Director Maureen referee takes a look in ~ the sometimes weird, sometimes artful and also sometimes sad subculture that doll collecting in the documentary Living Dolls.

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Many of united state abandon ours dolls, boxing increase our G.I. Joes and Barbies and also banishing them come the basement when we fight a certain age and also lose interest in lock or find it is no much longer socially agree to play through dolls.


But various other people develop a fascination through the meaningless objects that continues into adulthood together we watch in Living Dolls. An hour-long variation of the feature-length documentary, which freshly screened at the Austin film Festival, premieres on logo design TV Monday, November 4.

“I think dolls room really interesting due to the fact that they look prefer us, and also you deserve to project your dreams on them, your wants, her desires, her losses, every little thing they are, and the dolls deserve to mirror lock back,” says Living Dolls director Maureen Judge, who had no problem finding adults passionate to share your love that dolls through her.

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But spreading Living Dolls wasn’t around locating typical collectors through curio cabinets full of madame Alexanders. Judge wanted to examine people who check out their dolls as much much more than mere collectibles and also have intense relationships–or at the very least what they believe to it is in relationships–with them. “To me, it was finding out why they room in a partnership with this collection and how it affects your relationships v other person beings,” judge says.


Ultimately, referee profiles four human being in the TV cut of Living Dolls (there are five subjects in the feature-length version) who space in deep v their dolls. Amongst the human being featured is David Hockey, a middle-aged guy who collection life-sized real Dolls, which room made to look and also function, in all the an essential physical respects, like real women. The tools roughly in his sports auto with his favorite, Bianca, that is somewhat of a celebrity–she to be one of four dolls featured in the movie Lars and the real Girl, and he likes to do photo shoots with her. “Dolls do him young,” Judge claims of Hockey’s fixation on his faux women. “I think being surrounding by what the feels is every one of this beauty offers him a feeling of youthfulness.”

Hockey, who is married, has actually sex v his dolls. Bianca to be actually created as a prop for Lars and the actual Girl, and therefore, wasn’t made v a vagina, therefore Hockey brought her back to the manufacturer to have one, um, inserted.

Brit Debbie Barnes has a an ext innocent and also childlike relationship with she dolls. The young wife and also mother collects Ellowyne fashion dolls and also delights in buying and also making garments for them. She began ordering Ellowynes online as soon as she and her husband relocated away indigenous family and friends. She spends a most money on her obsession, and also it is crippling her family’s finances. The made she even more interesting come Judge due to the fact that Barnes’s story isn’t just about dolls, that is also about the hazards of virtual consumerism.


In part ways, Debbie has actually never get an impression up, and also neither has Mike Meireles, who can’t get enough of Barbie and is checked out venturing away from home–he and his companion live rent-free v Meireles’s mother–to a Barbie convention in Los Angeles. Meireles accumulated Barbies together a tiny boy yet hid lock away because he didn’t desire anyone to know. As soon as he ultimately came out as a gay man, his Barbies came out of the closet, too.

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Elsewhere, Michael Sullivan aka RoboMike does disastrous things to Barbies, gouging the end their eyes and cutting off their hair, despite it is all in the name of art. The brand-new York City visual results artist, who has worked on movies such as Star Trek V: The final Frontier, has actually spent year transforming the plastic figures–and other varieties of dolls, too–into robot dolls because that the epic robot doll sex movie he has actually been working on for years. Titled The Sex Life of Robots, parts of the stop-motion man film have been screened in ~ the Museum of Sex. “Michael is one amazing, excellent artist,” referee says, noting the she wanted to encompass him in the film due to the fact that his relationship with dolls is much from personal. “For him, they’re an armature. They’re a structure on i beg your pardon to make his robots.”

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While we gain to recognize the doll collectors, Living Dolls likewise introduces us to their loved ones, consisting of Sullivan’s long-time girlfriend, that doesn’t in reality live through him; Barnes’s mother and also husband; and Meireles’s mother and partner. Hockey’s wife invited Judge and also her crew right into her home however did not desire to show up in the film. “I tried to as lot as i could, to display them love by other people, since I think it’s really crucial for us to understand that castle are full people,” judge says. “If they’re just isolated and not checked out in the larger world, it’s not basic for united state to watch that they have actually layers, and they operation deep, and also they have real emotions.”


The director didn’t want to trivialize her subjects, and also she tried not to cast judgment on anyone. “When I’m filming, I just sort that hop ~ above the train,” she says. “I just enter their world, and I love it.”

Judge isn’t a doll collector, but she remembers two dolls from her childhood with an excellent fondness. “One was simply a baby doll favor every other girl had, and I might bottle feed her and adjust her diapers. I named her Elizabeth, my center name,” judge says. “And climate I had a nun doll. She was a gift from my grandmother, and also she had actually been mine mother’s doll. I was carried up Catholic, and also every Sunday we had actually to walk to church, and also I would see the nuns sitting over there in these fabulous ‘costumes.’ for this reason I just love this doll since of she costume, i m sorry is the nun’s habit. I wasn’t at that suggest making the connection in between their lives and their habit or that they were. I just wanted to wear exotic costumes.”

Judge still has the nun doll, despite it isn’t top top display. She keeps that in a trunk in she basement.