'Cinemania': Story of Jason Whyte?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John Thomas, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Borrowed from Variety
    __________________________________________________ __________
    Film Freaks Loom Large in 'Cinemania'
    Fri Jun 28, 5:27 AM ET
    By Ken Eisner
    SEATTLE (Variety) - This unsettling documentary is about the civilians who virtually surrender everything else in life to attend up to five films a day.
    The non-narrated "Cinemania" is an unsparing, if light-touched, look at obsession, denial and where to find the cheap seats in Manhattan. By its very nature, pic is bound to make theatergoers feels weird, so indie cablers and public broadcasters are the natural venue when fest popcorn runs out.
    Of the "cinemaniacs" trailed by German picmakers Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak, the most enigmatic and outwardly normal is Bill Angstreich. The youngest and most sociable of the group -- all on welfare or some form of disability -- he confesses to "a hopeless, Sisyphean life" in which no wedding, funeral, or doctor's appointment could take priority over a screening.
    Boyish, bespectacled Bill Heidbreder is much meeker and in even deeper denial. With his bookish looks and tweedy jackets, he should be a struggling graduate student but has settled for a sexless experience gorping at European art films and dreaming of moving to a mythical France, where pale intellectuals like him are highly respected.
    More unremarkable are old-timers Eric Chadbourne, an undiscriminating consumer of all things film-related (albeit with a specialty in cheesy B-movies), and burly, bearded Harvey Schwartz, who knows the running time of every movie ever made.
    Joining these refugees from a Harvey Pekar comic book is the sole woman of the group. Sixtysomething Roberta Hill, known as the Queen of the Cinemaniacs, has the longest history and an established knack for making enemies. Aside from her penchant for hoarding large quantities of well-printed brochures, her tendency to start fights has led to her being banned from several of the standard film-buff venues, including MoMA, where she tried to strangle a novice ticket-taker who was unaware that Hill saves all her stubs!
    Nicely cut pic, which shifts film and tape stocks for sake of variety, and draws on Kijak's earlier footage from a "Movie Madness" segment, could have used a bit more perspective. It would be nice to know if there are parallel nutjobs in Paris or L.A., for instance, or why these geeks never try to channel their knowledge into anything useful or remunerative.
    Finally, though, the unguided tour is enough. The soundtrack's French pop songs, all about cinephilia, add a dose of fun, as does the perfect finish, which finds the five protaganists in a small screening room, commenting snarkily on a rough cut of the pic we're watching. "I provided comic relief," offers Hill, trying to get the last word. "We're all comic relief," is Angstreich's apt answer.
    With: Jack Angstreich, Roberta Hill, Bill Heidbreder, Harvey Schwartz, Eric Chadbourne.

    __________________________________________________ __________
    At least that's what I thought when I read it. [​IMG]
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Hey, sounds like a cool doc!
    And I see as many movies as Jason!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    Damn and I thought this was an appreciation thread. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Jason
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    C'mon, Jason--you know better than to expect that. [​IMG]
     
  5. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Jason, you know it is, in its own special way. [​IMG]
    (Please feel free to edit the header to include Scott) [​IMG]
     
  6. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Stunt Coordinator

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    Im just as bad , seeing how i pretty much see every movie with Jason Whyte [​IMG]
     
  7. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Ok, sheesh, add Bill's name to the header. [​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    I saw this documentary at SIFF and liked it very much. Highly disturbing, in that it shows exactly what happens to your life when you like a hobby too much. Most of the "cinemaniacs" came across as barely coherent mental patients. [​IMG]
     
  9. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Ah! So I was correct! [​IMG]
     
  10. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    Hey, stop that! [​IMG]
     
  12. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    By the way, I've been asked to appear on the DVD Audio commentary track of "Cinemania". I'll be joined by Jason Seaver, Bill Harris and Stephen R. [​IMG]
     
  13. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Jason, if I didn't like you I wouldn't be messin' with ya.

    It's my way of praising you...yeah, I know: weird.
     
  14. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    John, I've known you for too long and I know I haven't done anything to piss you off, and I totally understood the nature of this thread. If anything, I like getting a little attention from time to time. [​IMG]
    Trust me, I see a lot of movies (I'm seeing five this weekend alone, AND I have a date tonight, AND I have a crapload of errands to run, AND I have a new cell phone to buy), but only on my weekends. As Mr. Seaver and I put it, our own little film festivals. Furthermore, I like what I do. I'm 22, I work full time, and film is my passion and I know I want to pursue this as a career later in life. And I like seeing EVERYTHING, from all genres to directors. And I'm very interested in the technical side of things, and it's great to have a local theater let me help out with projection work. It's all good. Oh and you can't have a better filmgoing friend (and just all-around friend) than Bill Harris!
    I'm very interested to see the documentary. I guess it would be a good sign to see the negative aspect of what people like us do. I'm sure it won't appear anywhere in Canada, let alone BC, so I hope to have a look at the documentary on disc one of these days. Oh, and I WILL do a commentary about filmgoing if they ask me (and they should!)
    Oh and if anyone didn't know, I write reviews now for The Movie Insider, so now I have an excuse. [​IMG] So if any of you think I'm still nuts, then that's your damn problem. [​IMG]
    Jason
    PS. In the Cinemaniac mood, I am considering recording my own commentary track for "The Royal Tenenbaums" this week. Anyone interested in listening to that? [​IMG]
     
  15. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    You do??? How EVER did you get that gig?? [​IMG]
     
  16. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    I'm resurrecting this thread because it seems as though this doc will be getting a limited release in some cities.
    Official site
    Oh, and I just saw this quote on their website: I think I just found my new sig quote. [​IMG]
     
  17. David McIntosh

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    This film gave me something to aspire to. [​IMG]
     
  18. Arman

    Arman Screenwriter

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    I watched this fascinating [​IMG] film last month in Atlanta Film Festival. It was a big hit among Atlanta's cinemaniacs.
    I'm still on vacation in the tri-state (NY-NJ-CT) area, up to now, we do not have the time and chance to see any film showing in the Film Forum and Angelika theaters and probably or unfortunately [​IMG] see those Cinemaniacs (Roberta and co).
     
  19. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Michael
    I went to the Film Forum recently - during the afternoon that The Good, The Bad and The Ugly opened there, and I suspect that I may have seen two of these characters (they were talking to each other). It is a shame that the website doesn't have any photos.

    I'd really like to see this film. Reading about it, I felt sorry for these people and reminded myself that I shouldn't be watching too many movies. On the one hand, I'd like to see every movie, but on the other hand, maybe it's good if there are more than enough films that you haven't seen...


    Oops, on the LINKS page at the official site there is a normal website with info, trailer, etc. Yes, I do think I encountered two of these people.
     
  20. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    The cable/sat channel TRIO aired this film several months ago. It allowed me to tell my wife, "SEE! I'm not as bad as some folks!" It was fairly sad, but also wildly entertaining.
     

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