America Alone: Chris Evans as Captain America, surrounded by extra-evil Hydra soldiers. Image courtesy of Jay Maidment / Marvel Studios.
In 2000, filmmaker Alan Zweig gained modest success on the festival circuit with “Vinyl,” a documentary probing the quirks and eccentricities of compulsive record collectors. (“Compulsive” referring not to some guy with a few hundred LPs, but to some guy who rents a U-Haul locker on the edge of town to serve as a supplementary storage archive.) In a highly conversational, and often confrontational manner, Zweig pressed his subjects to spill the beans about their hoarding impulses, their loneliness, and all of their other personal peccadilloes. And it was all intercut with shots of Zweig interviewing himself in a vanity mirror, mining his own emotional depths.
“Barney’s Version” diagrams the life of Montreal TV producer and bon vivant Barney Panofsky, played by Paul Giamatti. The film — a decade in the making — is based on the 1997 tragicomic novel by the late literary luminary Mordecai Richler.