Two siblings uncover quite a bit in their excavation of their late grandmother’s house following her death in 306 Hollywood.
Before I dive into this film, I have to admit that yes, I am a hoarder. It’s quite rare that I throw things out, including my several years worth of Entertainment Weekly magazine. I can admit to knowing that this is an unhealthy habit. The size of my apartment certainly does me no favors with items I bring home from film festivals.
A pair of siblings, Elan and Jonathan Bogarín, take to Annette Ontell’s house following her passing and make a film out of it. It’s a journey that somehow takes them to Rome of all locations. While most people would just take what they want to keep, a filmmaker brings a different eye to cleaning out the house. Because they inherited the house, they decide to make do with the items what they will. While in Rome, the duo meet with archeologist Jan Gadeyne. The result of this encounter is a knowledge that the house is now an archaeological site. Maybe not quite in the Indiana Jones sense of things.
The film is interspersed with archival footage of their grandmother, who the duo interviewed for some ten years until she died at the age of 93. This allows us to get to know who she is as a person outside of the objects she owned.
We learn about how their grandfather, Herman, was an accountant and their grandmother was a fashion designer. Being the daughter of a CPA myself, their grandparents held onto their tax information longer than necessary. There’s a fascinating segment that ties into the Rockefeller family.
The film’s title, much to my surprise, has nothing to do with Hollywood itself. Rather, it’s the address of their grandmother’s house in New Jersey! Regardless, it’s fascinating in how they translate the history on screen. Only a filmmaker could take cleaning out their grandparents’ house and turn it into quite the wild ride down memory lane.
It’s interesting to note that this film became the first-ever documentary selected for the NEXT program during Sundance. While it remains to be determined if this will pave the way for future documentaries, it’s a pretty cool feat to accomplish.
While their finds are quite stunning, 306 Hollywood blends narratives just a bit while showing how important it is to not hoard so much in later years.
DIRECTORS: Elan Bogarín and Jonathan Bogarín