Monday, January 23, 2012
Distribution Company: Independent Film Channel
Directors: Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel
Run time: 89 minutes
Seen on: Independent Film Channel; Comcast Baltimore 164, showing again on IFC on Tuesday 1/24 at 7:30 am and 1:45 pm, Available on Netflix DVD and Instant
Recommended: Unremarkable structure despite an interesting premise
Rotten Tomato Rating: 88%
"It is a time of unrest in the realm of Darkon as Bannor of Laconia seeks to bring Keldar, leader of the Mordomian Empire, before a War Crimes Tribunal.
Far below the surface of the realm, the dark elves grow eager to profit from the upheaval brought on by the conflict."
So begins "Darkon."
"Darkon" follows LARP-ers in Baltimore, Maryland. LARP stands for Live-Action Role Playing. (Think people dressed up, playing at battles with styrofoam swords.) The location of its subjects first drew me to this documentary. I was interested to see if I would recognize any of the locations. (I didn't, most of the locations were generic suburbia, soccer fields, and forests.)
I found the structure of the documentary to be unremarkable. It combined home intereviews with participants, battle footage from a hand-held camera, discussions between countries, and aerial shots. Many of the participants interviewed show a great affinity for their life in Darkon versus their everyday life. They found their everyday lives mundane and were unable to have the same confidence as their created character.
Overall, I found this a missable documentary. There was a conflict, but I did not care about the outcome. It gave the backstory of several characters, but I did not root for one to advance. I was not able to focus on it in one sitting, but rather small sections over the course of two days. You won't be missing anything by skipping this documentary.