A new documentary called “Subject” premieres theatrically today, November 3rd in NYC (IFC Center), Los Angeles (Laemmle Glendale) and at Chicago’s Music Box Theater on the November12th. “Subject” explores the life-altering experience of sharing one’s life on screen through key participants of acclaimed documentaries “The Staircase”, “Hoop Dreams”, “The Wolfpack”, “Capturing the Friedmans”, and “The Square”. These erstwhile documentary ‘stars’ reveal the highs and lows of their experiences as well as the everyday realities of having their lives put under a microscope. Also featuring commentary from such past FIlmwax guests from the doc world as Kirsten Johnson, Sam Pollard, and Thom Powers, the film unpacks vital issues around the ethics and responsibility inherent in documentary filmmaking. As tens of millions of people consume documentaries in an unprecedented ‘golden era,’ “Subject” urges audiences to consider the often profound impact on their participants. The film opens today, November 3rd in NYC at the IFC Center and at the Laemmle Glendale in Los Angeles. It will also have a theatrical run at Chicago’s Music Box Theater beginning November 12th. One of the co-directors of the film, Jennifer Tiexiera, and subjects of the film —who also serves as the film’s producer— Margie Ratliff of the doc “The Staircase” appear in this segment.
Filmmaker Kevin Duncan Wong has made a documentary about the homeless crisis in San Francisco. Many struggling individuals are, as a temporary solution, living in SRO’s (sing room occupancies) in various run down hotels. “Home Is a Hotel” is essential viewing. A composite portrait of life on the margins in the most expensive city in the country. Filmed over 5 years, this feature-length documentary looks at inequality in San Francisco through the lens of five residents as they fight to stay housed. The film features a mosaic of strangers bound together by their reliance on this system of Single Room Occupancy hotels to keep a roof over their heads and homelessness at bay. I’m joined by Kevin and one of his film’s subjects, Sylvester. “Home is a Hotel” will be available to see at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles DocuSlate.