Last night, I watched my latest Netflix movie, a documentary called Cinemania. I liked it a lot, and it really made me realize that I know nothing about film. Nothing.
These people carefully plan out their daily schedules in order to maximize film screenings all over New York City. They each attend about 1000 movies a year. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) they tend to avoid megaplexes and all first run theatres. Only museums and art film houses. I found their quirks to be kind of endearing, even if they are extremely neurotic. Their knowledge and the way they talk about films makes me embarrassed to have considered myself somewhat knowledgeable about films. I think it's worth a rental, if for nothing else, to show you a slice of a lifestyle that is beyond obsession. One of the subjects compared their obsession to being incarcerated. Hmm.
I couldn't help but see a comparison between these subjects and those in Stefan Fatsis' book Word Freak. These film buffs, and the elite of the elite competitive Scrabble players both become so deeply entrenched in their passion that they don't have much of a use for anything else. Many of the elite Scrabble tournament players, and seemingly all of these film buffs, are unemployed because they don't have time for a job. Of course the competitive Scrabble players win money at tournaments. Actually some of them win enough to be able to be unemployed. But I just don't understand how these film buffs pay their rent and buy food. The other comparison that's easy to make is that these film buffs and the top Scrabble players have little or no social graces. They're extremely intelligent (both groups), but they have a hard time associating with folks who don't share their passion.
Incidentally, you can also watch a documentary about competitive Scrabble, called "Word Wars". It will be released on either March 1 or April 12, depending on which report is correct. I missed my chance to see it at last year's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival because I boycotted the event, but I've got it coming on Netflix.
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