Regardless, it's fascinating to hear these collectors (mostly forlorn, homely, underachieving bachelors) detailing their record-buying habits more with shame than joy, as if it's a destructive addiction they're struggling to master. However, director Alan Zweig's own self-filmed musings grow tiresome -- he has a grating voice and manner (imagine a more Jewish version of Kevin from TV's "The Office") and just wasn't someone whose company I wished to share for almost two hours. (The 110 minutes pass slowly, considering the footage is virtually nothing but raw interviews in dingy living spaces.)
I would have enjoyed more "fun" exposure to the nutty rarities that these people own, but "Vinyl" really isn't about music. It's about the psychology of collecting. Wherein these weary misfits buy piles of records that they may not enjoy or even play, seemingly because they're just afraid of regretting a missed purchase later. Or because they don't want the records to fall into enemy hands. Or simply because a kitschy sleeve gives them a laugh. (Heck, we've all bought records for this reason, haven't we? Um...haven't we?)
Writer/artist Harvey Pekar, actor Don McKellar and director Guy Maddin turn up without any special introduction -- in fact, I can't even recall where Maddin appeared.
So far, so typical I guess. What makes it interesting is that the film-maker, himself a collector, is really more interested in exploring why he, and other collectors, don't have girlfriends. Those who *do* have girlfriends are quizzed as to how that is possible, while he psychoanlyses those who don't, trying to find out what is wrong with them, and if record collecting is just a substitute for not being in a relationship.