directed by Elan Bogarín & Jonathan Bogarín
Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Festival, runs April 26-May 6, 2018 at Toronto's Bloor Cinema. Visit the fest's official site for more details.
by Angelo Muredda Grief becomes an occasion for pontificating about the nature of memory and archives in 306 Hollywood, Elan and Jonathan Bogarín's surprisingly aloof portrait of their charming grandmother's trash palace of a home in the months and years after her death. Following an academic talking head's advice that "Physical evidence helps to preserve a memory"--and a less convincing authority's insistence that a dead person's soul lingers in their newly-vacated home for about eleven months after their death--the filmmakers take it upon themselves to turn their grandmother's house inside-out, the better to immortalize her through the spectral traces they log on camera. The Bogaríns, who appear onscreen in both archival and present-day footage and who take turns narrating the more essayistic stretches of the film, insist upon framing their project as a work of archaeology, library science, and grief work at various points. Too often, though, the result feels like a pair of talented visual and film artists' distant elevator pitch for a feature, a portfolio of their respective aesthetic inclinations and intellectual influences rather than a cohesive text with something pressing to say about loss and detritus.