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Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 06/02/2018

Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s  beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!

Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s touching and beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!

Here is the interview I conducted with Jonathan and Elan Bogarin-- the brother and sister directors who produced 306 Hollywood.  

Nigrin:  Your beautiful and touching film 306 Hollywood turns the documentary format on its head, where you embark on a magical-realist journey that transforms your grandmother’s charmingly cluttered New Jersey home into a visually exquisite ruin. Please tell us more about your film and why you decided to make it? 

Bogarins:  We wanted to expand the documentary form by finding new ways to talk about complex real-life issues. Specifically, we borrowed the languages of myth and fantasy to talk about the experience of losing a loved one because myth is the way that human beings have talked about major life transitions throughout history. 



 
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Our particular story focuses on what remains of someone after they die, so we also explore what objects from the past can reveal. Our grandmother's house transforms into an archaeological site and we visit archives, libraries, and ancient Rome to show the ways in which ordinary people's stories play an important role in history. It has been amazing to hear audience reactions because so many other people see their stories in our film.

Nigrin:  Did you get the sense that you were able to bring your grandmother back to life by making this film? 

Bogarins:  Losing someone is one of the great mysteries of life. The person has disappeared but they are never fully gone. Excavating our grandma's house added to the mystery because we learned things about her that we didn't know or didn't understand when she was alive.

Nigrin:  Was there really a portal back to Rome in your grandmother’s home?  

Bogarins:  Going through your loved ones' stuff is like being transported back in time. It is a unique opportunity to imagine the times you haven't lived through and to relive the ones you have. Excavating our grandmother's house revealed 100 years of history which included memories I had of living in Rome where 3,000 years are visible all at once. So yes, the portal was real.

Nigrin:  The soundtrack to your film is very moving and impressive as well. Tell us more about it.  

Bogarins:  One of our main goals in the film was to make the ordinary feel extraordinary. To do that we had to create an immersive cinematic style and music was an essential element. Our composer Troy Herion designed an orchestral score that helps define the major themes of the film and shapes the dramatic arc. He drew inspiration from sources as varied as classical baroque music, 50s barbershop quartets, and 70s funk to give the audience the sense that they are traveling through time. Since we worked in such close collaboration we would often re-edit scenes once the score was complete so that we could really draw out each character and emotion -- often going from funny to sad, to dreamlike in a single scene.

Nigrin:  I loved the way you organized the various toothbrushs and other objects into patterned art works in the film. Was that something that was pre-planned?

Bogarins:  The whole film was a journey and we always looked for visual imagery that would bring our ideas to life. Since archaeology and cataloguing was a big theme in our film, we did a lot of research about how people have organized objects throughout the years. This led us to libraries, archives and one of our biggest influences: museums. The patterned artworks made up of our grandma's stuff were inspired by museum displays and the idea only came to us when we got really deep into digging through her stuff.

Nigrin:  Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to our readers?



 
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Bogarins:  We believe that it's not just what story you tell but how you choose to tell it. We are a sister-brother, Venezuelan, Jewish filmmaking team both of whom were visual artists before we made movies. We wanted to create a language for 306 Hollywood that was as broad and inclusive as our backgrounds. Our main character also happens to be a 93 year old woman -- not exactly the most common protagonist for a feature film -- who we wanted to present as an authority on life, death, sex, family, money, fashion, and love. Hopefully we will continue to see diverse stories told in exciting new ways.

*******************************************************************************

306 Hollywood 
will be preceded by two lovely short films. Here is the skinny of this screening:

Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s  beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!

Tell Me Something 
-Olivia Treynor (San Francisco, California A short film about a recurring dream. 2018; 3 min. 

Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s  beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!

Everything is Upstream - Martin Ponferrada (Sydney, Australia)  
In this unique film, that combines animation and documentary, Buddhist monks from around the world offer vivid descriptions of their dreams, which are then brought to life through animated sequences. 2018; 10 min. 

Jonathan and Elan Bogarin’s  beautiful documentary 306 Hollywood screens at the New Jersey International Film Festival this Sunday, June 3, 2018!

306 Hollywood - 
Elan and Jonathan Bogarín (New York, New York)  When siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarín lost their beloved grandmother, they faced a profound question: what should they do with all the possessions, knick-knacks, papers, mementoes, clothing, and furniture that their grandmother left behind?   Turning the documentary format on its head, the Bogaríns embark on a magical-realist journey that transforms their grandmother’s charmingly cluttered New Jersey home into a visually exquisite ruin where tchotchkes become artifacts, and where descendants become archaeologists. With help from physicists, curators, and archivists, the Bogarins excavate the extraordinary universe that existed in one family home.93 min, 2018. With a Q+A Session by Directors Elan Bogarin and Jonathan Bogarín!

Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482; 
www.njfilmfest.com

Al Nigrin is a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University.  In addition, he is the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc., which presents the Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival, the New Jersey International Film Festival and the United States Super 8mm Film + Digital Video Festival.

 




Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.



 
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