Photo by Tom Putnam marwencol

Village of the Dolls.

Saty and I just finished watching Village of the Dolls – a crazy little film about a man called Mark Hogancamp. If you haven’t seen this yet, go and find it right now! In the UK, it has the above daft title, but elsewhere in the world the film is known by the name Marwencol.

You can find out more about the documentary and Mark’s models and photography work here, but please don’t check out the site until you’ve seen the film – trust me, it’s better this way! If you’re shit at following instructions, then check this out, it is such a sweet sequence.
This film touches on some heavy issues – brutal violence, alcoholism, a man who couldn’t be who he wanted to be – but the most poignant thing is that someone (a New Yorker!) can ‘make’ for the sake of making, without any thought to how the outside world might perceive it! Maybe I’m a cynical North American, but I now find it shocking when people can produce work without thought to marketing or PRs or how it will look when you decide to run for President.
Also, despite the darker undercurrents, the film has some really hilarious moments – Mark’s gutted reaction to what Greenwich Village actually looks like pretty much mirrors everyone else who goes there looking for beatniks, drag queens and boys with ratty sweaters playing sweet melodies … only to find yoga mums pushing bazillion dollar strollers … with super-sized cup holders in which to stick their mega-mega-venti soy lattes.
Honestly, we haven’t been this excited since we found out about Henry Darger, another mind blowing ‘artist.’ And if you don’t know who that is … holy FUCK are you in for a treat!

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