7.4/10
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In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

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

Director:

Writers:

(writings),

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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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) (26 December 2004)

Gross:

$413,708 (USA) (12 June 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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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.
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Soundtracks

Innocent When You Dream (78)
Written by Tom Waits
Used by permission of Jalma Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
The Fruits of Loneliness
2 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a find for the unsuspecting moviegoer. The story is already known: damaged young boy turns into damaged and embittered adult who seeks refuge in a fantasy land influenced by school books, children's literature, and some classics. The result is a monumental work of words and illustrations that result in fame...in death...as an outside artist. The film itself is beautifully made. After ten minutes the doubts that the filmmaker can make this nearly on-liner work is erased, and the world of an unhappy, naive, angry, talented man is joyfully received. Great conceit animating the work, wonderful rendering of the artist's subtle colors (think Bonnard, Vuillard,) and a truly touching look at the soul of a true outsider in every respect. Ah yes, we love the children, always have...on our lips, but in life it has been, and remains, something else.


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