The real ones, they start out trolling and get all sincere later on. That’s the story of The Cinephobe, an absolutely vital “pirate”-style movie channel that popped up during the pandemic borne out of @TheCinephobe, a sharp, shitposting—and anonymous—Instagram account that has, for a few years now, mocked the arthouse movie business and its obsequious snobs.
“We’re a small group of film enthusiasts with a sense of humor and a low tolerance for stupidity,” The Cinephobe told BmoreArt.
The world of funny-mean-and-sometimes-sad movie meme-ing is familiar to all of us here in Baltimore, home of @ericallenhatch, and both Hatch and The Cinephobe use the same blueprint, though The Cinephobe tends to take aim at the industry and the absurdities of New York’s multi-varied repertory and arthouse film scene. Posts on their IG offered up other uses for defunct movie ticket scam MoviePass’ card (you could use it cut up lines of blow for example), placed the cartoon cast of Space Jam (plus Wayne Knight) in the A Clockwork Orange milk bar, and bitched about rising ticket prices at Manhattan’s Metrograph via a still from ultimate World War II Belarussian bummer Come and See.
“We began as a meme account that pokes fun at some of NY film culture’s glaring absurdities. But because film scene people tend to be sad, thin-skinned, and easily provoked, we figured life would just be easier if we didn’t put our names out there,” The Cinephobe said. “Back when there were theaters, we still wanted to go see movies in peace.”
And then the movie theaters all shut down, the group began developing an online livestream screening movies. They used The Cinephobe name, they explained, “because we had this built-in following of film-obsessives, and also because part of our concept was to fill the gap left by the mostly great curation of movies that play in NYC on any given week.” Launched on March 29, The Cinephobe, similar to Baltimore’s QuaranTV, is programmed like a television channel, with a set schedule each day posted online guided by a passionate, discerning, and decidedly inclusive approach to movies.