Marwencol is such an incredible documentary. It's the story of Mark Hogancamp, a 40-something-ish regular dude who was randomly attacked outside of a bar by a gang of guys. They beat him up so bad that he was in a coma and almost died. When he recovered, he not only had to re-learn how to do everything, his memory was completely gone. So he had no idea who he was and what he had done in his life before the attack. It's really sad and strange to see this gentle lost soul try to figure out who he was by going through old photos and journals. It turns out he was a pretty decent illustrator. But that skill is now gone. What Mark has not lost is his imagination. And it's through his imagination that he creates Marwencol, a doll world in which all of the action figures represent people in his life. It evolves into a kind of therapy that helps him process and heal. Mark also embarks on a vast and prolific photodocumentary of Marwencol, but he does all of this for his own enjoyment and personal satisfaction. He's not trying to make art, but his photographs are eventually discovered. I found Mark's story so sad, but fascinating and uplifting. His obsession with the details of Marwencol is impressive and also kind of hilarious. If you are inspired by Mark, you can go to the Marwencol site and donate to the local craft store where he buys all of his supplies.
Hit So Hard is so awesome and inspiring. You must see it. It's also on Netflix 'Watch Instantly' (as are the docs in this blog series). It's about Patty Schemel, who is most widely known as the drummer for Courtney Love's band, Hole. In the doc, Patty tells the story of her life. Patty threw herself completely into drumming at a young age and kept at it despite the difficulties female drummers faced, even in the 1990's. It's fascinating to hear Patty's stories of her early success with Hole, her collaborations and friendship with Kurt Cobain, and her struggles with coming out and addiction. Patty is so instantly likable - she's immensely talented but also funny, authentic, and down-to-earth. It's truly shocking to hear how close to the edge addiction takes her. But fortunately she makes it out alive with her talent and spirit in tact, and quite a story to tell. Hit So Hard is a 2011 American documentary film directed by P. David Ebersole.
Oh-my-garsh! I love this documentary! It's on Netflix 'Watch Instantly' so you should definitely check it out. And it's not about killing flies either - so, I don't know why they gave it that title. It's about Shopsins restaurant in NYC and follows the daily work and musings of eccentric owner and head cook, Kenny Shopsin. I love it because it makes me feel like I'm in NYC. I also love watching and listening to Kenny work. His kitchen is old, run-down, and held together with all kinds of oddball homespun fixes. It's a refreshing break from the HGTV-ified universe where everyone has to have the latest, greatest, top-of-the-line oven in order to steam a vegetable. It's fascinating to watch Kenny cook. He's sloppy looking and just looks like he's slopping all these random ingredients together while he talks non-stop about random subjects. But anyone lucky enough to sit at one of his tables knows that this low-tech, sloppy dude is a culinary genius and creator of over 100 dishes on the menu, all of which he makes completely from scratch. I Like Killing Flies, made in 2004, was produced, directed, filmed, and edited by Matt Mahurin.
IT'S BEANS! Actually it's homemade baked bean casserole. I made it in the crock pot. I know it's not traditional St. Patrick's Day fare, but it's hearty, delicious, and also very economical - so I feel it embodies the Irish spirit. It's just navy beans, a meaty beef bone, onion, dry mustard, honey, vinegar, and tomato juice. Let me know if you want the recipe! ☺
The kitchen table is not where we eat. It's where I do my drawing, so it's always covered in art supplies, reference material, and stacks of various projects. This random arrangement of ruler, circles template, and magazine cutout caught the eye...