about movies a lot in detail, but that didn’t happen as much. If they talked about them amongst each other they only quickly asked if the other person had seen a movie without really discussing them in detail. As a documentary it was missing a depth I was longing for and it seems like a collection of moments which were captured, but never turned into a cohesive piece. If you are a movie fan I’m sure you will find moments that are recognizable and there is some enjoyment to be had out of watching this.

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