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Marwencol (2010)

Mark Hogancamp , Jeff Malmberg  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Hogancamp
  • Directors: Jeff Malmberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004IOPDJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,925 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Outside a small bar in Kingston, NY, Mark Hogancamp was beaten nearly to death, his memories wiped away. Seeking recovery, he builds Marwencol, a miniature World War II-era town filled with doll versions of his friends, fantasies, and even his attackers. As he documents the town s dramas with his camera, the dolls become living characters in an epic tale of love, adventure, resurrection and revenge. When his photos are discovered by the art world, Mark is suddenly forced to choose between the safety of his imaginary world and the real world he s avoided since the attack.
Winner of over a dozen awards, including two Independent Spirit Awards and Best Documentary of the Year from Boston Society of Film Critics.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Eight Additional Marwencol Story Sequences
- Deleted Scenes
- Mark s Reaction to the Film
- Mark at the Red Carpet Premiere
- Stills Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
- Introduction by film critic Elvis Mitchell
- Collectible Marwencol mini-print by Mark Hogancamp

Review

"An exhilarating, utterly unique experience." --Kevin Thomas, LA Times

"An astounding movie - one of those tales of all-american oddness that just keeps flowering into weirder, richer territory." --Ty Burr, Boston Globe

"GRADE: A-! I can barely describe the wonders of Marwencol." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I caught a glimpse of the fascinating, yet decidedly odd, documentary "Marwencol" at the Independent Spirit Awards this year and have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to view it. Hard to categorize, this tale of persevering and triumphing over tragedy has all the earmarks of a feel good story of uplift, but has such a melancholy sadness underneath the surface--it is bound to elicit conflicting emotions within different viewers. One thing, however, that is impossible to deny--the subject matter is strikingly unique and extremely personal. The film profiles a contemporary artist Mark Hogancamp. After a brutal beating, Hogancamp suffered brain damage, a disruption of motor functions and a great deal of memory loss. When his therapy treatment ended, he continued to pursue an alternate course to wellness. Devising a fantasy world inhabited by dolls, he created a World War II village and envisioned a fantastical back story about its inhabitants. With himself playing the lead (he and his friends are all represented in the tableau by alter ego dolls), he enacted love and retribution in a land torn with violence.

He also painstakingly and meticulously photographed his world--and this surprisingly original voice was soon discovered by the contemporary art scene. A reluctant talent, to be sure, the project took on levels of interest that he could never have originally foreseen. The film is, first and foremost, an exploration of the artistic process and a modern character study. It's fascinating to see how real life occurrences materialize as dramatic plot points within his imagination. And that's what he's most proud of--he hasn't lost the ability to imagine.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, tender, and subtle April 26, 2011
By Cmcgraw
Format:Blu-ray
I found the documentary to be fascinating and uplifting. Uplifting because this gentle spirit manages to recover some dignity of life after his tragedy and creates this wonderful, evocative world-fantasy that he, at some level, lives in - that comforts him - but that he understands is not real. Populated with his real-life friends and his archetypal enemies, his fantasies and his realities, it is, in the end, a more righteous place than the world we live in.
And he is such a complex and interesting man. So private, but so honest and forthright when he talks about himself.
And then there is the story itself. Of a man that experienced such hate and suffering and somehow came through it to create this strange, private world.
I loved the film. I think you might, also.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This wasn't an easy video to watch because the subject matter -- a brutal
beating and loss of self -- was heart wrenching. Mark Hogancamp is an artist
in the truest sense. He creates out of a deep need to make sense of his life
and isn't swayed by commercial interests. The WWII town of Marwencol and its
brave and brooding dolls cast a strange spell on me. Recommended this to all
my artsy friends.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't look away April 20, 2011
By Mary M
Format:DVD
I'm rating this film high not because of the actual production of it, but because of the overall fascination I felt for quite some time after viewing it. I kept mulling it over and marvelling.

