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A fascinating treatment on the life of a reclusive man. Read critic reviews

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In the Realms of the Unreal Photos

Movie Info

Henry Darger is an isolated janitor in Chicago, spending most of his time alone in his apartment. What no one knows is that he is completing an epic work of art within the four walls of his home. This work, a book with 15,000 pages and countless images, is unseen until after his death 1973, when his neighbors discover what he's created. Jessica Yu uses Darger's book to explore his life and mindset, supplementing his own drawings and words with interviews from people who knew him.

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Critic Reviews for In the Realms of the Unreal

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (19)

Audience Reviews for In the Realms of the Unreal

  • Nov 25, 2012
    Documentary on Henry Darger, the reclusive Chicago janitor who secretly wrote a slightly insane 15,000 page novel about a child slave rebellion mixing the Civil War, Christianity and children's fantasy stories, illustrated by hundreds of incredibly detailed full size paintings. A solid introduction to Darger, whose utterly unique and slightly disturbing oeuvre has made him the poster boy for the outsider artist.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2012
    While a lot of academic talking heads analyzing Darger's work might have yielded some interesting discussion . . . his writing and paintings stand in place beyond normal criticism and analysis. They are just as enigmatic as their creator, but that is why they are so fascinating.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2010
    Not terribly enjoyable for me.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2009
    Henry Darger was a reclusive retired janitor who lived quietly in Chicago. Upon his death, his landlady discovered a side to him that no one suspected. He wrote several journals, detailing his life story, and a novel that takes up 15,000 pages, describing a surreal battle between good and evil, led by seven mythical sisters. He also painted several large murals, illustrating his tale. Strange fellow, indeed. This documentary tries to convey some of the grandeur of his life's work. A little dry for this viewer's taste, and the sheer volume of the work makes it difficult to assess the artistic value. Some of the images are quite bizarre, indicating an unfamiliarity with female anatomy. A mildly interesting look at the work of one who epitomizes outsider art.
    Mark A Super Reviewer

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