RICHLAND — Introducing a film for the Battelle Film Club is one of my favorite things to do.
Weather permitting and assuming travel conditions are good, I plan to introduce the documentary Marwencol at 8 p.m. Friday at the Battelle auditorium.
In my introduction I will also do a brief — key word: brief — Q&A on my Oscar picks.
I look forward to talking with you before and after the film and about Oscar movies. So join me and the Battelle Film Club if you can. By the way, this is a group that loves movies and loves discussing them. If you have never been, you will enjoy the experience.
I chose introducing Marwencol because I love documentaries. These days, I find them much more interesting than three-act movie plots. Real life has more drama, intrigue and insight into the human condition than anything Hollywood can drum up.
Marwencol is about Mark Hogancamp. Ten years ago, after an argument in a bar, Hogancamp was attacked. He nearly died as a result of the savage beating and suffered serious brain damage.
Therapy gave him back most of his faculties. However, they have not worked on the mental anguish. His own recovery efforts are doing that. They are found in a fictitious World War II village he created in his yard.
He calls it Marwencol. It is a series of miniature scenes with soldiers, villagers, tanks, jeeps, buildings and more. His WWII story started simple and has gradually gotten more complex as he adds characters and different story lines.
Some story lines are violent, others are very sexual. None are peaceful.
He is part of his own story and one of the characters. So are many of his friends and acquaintances. Some reluctantly, others proudly.
It turns out Hogancamp is not only a brilliant designer, but he is also an incredible photographer. His therapy includes photos of his creation. Those pics got the attention of local media and then national media. That led to documentarian Jeff Malmberg.
Malmberg is best known for directing Paris Hilton’s film The Hottie and the Nottie. Didn’t see it? Neither did anyone else. Malmberg’s documentary, however, got excellent reviews and deserves to be seen.
Hogancamp’s story is difficult. As much as you want to feel sorry for the guy and his plight, he is not easy to like. But Hogancamp is an amazing artist and a brilliant storyteller.
The problem with Malmberg’s documentary is it doesn’t really have anywhere to go. It is ongoing and the documentary seems kind of incomplete. However, most of the film is fascinating and is definitely worth seeing.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Not rated, probably PG-13 for language. It plays one time only — 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25 at the Battelle Auditorium
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.