Live From SXSW's Screening Room
By Sarah Hepola, Fri., March 14, 2003
CINEMANIAD: Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak.
Documentary Feature Special Screenings, Regional Premiere At what point does an escape become a prison? Cinemania follows three New Yorkers whose love of movies is a decidedly double-edged sword, displacing romance, social activity, even their jobs. Obviously, the big screen compensates for something in their lives -- they are mostly lonely and awkward, perhaps even twinged with mental illness -- and yet we sense that their film obsession is also the very thing that prevents them from forming the real-life connections they need. Or maybe not. If no one else understands them, they at least can understand each other. And they don't seem to be complaining. "It's better than love," one cinephile says of the movies. "It's better than sex." They are hilarious, smart, complex, and with Christlieb and Kijak's strange but tender documentary, they become the worthy stars of their own film -- even if it was shot on video. (CC, 3/13, 2pm; Paramount, 3/14, 4:30pm)