Friday, 23 April 2010

[332] Confessions of a Superhero (2007) Review

I won't shoot my mouth off, I'll just say that Confessions of a Superhero struck a cord with me.

Documentary film director Matt Ogens' Confessions Of A Superhero is a remarkable piece of work, taking under its gaze the community of wannabe actors and odd kooks that dress up as movie stars, classic characters and superheroes, and wander along Hollywood Boulevard, trading photographs with passers-by for tips. It is a subculture that treads the line between legitimate tourist trap and begging, but a strange code of conduct keeps most of them on the good side of the tolerant local law enforcement.

The film focuses on four such caped street entertainers - a Superman (Christopher Dennis), a Batman (Maxwell Allen), a Wonder Woman (Jennifer Wenger) and an Incredible Hulk (Joseph McQueen) - and takes a look at their lives through candid footage of their daily routines, and long talking head interviews.

While some of the situations are, in essence, comic (such as the Batman impersonator having both a dark past and anger issues), the film treats its subjects with a certain pathos, an intimacy that treads the line between respect and voyeurism with often brutal frankness.

They are not scrutinised for laughs. They instead become a warped refraction of our dreams, be they the ambition to be a movie star, or the fantasy and obsession of pop culture.

When Superman stands in his apartment, which has become his own geeky fortress, stuffed with memorabilia, toys, comics and posters wallpapering each room, he becomes a symbol for the ageing obsessive, investing time and endless energy into their chosen hobby.

Read the full article here.

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