Confessions of a Superhero


A more beautiful documentary you’re unlikely to find—Matt Ogens has composed every scene as though it could be freeze-framed and hung on a wall. But beneath its beauty is the kind of ugly truth about Hollywood Boulevard pan-handlers—struggling actors and daydream believers—who dress up in shabby blockbuster attire, hoping to collect tourists’ spare change in exchange for a gag Polaroid. Ogens focuses on a low-rent Justice League: Superman fetishist Chris Dennis, Batman rage-aholic Max Allen, small-town prom queen turned Wonder Woman Jennifer Gehrt, and a homeless Hulk named Joe McQueen. Ogens treats them with considerable kindness, so what could have been a condescending descent into bottom-feeding turns into a loving, often heartbreaking portrait of decent people trying to scrape by. Dennis emerges as the star as he battles for truth, justice, and the American way on his own little piece of real estate, where evildoers smoking cigarettes in Wolverine costumes threaten the enterprise. By the time he meets up with Margot Kidder at a costume contest, you’ll believe the man can fly.