Over the weekend Tanya and I drove up to the Aspen Film Festival. We stayed overnight in Frisco and then in Glenwood Springs on the way back. It was a lot of fun and beautiful drive.

One film in particular I found really interesting is called Marwencol. It’s a documentary about A guy named Mark Hogancamp who got attacked and beaten by a bunch of punks at a bar. They beat him so bad he was in a coma for a while and ended up with brain damage. When he finally recovered from all this he still couldn’t drive or hold a full time job so ‘I guess’ as a form of therapy? (I’m not really sure why he started) but he started building a miniature town behind his house and populated it with GI Joe and Barbie dolls. He would act out different stories and shoot still photos of the action, almost like comic books. It all sounds crazy but it’s actually pretty amazing.

The whole movie really made me think about what it is to be an artist and why we do what we do.

When Mark started working on Marwencol it was just for himself, there was no real reason to do it, outside of his own personal ones. As the movie progresses he actually gets some attention from New York art galleries and you can really feel the struggle of this intensely person thing that he does being put on display for the whole world to see.

It’s a very interesting film and if you get a chance to see it I would defiantly do it.

See you next time
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JON said...

Thanks for the link on Marwencol... FASCINATING! I've been sharing it with everyone I know.

p.s. have you ever heard of Henry Darger?

It's in the same vein. Asks a lot of the same questions about artists, isolation, and obsession.

ChrisW said...

Hey Man just saw your comment at my blog. Glad you like it. Looks like you're too be a dad soon too. Take it from me one of the coolest things about having a wee one is getting him/her in on the act of making stuff. My son actually talks about "bringing the cars to life" when we're going to animate. Amazing!

Your project is looking exciting, I'll keep following it...

Vincent T├ętreault said...

Thanks for sharing that Jeff. It's really fascinating and i need to see that movie.

Manu said...

I'm really amazed and surprised at the same time by the work of Mark Hogancamp. So expressive and symbolic too....

A lot of artists practise as a kind of therapy, maybe to find the recognition they haven't obtained before from their family or other people.

I'd be curious to know how many of us want to have contacts with their former school or college mates for example, you surely know what I, but the interesting point for me is the moment when you come from an amatorish to a professional, I mean the moment when you are paid to practise your art. It changes a lot of things, and it becomes a job and not only a passion. Or no more a passion, because you find your pleasure differently. In the challenge for example. But this may be the moment you really feel better and don't need therapy any more, because you accomplish yourself and do who you are.

M-Flem-Jr said...

really interesting post Jeff, Looks like a great film and your trip sounds like it was a blast. Thanks for posting about Marwencol, I'll definitely check it out.

Jeff Lafferty said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.