Cinemania (film)

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Directed by Angela Christlieb
Stephen Kijak
Produced by Gunter Hanfgarn
Stephen Kijak
Avi Weider
Starring Jack Angstreich
Eric Chadbourne
Bill Heidbreder
Roberta Hill
Harvey Schwartz
Music by Stereo Total
Robert Drasnin
Cinematography Angela Christlieb
Stephen Kijak
Edited by Angela Christlieb
Distributed by LOOP Filmworks
Release dates
  • 2002 (2002)
Running time
83 minutes
Country Germany
United States
Language English

Cinemania is a 2002 German / American documentary about five obsessed cinemaphiles, who, throughout the year, each see two to five films a day and work out a daily schedule to see them in theatres across New York City.


  • Eric Chadbourne - A cinephile who lives on disability benefits, and who vociferously prefers musicals and romantic-comedies to foreign films. He is the only profiled character in the documentary who has succumbed to watching films on video, of which he seems to own thousands (the others steadfastily refuse to watch TV under any circumstances; Roberta Hill states that she "only has nightmares in video.")
  • Harvey Schwartz - A cinephile who has traits found among those with Asperger syndrome, who lives on disability benefits. According to Jack, Harvey has no discerning taste in film and will watch just about anything, including The Amazing Crab Monster. Can quote the exact running time of every film he's ever seen from memory; owns hundreds of soundtrack LP's, but doesn't have a turntable.
  • Bill Heidbreder - A cinephile who defines his taste in film as "effeminate" as he prefers "relationship" films to action films. An NYU grad student and amateur philosopher who lives on unemployment benefits.
  • Roberta Hill - An obsessive-compulsive woman who, according to Jack, "is so far in the prison [of cinephilia], that to me, it's just a hopeless, Sisyphean lifestyle." Has kept every piece of film-memorabilia she's got her hands on for what appears to be the last five decades, including ticket-stubs, programs, fliers, a promotional bottle of water from an independent film called Water, and promotional plastic cups from Last Action Hero and Jurassic Park. Roberta has been banned from many theaters for her rude and uncouth behavior, which has included attacking ushers who have torn too much paper off her ticket-stubs.
  • Jack Angstreich - The most heavily-profiled member of the quintet, Jack's justification for his abnormal behavior is to not deny what he considers to be a "visionary" lifestyle, that there is no "correct" way to live, and really has no interest in real-life beyond the cinema. Claims that he wouldn't want to make love to Rita Hayworth unless he was doing it in black-and-white. Living off an inheritance, Jack sees upwards of five films per day (and claims to have seen over 1,000 films in eight months at one point), and eats a voluntarily constipating diet so he won't be interrupted while watching a film and have to go to the bathroom. Jack keeps elaborate spreadsheets of every film he's ever seen and every film playing within the tri-city area.

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