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In the Realms of the Unreal


Henry Darger
At Second Battle of McHollister Run...
Image courtesy of Wellspring

In the Realms of the Unreal
The Mysterious Life and Art
of Henry Darger Jessica Yu, 2004

New Documentary

Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.

Thu, May 5, 2005 7 PM
Fri, May 6, 2005 7 PM
Sat, May 7, 2005 7 PM

Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu's In the Realms of the Unreal provides a sympathetic but haunting look at one of the 20th century's most eminent "outsider artists."
Reclusive Chicago janitor by day, obsessive visual artist and writer by night, Darger was only revealed to be an astonishingly gifted visionary after his death in 1973, when his landlord discovered hundreds of his paintings and drawings, along with his 15,000 page, single-spaced manuscript titled In the Realms of the Unreal, a fantastic epic of the warrior Vivian Girls facing armies of their mortal enemies.

Exploring outsider art from the inside, and avoiding standard documentary techniques, Yu employs vivid animation and experimental elements to immerse us in Darger's world. Her film argues that Darger concocted a triumphant artistic legacy from the bleak circumstances of his own life, continuing to influence artists worldwide. Featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning and Larry Pine.
(82 mins.)

support credits

Season support provided by the Rohauer Collection Foundation and the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation.

Contemporary films, international films, and visiting filmmakers presented with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

Man with a Movie Camera

Be here Monday, September 14 as Alloy Orchestra takes the stage in our Film/Video Theater to accompany a restoration of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera.


Join us Thursday, September 10 for a Next@Wex double bill featuring Tyondai Braxton and Clark, two innovators in the experimental electronica scene.