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Camp Hollywood2004

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  • 3.6
CAMP HOLLYWOOD, a feature documentary about the residents of a legendary Hollywood hotel. Seen through the eyes of a Canadian comic who's come out to L.A. for the first time, CAMP HOLLYWOOD is an intimate portrait of the actors, musicians and other transients he meets during his two-month stay.

Member Reviews (2)

top reviewer

The opening interview with subject David, a fired school teacher who moved to Hollyw0od to pursue an acting career, is equal parts hopeful and sad. When asked by the documentarian what he would do if he were to make a movie about the eccentric Hollywood hotel, he goes into the dreams of the residents and how hope keeps them alive through thick and then. A contemplative expression grows over his face and he takes a sip from his flask. We later learn that David starts consumes a pint of whiskey every single day -- and begins doing so at an early hour.

This template fits just about ever tenant at the motel filled with aspiring actors living their day to day lives with each other, each of them biding their time as they chase their dreams. It's a great pastiche of subjects -- some more desperate than others, some more honest than other, some more realistic about the Hollywood dream, and some that are just plain delusional. The amateur production techniques are overshadowed by the heart and narration instilled in Steve Markle's honest narration and observations. He's got great access to the subjects who are willing to bare all, making the film feel like it's being authentically crafted from within.

Despite this honesty, the film neglects to really challenge some of the more delusional subjects and the novice approach wears down on its already meager running time. Perhaps the most glaring criticism can be directed at the filmmaker's excessive and poor music cues.

All in all, CAMP HOLLYWOOD dives directly into the lives of those who most wouldn't give a second glance when walking down Hollywood boulevard. And in between the constant murmurs of "this could be my next big break" and "anything's possible in Hollywood," we are left with a very important question to ponder: How long should an artist try before giving up?

1 member likes this review

Great documentary with memorable folks, genuine struggles, and great insight. Best of its kind in ultra-low budget filmmaking, and accomplished with elegant simplicity.