MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,804 this week

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,593 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 35 user | 51 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist.

Director:

Writers:

(writings),
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 16 Jan 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 04 Feb 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of In the Realms of the Unreal.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man', 'Love Is a Dog from Hell', and the autobiographical novels, 'Women', 'Hollywood', and 'Post Office'.

Director: John Dullaghan
Stars: Charles Bukowski, Bono, John Bryan
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Director: Richard Press
Stars: Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Robert Jan Van Pelt, David Irving
Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alan Moore writer, artist and performer is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels.

Directors: Dez Vylenz, Moritz Winkler
Stars: Glenn Doherty, Florian Fischer, Alan Moore
My Architect (2003)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974.

Director: Nathaniel Kahn
Stars: Edmund Bacon, Edwina Pattison Daniels, Balkrishna Doshi
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

Director: Jan Harlan
Stars: Katharina Kubrick, Malcolm McDowell, Tom Cruise
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames were America's most influential and important industrial designers. Admired for their creations and fascinating as individuals, they have ... See full summary »

Directors: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey
Stars: Charles Eames, Ray Eames, James Franco
Protagonist (2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jessica Yu's documentary explores the relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men: German terrorist, a bank robber, an "ex-gay" evangelist, and a martial arts student.

Director: Jessica Yu
Stars: Hans-Joachim Klein, Mark Salzman, Chris Diamantopoulos
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

Director: Erik Nelson
Stars: Harlan Ellison, Robin Williams, Neil Gaiman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary on the German artist that includes glimpses at his studio, which has not been seen in decades.

Director: Corinna Belz
Stars: Gerhard Richter, Norbert Arns, Hubert Becker
Trumbo (2007)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Through a focus on the life of Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this film examines the effects on individuals and families of a congressional pursuit of Hollywood Communists after World War II. ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Askin
Stars: Dalton Trumbo, Joan Allen, Brian Dennehy
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Henry Darger (voice)
...
Narrator / Vivian Girls (voice)
Frier McCollister ...
Additional Voice (voice)
...
Additional Voice (voice)
Janice Hong ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Ruby McCollister ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Paul Robert Langdon ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Mary O'Donnell ...
Herself - Neighbor
Kiyoko Lerner ...
Herself - Landlady
Mary Rooney ...
Herself - Parish Bookkeeper
David Berglund ...
Himself - Neighbor
Regina Waters ...
Herself - Neighbor
Mark Waters ...
Himself - Neighbor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Darger ...
Himself (photos)
Edit

Storyline

Henry Darger worked all his life in menial jobs in Chicago. Living alone and in poverty, he had no friends or close family. Spending all his off hours alone, he whiled away the hours working on a 15,000 page illustrated novel called The Realms of the Unreal. A stunning amalgam of religious imagery, fantasy, and heroic drama, the work was only discovered after Darger was moved to a hospital during the last days of his life. Darger also wrote journals and an autobiography. The documentary uses interviews with Darger's neighbors and narration of passages from his works, along with his illustrations, to explore the mind and work of Henry Darger. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poverty | novel | janitor | artist | recluse | See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,477 (USA) (24 December 2004)

Gross:

$413,708 (USA) (10 June 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

[last lines]
[end title cards]
Title Card: After Darger's death in 1973, the Lerners decided to share their discovery of his work, preserving his room and its contents.
Title Card: Since then, Henry Darger's work has been exhibited and collected worldwide. His art has inspired the creation of paintings, poetry, music, and works in theatre, dance, and opera.
Title Card: The room was dismantled in 2000.
See more »

Soundtracks

Flash Pan Hunter (Intro)
Written by Tom Waits
Used by permission of Jalma Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Still at a Distance
11 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Henry Darger was a janitor. He lived in one room. He cleaned a Catholic hospital for fifty years, and then died with a 15,000 page manuscript and yards and yards of artwork, unknown and unpublished, in his room. You can find out more about Henry Darger and his life work, chronicling the adventures of "The Vivian Girls" at the Henry Darger entry on Wikipedia.

"In the Realms of the Unreal" is a documentary about his life. The narrative comes through a few different sources: There are interviews with those who knew of Darger in his last days, including the landlords who discovered his work. There is an old man's voice reading Darger's autobiography. There are pieces of Darger's novel. Then there is a narrator who is about 5 years old, providing a little summary and connectivity now and then. The visuals behind the readings are sometimes photos of relevant locations, like the state farm where Darger spent his late childhood, or the hospital where he worked most of his life. Sometimes they are stills or animations of Darger's artwork.

The life of Henry Darger is fascinating. It's especially intriguing to think that there are people around us who are silently, secretly living these incredibly rich and complicated internal lives. It's sad that Darger was never "discovered," but even that sadness is complicated. I'm not sure what the world would have done with him, had we known what he was about. His was not the type of art that's comfortable to package and sell. Hard to contemplate a lonely old man drawing pictures of naked children, unless you put it in the context of his whole life. Not easy to reduce to a few key words.

The movie was kind of distancing. I came away knowing more about Darger but I felt unsatisfied somehow, like some primary source had been held back, like everything had been too filtered, too disjointed. Maybe it just goes with the subject matter -- Darger was a recluse, not open to interpretation or summary. The most meaningful parts to me were the pieces read from his autobiography. It was surprisingly kind, chatty, a bit apologetic, and patient. No bitterness. No angst. Isn't that strange.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Pornography? sixgingus
Fascinating! bama1111
It occurs to me... Muleke
where can i buy this? ronnybobbins
tom waits song pbarrrgh
UK release scott-porter99
Discuss In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?