The demonstration of Mr. Hogancamp's artistic obsession with his little village and the extent to which he went for authentication; the creativity and imagination he demonstrates; his finely detailed work on all the pieces along with the vast amount of time it must have taken on a daily basis not to mention the monetary expense he went to is mind-blowing.

The content of the film enables it to stand on its own without directorial or scriptual interpretations or embellishments for it is a film about a truly unique person and how many of those do we encounter in this world?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marwencol Blu-ray June 16, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I can't effectively describe how amazing, heart-warming and inspirational this movie is. You will want to fly out and give him a giant hug and help him build things after watching it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively fine meditation on the healing power of art December 8, 2011
Format:DVD
4.5 stars

Context is meaning and can often frame art to make it much deeper. Director Malmberg knows this well and makes some excellent choices in Marwencol; there are so many ways to approach this story, and he found a wonderfully subtle, empathic narrative. We're given bits and pieces of the backstory, but the main point here is the powerful life in Mark's art. When you first see it, it has a certain resonance that can't be defined. It ain't your average dollhouse, to be sure.

As we learn about Mark and his ordeal and what caused it, the town and characters of Marwencol take on a much stronger level of meaning. They show us Mark's soul, his pain, his resolve, his sadness, and if we look cloesly enough we might even get a glimpse of our own fractured inner lives. But most of us haven't manifested them on the physical plane, let alone this revealingly. That's what artists do, and by that definition Hogencamp is most certainly a fine artist.

There's a lt of sly humor here, and Malmberg's feel for his subject is the best thing about this film (outside of Mark's unique world, of course). The director knows that world and takes us into it cleanly. It's a strange yet oddly calming ride, and the affection of Mark's friends for him and his world says volumes.

The brief glimpses of his past and the refusal of Malmberg to dwell on the crime, instead focusing on the art that grows out of that crime's wound, are what makes this film so interesting. It takes its time, but the deeper you go the more it all means. I was especially moved by Mark's pre-attack sketch of him holding onto AA. It goes by fast; watch for it and pause there and take a long look. It hauntingly prefaces what followed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An education for all in a positive way
This is an excellent film. It shows us how life can change in one short moment. To some a brain injury may be a negative, however in this circumstance it has become a wonderful... Read more
Published 1 month ago by awiseman
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing Documentary.
We have watched this dozens of times and introduced many friends to it. Marwencol is an intensely personal and engaging story.
Published 5 months ago by Warren Cancilla
5.0 out of 5 stars There is so much going on in the world~
I don't even want to describe this video - it's so fun to be surprised. All I will say is that there are lots of things to learn in life, and often the best things come from... Read more
Published 7 months ago by EB
5.0 out of 5 stars strong
this is a wonderful film. marwencol is interesting and very genuine. I have recommended this movie to everyone I know!
Published 8 months ago by rachelsliva
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film!
One of the better documentaries I've seen in recent years. You really feel for this guy as he navigates his life after a savage beating and tries to find solace from old demons and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brent Fisk
4.0 out of 5 stars An Elephant in Charge of the Peanuts.
Marwencol (Jeff Malmberg, 2010)

In the main, I loved Marwencol. It's a riveting documentary that focuses on something very rare in today's ultra-politically-correct... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Robert Beveridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Marwencol
This documentary is like nothing I've seen before. The doc draws you in until you have to watch it to the end. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Carol Vidal
5.0 out of 5 stars a great documentary
Fascinating. The deeper his story goes, the more interesting it becomes. Mark has an incredible eye as a photographer, and an incredible imagination. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars Which World is More Real?
There have been some number of documentaries that have dealt with people who were challenged in some form or other and not only overcame the challenge but did so in an astounding... Read more
Published on February 10, 2012 by Eric Sanberg
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!
This is an amazing documentary it is the best representation I have seen on film of someone with a traumatic brain injury and the coping process that goes along with it. Read more
Published on December 7, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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