Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley's delightful documentary film, “Wordplay,” which describes the life of Will Shortz, the New York Times Crossword editor, will be shown this weekend at the Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva.
The film, part of the theatre's “Hot Docs '06” series, profiles Shortz and an interesting cross-section of players and chronicles the down-to-the-wire excitement of the 2005 tournament — the Super Bowl of crosswords.
Despite the focus on Shortz and the presence of famous puzzle practitioners, the real stars of the film are the five individuals who eventually compete in the tournament in Stamford, Conn. As Jeffrey Blitz did with the National Spelling Bee in the 2002 documentary, “Spellbound,” Creadon and O'Malley have given competitive crossword-puzzle solving the ferment of a sporting event. Serious players train like Olympians, and the tension builds as the tournament reaches the climactic championship round.
“Wordplay” may be seen beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 through Tuesday the 26th, except at 2 p.m. on Sunday the 24th. Rated PG, it has a running time of 1:34; tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens, and will be available at the door.
Upcoming films in the “Hot Docs” series will be “Who Killed The Electric Car?” in October and “Sketches Of Frank Gehry” in November.