on marwencol

The other night I went to see Marwencol at the GFT – and it was just as beautiful and wonderful and weird as I’d hoped it would be. More so even. Mark Hogancamp was beaten up outside a bar – left severely brain damaged and had to learn to walk,talk and write again. He couldn’t really remember who he was – so he build this 1/6th scale town called Marcenwol as therapy. Marcenwol is a second world war town in Belgium populated entirely by beautiful woman. Hogie (Mark’s alter ego) crash lands outside the city – and goes on to make it his home, finding love and opening his own cat fight bar. Mark uses the town to create all these stories and take pictures of them. The town has a crazy amount of detail and the characters each have intense back stories. The happenings of Marcenwol are romantic,horrific,fantastical (with a touch of sci fi), comedy and horror. Mark obviously has a lot invested in the town – and the film followed his decision to allow it to be displayed in an art gallery. Looking at it you can’t really imagine it anywhere else but it’s his therapy – and his decision to share such an intensely personal part of himself with strangers was brave and pretty wonderful.My favourite character in Marcenwol is Deja the belgian witch (the lass with the blue hair.) She has magic gloves and a time machine. I swear if you ever get the chance to see Marcenwol- do. It’s magical. Till then you can see more pictures at Marcenwol.com

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