Have you ever wondered if there is a parallel universe where an alternate version of you is living a completely different life, but looks exactly like you? What about doppelgängers:  People in our world who are a dead ringer for you but live completely different lives…like those guys who sat next to each other on a flight a few weeks ago.

Where The Matinee is concerned, I don’t need to wonder: I know I have a double.

The phenomenon is a site calling itself “Movie and Game“. Looks familiar, don’t it?

How familiar? Let’s dig in…

Turns out he too has a podcast! He strangely also calls it The Matineecast, and when you click on the audio embedded in posts like this, he sounds an awful lot like me, uses my name, and plugs a website that is not his own. Very strange.

Also, it looks like he too is married to Lindsay Ragone. Now, considering the amount of work she has put into her ongoing documentary project, I guess I should be happy to see him support her project with posts like this…but I’m pretty sure that when I go to bed at night, it’s just Lindsay and I. Nobody else. Again – very strange.

The proprietor does get around. I mean, look at this post from TIFF 2011 where he got up on-stage at Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitrecord event. Funny though, I was at that event and I don’t remember seeing someone who looked like me getting up on-stage. It must have happened while I was too distracted being up on stage myself.

After all of this, I found myself curious just who this man was, so I finally tapped the About Me link. Clearly the link must be broken because it seems to be taking me to an image my dear friend Beth Beard took of me in 2011 (go here and scroll a bit to the right). Say it with me – very strange.

Now there are half-assed attempts at eliminating telling details. For instance, the sidebar doesn’t contain my social media widgets, and the tag in the lower right that reads “Made in Canada” is gone. So I suppose we should give part marks for effort…but still, that’s weak tea.

So should I be worried? Should I sit here and seethe about potentially having my own work taken out from under me and having to face potential embarrassment from social and professional contacts? I think not, and here’s why. Building this space and its shoddy Blogspot predecessor has been about more than holing myself up in a dark room and alternately watching and writing on a laptop. It has been about interacting with PR reps, becoming part of a community, stoking the fire for programmers and cinephiles, and living a life dedicated to the love of film.

Doing that has allowed me to be face to face with people who know who and what I am. I know that the admin of Movies and Game cannot say the same. How do I know? Because a quick glimpse at his site has him purporting to be from Toronto. I promise you – nobody in Toronto has ever heard of this site or the mysterious person claiming to run it.

I’m not even sure why the site calls itself “Movies and Games” since there is no talk of games anywhere on it. Had they called themselves “Movies and Music”…or “Movies and Baseball”…then perhaps.

It’s details like that which underline this blatant fakery. Remember that scene in AMERICAN HUSTLE where Christian Bale points to a fake painting so good and asks Bradley Cooper who the real master is, “the painter or the forger?”…clearly the lad running Movies and Games hasn’t seen that movie…even though he claims he has.

If you are reading this post on Movies & Games, please come to the matinee dot ca (make sure you include the “the”) to see and support the original work.

I suppose I should be flattered…I suppose the fact that he liked not only the words I produce but even the layout of the space should be an indicator that I’m doing something right. Something worth copying anyway. I am looking into options about getting the blatant plagiarism removed, but I’m not going to focus on that for the time being. Right now I’m just going to lean on my own strength of character – that I know who I am and I know what I’ve done, and that the person claiming this work as their own cannot possibly say the same.

Which brings me to my favorite part of writing this post…

Because the offending site duplicates my work right down to the screws, this post will go up on their space as well.

Glad you like my work Movie & Game.


September 2016 EDIT: Looks like whoever was behind this stunt was just in it for the LOLs. Found myself wondering about it today and clicked over to discover that the domain had lapsed. Hopefully that’s the end of this weird chapter in my virtual life. -R