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iPhone 5S film: Fascinating, fun look at Apple Store line-sitters

We've seen the ads from Samsung and others that mock Apple fanboys. But this minidocumentary by an indie filmmaker avoids stereotypes and captures the strangeness of an Apple product launch.

"I love the iPh -- I don't know. Um..." Casey Neistat; screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Warning: Watching the following short film may cause you to drop everything and sleep on a sidewalk for two weeks to buy a gold smartphone.

Casey Neistat -- an indie filmmaker, onetime Apple whistleblower and a director of commercials for companies like Nike and Mercedes-Benz -- has made a nice little minidoc about all those seemingly obsessed people who queue up outside Apple Stores to be the first to bag the latest iGadget.

In documenting the launch of the iPhone 5S/5C at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Neistat, along with partners Gabriel Nussbaum and Jack Coyne, presents the viewer with a range of major and minor characters, steering clear of sitcommy fanboy stereotypes like those served up in Samsung ads.

We see fanboys, sure, but we also see professional line-sitters, passing police officers, TV news reporters warming up for the cameras, miscellaneous New York nightlife -- even an Asian woman sleeping with a transparent plastic garbage bag pulled down over her body to stay warm. Justifiably or not, that last image may bring to mind the army of unseen overseas factory workers who assemble the iPhone and other devices day in and day out, hour after hour.

The film gives a sense of the whole ecosystem surrounding an Apple Store in the days and weeks prior to a major product launch and helps one begin to see the appeal of participating. It might actually be fascinating -- and fun -- to pull up a sleeping bag and camp out on a Manhattan sidewalk for a couple of weeks, along with the variety of other people crazy (or desperate or adventurous) enough to do so. In fact, you might not even have to buy a phone, gold or otherwise, to make it worthwhile.