Independent Film Festival of Boston organizers said this was probably the most family-friendly selection in their six-year history, and they're right. It's a culturally aware comedy that's always light instead of challenging, aiming most laughs at the pre-teen set. To put it bluntly, Ping Pong Playa is as goofy as its title.
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Jessica Yu's documentary In the Realms of the Unreal is a meditative look at what little we know about Darger's life, and the massive body of art that he left behind, utilizing the barest scraps of primary information available (there are only three known photographs of him) and Darger's own diaries. It wasn't an easy childhood by any stretch of the imagination: Darger's mother died when he was four and his father gave him up for adoption a few years later, dying not long after. Darger was sent to an asylum for "feeble-minded children" in downstate Illinois. After serving in World War I, an experience that he found quite horrible and would haunt his art years later, Darger returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he would spend the rest of his years working janitorial jobs at hospitals and composing his multimedia masterpiece.
Continue reading: In The Realms Of The Unreal Review
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.