Fake flesh for fantasy
The secret world of doll collectors is out of the box
in Maureen Judge’s provocative documentary
World Broadcast Premiere | Saturday October 5, 2013
GLOBAL TV | 9 pm ET/PT
On a sunny day on a Pennsylvania Interstate, a pleasant middle-aged gentleman named David drives towards Hershey, Pa., with his beautiful travel partner, Bianca. An unremarkable outing, except that Bianca isn’t real. She’s a life-size, anatomically-correct “living doll,” made of skin-textured latex.
And David? He’s en route to the 5th Annual Doll Lovers Meet to tell all with 20 or so other literal “doll lovers.” A married man, whose camera-shy wife apparently has come to terms with the “other woman,” David is one of four compelling and unforgettable individuals profiled in Maureen Judge’s documentary Living Dolls.
Their motivations run the gamut from lasciviousness, to loneliness, to devotion to a bizarre esthetic vision. But they share a compulsion to live out a fantasy with representations of the human form collectively known as “dolls” – from Barbies, to sex toys, to sexually-active old-school robots.
“From my previous documentaries that focus on women and their families, I noticed many of my subjects collected dolls and that dolls played an important role in their lives,” says award winning filmmaker Maureen Judge. “In Living Dolls we see a deep and passionate connection between the collectors and their dolls, and how this relationship offers an outlet for the hidden side of their emotional lives.”
Living Dolls introduces us to individuals whose obsession with dolls mirrors their lives. For Mike – who is gay and lives with his life-partner and parents – his fascination with Barbie dolls is an outgrowth of his sexual identity. Both were forbidden secrets in his childhood, and both were later accepted by Mike’s mother (though not his father).
Debbie is a young British mom who finds herself alone, with children at school and a husband who’d come home from work and immediately dive into X-Box Live with online friends. She began to live a fantasy life with collectible Ellowyne fashion dolls that mirrored her moods and strained the family budget. “Whatever it was she wishes were different about her life, I wish she had it,” says her frustrated husband Colin.
And disheveled “robot collector” Michael, whose work has been featured in the NYC Museum of Sex and the Smithsonian, is perhaps the hardest to categorize. A quirky artist with a sink, both in disrepair and unreachable, he spends his time buying dolls, taking them apart and reassembling them as retro visions of robots.
His aim: to complete a stop-motion film about the sex lives of robots.
A production of Makin’ Movies Inc., Living Dolls is produced and directed by Maureen Judge and co-written by Judge and Martin Waxman. Directory of photography is Daniel Grant, editor is George Wright. Original soundtrack music is composed by Aaron Davis.
Produced by Makin’ Movies Inc. in association with Shaw Media and the assistance of the Shaw–Hot Docs Completion Fund and the assistance of the Canadian Media Fund, The Government of Ontario – Film & Video Tax Credit, the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit. Distributor is TVF International.