About the film

Charlie Parker and Benny Goodman hung out with him. Philip Glass lived with him, Janis Joplin covered his music, Allen Ginsberg stuck it on his fridge, Diane Arbus took his picture and Andy Warhol’s mother designed one of his album covers. Johnny Carson interviewed him, Lenny Bruce shared the bill, Phillip Starck named a building after him, Elvis Costello brought him to London and fashion designers have created entire collections around his look.

For over 30 years, one of the most sought out and recognizable figures in New York City was Louis Hardin, Jr., a towering Midwesterner, who stood day and night on Sixth Avenue and 54th Street, dressed as a Viking, selling poetry and playing homemade instruments. Blind and handsome, he called himself Moondog. 

For the first time on film, THE VIKING OF SIXTH AVENUE will tell the story behind one of the most fascinating personalities of the 20th century, whose life was an inspirational, outrageous adventure. Born in Kansas the son of a preacher, Louis Hardin lost his eyesight at sixteen and studied music at the Iowa School for the Blind.  He makes his way to New York in 1943 and over the next three decades reinvents himself as Moondog, and perfects the unforgettable persona and innovative musical style that will make him famous. Moondog's journey takes him from farm boy to street icon to respected composer, honored by top musicians and European royalty.

THE VIKING OF SIXTH AVENUE looks at what drew so many to Moondog, during his lifetime and to this day. In doing so, it taps into broader universal themes about art, success, fame and what it means to live a truly original life.

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CREDITS:

In production (2017) with Hark Pictures

Director:
HOLLY ELSON

Producers:
LORI CHEATLE,    
HOLLY ELSON

Executive Producers: JOHN BATTSEK,
NICOLE STOTT  
Passion Pictures