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‘Cinemaniacs’ take over Astoria’s movie museum

You’ve seen them around. They spend their waking hours in darkened theaters. They are the regulars at Moving Image, The Museum of Modern Art, Film Forum, The Walter Reade Theater—their homes away from home. And now five of New York’s full-time audience members step from their seats onto the big screen this weekend in the entertaining new documentary “Cinemania,” which celebrates their obsessions from the grandiosity of their aesthetic dreams to the austerity of their domestic realities.

The American Museum of the Moving Image will present a special work-in-progress screening of the new documentary that explores the cinematic and personal lives of these avid moviegoers. “In an engaging and fascinating manner, this documentary explores the most extreme examples of moviegoing obsession,” said David Schwartz, the museum’s chief curator of film. “Only in New York City is it possible to structure your entire life—365 days per year—around going to the movies.”

In conjunction with the special preview screening of “Cinemania,” the museum will also show four rare movies, personally selected by the “cinemaniacs.” And in conjunction with this celebration of cinematic obsession, the museum will also show a stunning Technicolor print of “Vertigo”—the ultimate movie about obsession—as part of the series “Repertory Nights” during “Cinemania” weekend.

Saturday, 2 p.m., Special preview screening of “Cinemania: A Work-In-Progress”

US, 2002, 80 mins. Directed by Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak. With Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, and Harvey Schwartz. An homage to New York City’s round-the-clock film culture, and a look into the lives of five of the city’s most passionate moviegoers, “Cinemania” is prime evidence of the captivating power of film. The directors and the film’s subjects will be present for a discussion following the screening.

Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Cinemaniac Harvey Schwartz presents “The Last Voyage.”

MGM, 1960, 91 mins. Directed by Andrew L. Stone. With Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone. “I have not seen this movie in over 30 years, and this will be my first time seeing it on film, on the big screen,” Schwartz said. “Stack and Malone star as a couple in peril aboard a doomed luxury liner. The Ile de France [the ship that saved passengers from the sinking Andrea Doria] was used for much of the shooting, and was actually sunk for the production.”

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. “Vertigo”

Paramount, 1958, 128 mins. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With James Stewart, Kim Novak. Presented in a vintage 35mm Technicolor print.

Sunday, 1 p.m. Cinemaniac Eric Chadbourne presents “Remember The Night.”

Paramount, 1940, 94 mins. Directed by Mitchell Leisen. With Barbara Stanwyck. “This is my favorite underrated movie—a social blend of screwball comedy, romantic charm, and honest sentiment, it represents Stanwyck at her naturalistic peak, magnificently supported and guided by a director unjustly passed off as ‘lightly likable,’” Eric Chadbourne said. “The UCLA-restored print brings out production values that are pure Paramount.”

Sunday, 3 p.m. Cinemaniac Roberta Hill presents “The Four Feathers.”

Paramount, 1929, 81 mins. Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Lothar Mendes, Ernest B. Shoedsack. “Not yet 12 for its 1949 reissue, I thrilled to Korda’s ‘The Four Feathers’ at my first of easily two dozen viewings,” Roberta Hill said. “The theater: The Blue Hen. The co-feature: ‘The Drum.’ Ferreting out the original A.E.W. Mason novel brought a discovery—stills from Paramount’s 1929 part-talkie with William Powell and Richard Arlen. ‘Storm over the Nile,’ a remake, appeared, but never the 1929 version—until now.”

Live musical accompaniment to be provided by Donald Sosin

Sunday, 5 p.m. Cinemaniac Jack Angstreich presents “After Tomorrow.”

Fox, 1932, 79 mins. Directed by Frank Borzage. With Charles Farrell. “Lucky Star performed for me—before ‘Ordet’ or ‘Stars in My Crown’ would—a miracle in cinema,” Jack Angstreich said. “The sublime romanticism of Frank Borzage's mise-en-scène in his great silent films and beyond conveyed intimations of the transcendent visibly rendered, a personal signature subtly preserved in ‘After Tomorrow.’”

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. “Vertigo”

Paramount, 1958, 128 mins. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With James Stewart, Kim Novak. Presented in a vintage 35mm Technicolor print.

The American Museum of the Moving Image is located at 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria. For more information call 784-0077 or go to www.ammi.org.

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