Contributor Mathew Kumar has been hard at work covering North America’s largest documentary film festival, Hot Docs, this week, and his first report is a review of the live action role-playing documentary Darkon.
When I was a child (collective sighs of the audience at the prospect of a personal anecdote) I had a book called ‘Once There Was a Knight’. I’m not sure it’s in print, but if you want to find it, you probably can. The story was some kind of perfectly harmless fluff for an elementary school mind, but the part that really captured my imagination was the included instructions on how to outfit yourself as a knight using ordinary household objects. Chain mail could be made out of the plastic rings used to hold together six packs; a mighty war hammer could be made by a cardboard kitchen roll tube, a thick sponge and some tape; and whole castles could be made using cardboard boxes. I was fascinated by this ability to turn the ordinary into the fantastic simply by having a little imagination, and Darkon is a look at a group of live action role-players, all adults, who attempt this transformation on a bi-weekly basis.