Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thursday To-Do: Argenta Film Series: 'Marwencol'

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Argenta Community Theater screens Marwencol Thursday pic
  • Argenta Community Theater screens "Marwencol" Thursday.

ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'MARWENCOL'
7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.

I just watched the trailer for the documentary "Marwencol" and ... wow. Maybe it's just that I have a soft spot for damaged weirdoes who turn their backs on society to devote themselves 110 percent to their own bizarre interior worlds, but man, does this look intriguing.

The gist: "Marwencol" explores Marwencol, the name of the 1/6-scale WW II-era town created by a man from Kingston, N.Y., named Mark Hogancamp. In April 2000, after disclosing that he was a cross-dresser, Hogancamp was beaten to death outside of a bar by five teen-age thugs. Though clinically dead, he was revived by paramedics, and after nine days in a coma, he awoke with no memory of his previous life.

As a means of coping with such an unimaginably devastating loss of self, he created Marwencol, a painstakingly crafted and detailed fantasy world over which he exercises control. Think Henry Darger, but with dioramas and maybe two or three or 50 times less creepy. His photos of the sets he's created have been hailed by art world muckety mucks, but Hogancamp — who struggles mightily just to leave the house — mainly just wants to create new scenes in his tiny world.

This is one of the best-reviewed documentaries in years, and I don't have space here to do justice to Hogancamp's story. Read this New York Times article from April 6, 2011, or check out some of the photos at Marwencol.com to get a better idea of the full, weird amazingness of this story.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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