in about 100 words or less
Germany/US 83m, Colour
Directors: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak; Cast: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, Harvey Schwartz
Cinemania is a fascinating and sometimes disturbing documentary about five New York cinephiles who allow their passion for the movies to be filmed for this quirky and often dark comedic documentary. In revealing much about their personal lives, the film exposes the cost of their obsession, including their lack of “normal” relationships, obsessive compulsive behavior and hoarding, to mention a few. Though never exploring the root causes of their behavior, it is worth considering what their lives would be without the movies. As such, Cinemania serves as a starting point for a more serious discussion of psychology and mental health issues as it relates to these likable and misunderstood people. By comparison, my own film watching habits of two to three hundred movies per year seems downright “normal” – whew! (Klaus Ming January 2016).