In the Realms of the Unreal Reviews

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May 20, 2005
A stylistic triumph and a sad but also romantic depiction of an artist in his purest state.
April 21, 2005
The best thing about In the Realms of the Unreal are the sequences in which Darger's drawings, of epic battles and pigtailed heroines, are gently animated -- the pictures brought to life with subtle, fluttering motion.
April 15, 2005
It is an engrossing introduction to the artist and his work.
March 4, 2005
Haunting.
February 10, 2005
Yu's decision to bypass the literature about Darger is unfortunate, because it contains so many fascinating details about his source materials, methods, creative problems, and aesthetic development.
February 10, 2005
Henry Darger's mind may have been a tough place to live, but In the Realms of the Unreal makes for a stirring visit.
February 4, 2005
This is a film every bit as poetic, textured and intriguing as Darger's own rapturous visions.
February 3, 2005
The path taken by the film is somewhat labyrinthine and obscure, but it offers enough rewards to counterbalance its frustrations.
January 29, 2005
January 28, 2005
A film that strives mightily to make an interesting subject out of a pathetic and possibly dangerous figure.
January 28, 2005
The movie's central gimmick, animating the novel's illustrations while actors like Larry Pine and Dakota Fanning read the text dramatically in voiceover, grows cumulatively irritating and alienating.
January 24, 2005
This is Academy Award level documentary making.
January 20, 2005
While Yu has made a sensitive and intriguing introduction to Darger and his world, she could have gone further without the film becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of his unsettling isolation and oeuvre.
January 20, 2005
Assembled from public records of the artist's orphaned youth, as well as priceless footage of Darger's recently dismantled home, a place brimming with eBay-worthy treasures from his childhood.
January 20, 2005
The best way for a film to acknowledge the specialness of painting is to get out of its way and present it unaltered, whereas Yu uses it as raw material to be moved around, sometimes so crudely as to resemble the credits for Monty Python's Flying Circus.
January 12, 2005
A singular and haunting experience.
December 30, 2004
If In the Realms of the Unreal does indeed make the leap from fest circuit to arthouse exhibition, defenders and detractors doubtless will produce reams of contentious reviews and essays.
December 30, 2004
A fascinating examination of a mysterious life and the truly bizarre art that it spawned.
December 22, 2004
A thoughtful and inspired exploration of the man's life and leaves the viewer with a sense of wonder about the lives of countless people with unknown talents that deserve recognition.
December 22, 2004
Using Darger's own drawings (some of them animated by the filmmakers) and words, as well as interviews with the few people who came in contact with him, Yu presents a compelling, somewhat disturbing portrait of the artist.
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