Part confessional, part exposé, Vinyl serves as a postcard from anyone with OCD tendencies. The filmmaker Alan Zweig attempts to make sense of what leads nerdy record collectors to behave the way they do. Along the way, he turns the camera on himself to lament the state of his life, the lack of children, and the general loneliness he feels.
As a way to purge himself of these feelings, he finds various record collectors in much worse shape than he is. Dudes with records strewn across the floor, obsessive memorizers of every K-Tel record, angry men who spitefully recall losing their collection to their ex-wives: Vinyl serves more to expose the city dwellers angst and loneliness through their records.
While the movie doesn’t always work (someone replace the music please!), Vinyl more than makes up for it by showing disparate people telling their unique spin on their obsession. Some people focus on an individual musician (Elvis, anyone?). Others focus on labels, time periods, genres, and pretty much everything in between. As each story unfolds, the collector’s excitement, sadness, angst, and awkwardness shines through.
Though this is out of print, Vinyl can be found through the normal Internet channels. It has received cult status in the last 10 years in part to the appearance of Harvey Pekar. Oh, and don’t let anyone tell you that this wouldn’t be the perfect double feature with High Fidelity.