I, Curmudgeon (2004)
In this often very funny enquiry into crankiness, Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig interviews notable curmudgeons like Fran Lebowitz, Harvey Pekar and Bruce LaBruce. Zweig wants to know what their frickin’ problem is and, more importantly, whether it’s the same as his. As in Vinyl, his equally irascible doc on record collectors, the endearingly dour filmmaker spends much of I, Curmudgeon spilling his guts directly to his camera and torturing himself with big questions that he can never answer satisfactorily. Zweig then confronts his subjects with the same questions, thereby making them even grouchier. (How grouchy? Andy Rooney is moved to kick Zweig out of his office.) Though I, Curmudgeon’s meandering structure and incessant jump-cuts are irritants, they’re also appropriate to the movie’s abrasive, anti-social personality. Consider this a testament to the power of negative thinking.