By Mike White
A successful documentary focuses on a subject that hasn't been covered before - or, at least, not covered as well. ZINED! is an ambitious, shot-on-video documentary by Marc Moscato that gets into the guts of what a zine is and what motivates zine-makers. Is it fame? Is it money? Is it an intense desire to subject strangers to your warped opinions brought about by an inflated ego? Hmmm...could be!
Moscato interviews a wide range of zinesters who put out various types of publications from photo collages to rock to humor to reprints to trash picking. This helps demonstrate the vast array of styles and subject matter that the world of zines encompasses. After introducing the audience to the wide, wacky world of zines, Moscato impressively manages to discover the common bonds of zinesters. To name a few: getting issues out "to press" for cheap, networking, and the fundamental drive to create zines.
Moscato's camera work leaves a little something to be desired (auto iris and auto focus off please!) and his inter-cutting of movies and TV shows threatens to get tiresome. Yet, these "detractions" somehow manage to add to the homemade effect of the documentary and echo the DIY ethic of zines themselves!
I doubt that any other video that I have or will ever again review shall afford me a more ample opportunity to indulge in self-important pontification regarding my views of zinedom. Between Marc's video and the work I've done on Cashiers du Cinemart #9, I've really taken stock of what zines mean to me and made me question why I do it. Zine's aren't the road to travel if you're looking to make a quick buck (expect to lose money) or garner eminence (part of the fun. for a lot of folks, is the anonymity). It's a lot of late nights, long hours, and is pretty much a thankless pursuit.
Why do it, then? Personally, I love sitting down and writing. I love research. I love getting contributors to get their stuff in. I love interviewing filmmakers. I love meeting new people through letters and email. I love getting feedback, good and bad. I love ticking people off. I love entertaining folks. I love laying out the issue. I love holding a finished ish in my hands and knowing the role I played in bringing it to fruition. Why do I make a zine? For Fun.
ZINED! is available for $8 postpaid from Marc Moscato. Write to 1094 Elmwood Avenue #1, Buffalo, NE 14222.