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Sam Barron claims he has never fallen asleep in a movie and has never walked out on one. He also says he never watches movies outside of theaters.

Ozier Muhammed, New York Times

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After 1,300 movies in 4 years, time for a break

  • December 27, 2012 - 5:56 PM

With the new year approaching, people resolve to kick all sorts of bad habits. Sam Barron is no different -- he vows to try to kick his four-year habit of chronic cinema addiction. "I have an addictive personality: I don't drink, smoke or anything like that," said Barron, 28, a business reporter in Westchester County, N.Y. "Instead, I take it out on movies."

Barron has seen more than 1,300 movies in local movie theaters in the past four years. This includes every wide-release movie in the past four years, as well as cult classics, gay-themed films, children's movies and obscure documentaries. Ask him about a film in some lesser-known Indian dialect, without subtitles, and he will most likely give you the plot line.

"When I meet people who tell me they're film buffs too, I'm like, 'Um, no, you're not,'" said Barron, who nevertheless is intent on quitting his filmgoing ways next month after having seen more than 390 this year.

For one thing, Barron began dating a woman who is not charmed by his obsession. For another, he recently landed a new job with a more demanding work schedule, he said.

The streak started as a bet with two friends that "spiraled out of control," Barron said. "We're just regular guys, the furthest thing from film snobs," he said, adding that he and his friends preferred watching football on Sundays and professional wrestling to ever going to see anything other than a big-budget action film.

He began with "Bride Wars" and "Hotel for Dogs" and was soon combing movie listings and organizing viewing schedules that would dovetail with his work hours. "When I started, I was like: 'What's this? A movie with subtitles? All they're doing is talking, the whole movie,'" he recounted of his initial exposure to foreign-language movies. But within months, Barron had developed an affinity for such films and was even beginning to commit certain acts of film snobbery.

"At one point, I think I actually said something like, 'Hey, it's great to see Norwegian cinema coming on strong, huh?' and my friends were like, 'Can we punch you in the face right now?'" he said.

Is three times the charm?

Kate Winslet has tied the knot again. The Oscar-winning actress wed Ned Rocknroll in New York earlier this month. The private ceremony was attended by Winslet's two children as well as a few friends and family members, her representative said Thursday. It is the third marriage for the 37-year-old Winslet. She was previously married to film directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes. The 34-year-old Rocknroll, who was born Abel Smith, is a nephew of billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. The couple had been engaged since last summer.

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