• Thu 10 May 8:00PM

Sorry, you missed this one

Enter The Playroom via Westgarth Street.


The Playroom
Rear 413 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065


Director • Jeff Malmberg

Country • USA

Year • 2010

Duration • 83 min

Rating • M

An epic tale of love, adventure, resurrection and revenge – told in one-sixth scale tableaux.

Set in, and about an imaginary town called Marwencol, this inspiring documentary is about a man who chooses to build a new life, and a brave new world.

After Mark Hogancamp was gravely injured in a bar brawl he turned to art as a DIY therapy tool. Formerly an artist but unable to draw after his attack, Hogancamp sets about creating a fictional 1/6th scale World War II-era Belgian village, populating it with figurines of friends, family and his attackers and implanting an ongoing and painstakingly detailed narrative life into the miniature world.

The result is similar to a stop-motion film that conveys all the fear, pathos, adventure and hope for love that fills Hogancamp’s ‘real’ life; a tableux that he captured in thousands of photographs, images that are filled with such stunning and often comic realism that they confound the scale of their models.

As The Village Voice‘s Michael Atkinson wrote, Hogancamp’s photos ‘are so saturated with natural contrasts and filled with spontaneous feeling that they suggest stills from a movie that doesn’t exist.’ So arresting are these photographs that Hogancamp is invited to exhibit in a New York gallery, a huge proespect for a man that hasn’t left his town, or Marwencol, since his attack.

Jeff Malmberg’s riveting film traces the making of Marwencol, Hogancamp’s story, and the spectacular imitation between his life and his art as the two worlds become enmeshed.

We’ll be screening at The Playroom, a venue that sits above the restaurant formerly known as Eat Drink Man Woman. It’s big, lovely and will be serving dinner, drinks and snacks to you from 7pm.

“Who’s to say that Mark’s constructed reality is any less valid than most people’s “real world?” In Marwencol, they may find more love, pain, morality and feeling than in their actual lives.”

–Jeff Malmberg, Director

“Exactly the sort of mysterious and almost holy experience you hope to get from documentaries and rarely do, Jeff Malmberg’s Marwencol is something like a homegrown slice of Herzog oddness, complete with true-crime backfill and juicy metafictive upshot.”

–The Village Voice