1/15/2007

Documentary Film Of The Day - Wordplay...

I watched this over the weekend. This is the kind of documentary I like - one that exposes an obscure group of people united by their love of (and prowess at) a relatively mundane activity, in this case, solving crossword puzzles. Now, I'm not sure how much this movie will appeal to people who don't do crosswords, but if you like movies about slightly eccentric people, this one shouldn't disappoint. I happen to love crosswords, so I really liked this movie. It also includes interviews with famous crosswordophiles like Jon Stewart and Bill "Bubba" Clinton. They spend time on how crosswords are constructed. They also show a lot of footage of a crossword competition. Just ordinary, everyday people that happen to be the best at what they do. What was cool was that there were points in the movie where they'd put up partially solved clues, so that you could pause and sort of play along at home. Ken Burns of PBS fame talked about how he does the New York Times puzzle every day. I decided that is something to strive for - the ability to do the NYT puzzle each day (not necessarily solve it) if I wanted to.

9 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

I will watch this! Funny thing is, I learned how to do crosswords by doing the NYT. So now I find them easier than other crosswords, but only because I'm used to the kinds of clues that particular editor uses. Except of course for the Friday & Saturday NYT - the Saturday NYT crossword having been described as "the bitch mother of all crosswords."

Valerie said...

My dad is a crosswordophile (that's really a word?)...I'll have to find this movie and let him watch it.

Reel Fanatic said...

I was surprised by just how much I loved this flick .. I do a crossword puzzle almost every day, so perhaps I was predisposed to find its characters sympathetic, but I was still impressed by how the filmmakers managed to treat them all with respect, no matter how creepy they might be .. and Stewart is just ridiculously funny

Megan said...

Ah yes, the luxury of time. That sure would be nice.

Phil said...

What's the key to being good at crossword puzzles? Is it a strong voaculary, or is it understanding the clues? I don't do them myself, but my wife is a junky.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Chris, you're about one return ahead of me on the Netflix queue.

Grant Miller said...

I TiVoed this. thanks for giving away the ending. My wife bought me a big, hardbound book of NYT crosswords for Xmas. I haven't gone anywhere without it since.

Chris said...

CP- Yeah. We try to do the Sat. puzzle in the ski patrol room. We don't usually get far before we switch to an easier one.

Val- I bet he'd like it

Reel- As a movie-lover, I'll have to spend some time on your site. I thought they all seemed nice. Nerdy, but nice.

Megan- Who are you kidding? You always have free time.

Phil- Both. Plus, there are themes, so a proficiency at "wordplay" also helps. Seeing how quickly the "pros" do them is humbling.

Vikki- I have The Ground Truth coming soon...

Grant- By the way, Spock dies!

Scarlet said...

Thanks for the review...

I will check it out. I thought Spellbound doco was great, so this should appeal too..thx.