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on June 11, 2013

What is a Film Geek?

What is a Film Geek? What is a cinephile? Well, WikiHow, not surprisingly, has the answer for you. If you look at both the lists, you’ll notice that 6 of the step have absolutely nothing to do with movies. Cinephilia has to do with being obsessed with Titanic, among other things.

Well, no offense to WikiHow (it’s my go-to site whenever I need step-by-step instructions, along with eHow), but being obsessed doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you’re wearing a hoodie or sweatpants, or how many charm bracelets you’re wearing, or what kind of glasses you sport. The truth is, cinephiles and film geeks are exactly like homicidal maniacs: they look just like everyone else.

Cinephiles and Film Geeks are basically the same thing. It’s possible Film Geeks don’t take themselves as seriously. They probably use words like ‘lovely’ or ‘sublime’ a lot less than most cinephiles. But there’s one thing WikiHow did get right. Both cinephiles and film geeks love movies. They watch movies. New movies, old movies, funny movies, serious movies, long movies, short movies. Movies in English, movies in other languages, movies in color, movies in black and white. True movies, made-up movies, and movies in between the two.

Cinephiles devour everything cinema. So do film geeks. But the special thing about them is that they do it together. They talk about movies, the think about movies, the watch movies in groups. They’re like schools of fishes, swimming towards a brightly lit screen in hopes of being moved, inspired, cajoled, and entertained.

In the end, I think that’s the difference between cinephiles and film geeks. Film geeks are a clique. Not a closed, snobby clique like those jerks in high school, but a clique that always seems to be recruiting new members. New followers of the gospel, where they can meet up regularly and go to their cinema church. It’s pretty fabulous, really. Which is why I’m proud to come out as a fully-fledged film geek.

Yep. If this group had membership cards, I would have one too. And it’s wonderful to meet up with my other film geek members. We all love different movies, quote different characters, and swoon over different actors and directors, looking skyward with coos of “she’s so talented” or “that’s my favorite”. We make our top 10 lists (unless your Scorsese; then you make a top 85 list). And anyone can join.

Here at the Digital Gym Cinema, we have a group of Film Geeks that meet every few weeks. It’s a group spearheaded by San Diego film luminary Beth Accomando, along with Phillip Lorenzo (of Pac-Arts) and Miquel Rodriguez (of Horrible Imaginings Film Fest). It’s the perfect group to convene with, to talk about movies, see movies, and enjoy the genres perfect for late night weekends: sci-fi, horror, supernatural and other titillating thrillers.

This week, the Film Geeks are gathering for a film called Gut. Some other films on the Film Geeks’ horizon:

Maniac: July 5 and 6, Berberian Sound Studio: July 26 and 27, Grabbers: August 2 and 3, Kung Fu Mystery Theater: August 24, and Inside, October 5. We may be adding some more screenings (we know film geeks really need to meet regularly), so stay tuned for more dates and more films. Feel free to wander in and give the geeks a go.

So what do you have to do to join? It’s easy! Watch movies. Enjoy movies. Go to the theater and sit with your fellow film geeks. Turn off your phone and turn on to the screen. Groucho Marx once said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” I’m pretty sure he meant every club except this one, since he was definitely a film geek.

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