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Jim Klinge
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Category Archive: ‘Documentary Film’

Housing Policy

The C.A.R. sent out this paper that reviews the current housing dilemma, which boils down to having to improve zoning regulations to facilitate more/better infill projects because the more-mature cities are out of land for the most part. She also included this:

However, the paper also offers evidence that cities can use their control over the development process to limit access to housing, sometimes in problematic ways. The finding that less housing is built in cities with both higher homeownership rates and White populations is sadly consistent with existing research on NIMBY opposition to local housing development (Lewis & Baldassare, 2010; Scally & Tighe, 2015; Whittemore & BenDor, 2018). These studies examined opposition to building multifamily or affordable housing; it is striking that in this study cities with more homeowners and larger white populations had less single-family development. This finding serves as yet another warning that racial exclusion from White communities continues to limit housing opportunities for people of color.

Link to Full Report

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Documentary Film, Ideas/Solutions, Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor, Local Government, Market Conditions, NIMBY | 7 comments

The Documentary-Film Premiere

The documentary-film premiere went great on Saturday at Cinepolis, where we had about 80 people view the movie – and they liked it! You’ll see it on iTunes on June 4th – here is a partial description from the website

The United States’ postwar housing policy created the world’s largest middle class. It also set America on two divergent paths — one of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation and endless booms and busts, and the other in systematically defunded, segregated communities, where “the American dream” feels hopelessly out of reach.

Owned is a fever dream vision into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings and its unbridled commoditization, the film exposes a foundational story that few Americans understand as their own.

In 2008, the US housing market became the epicenter of an unprecedented global economic collapse. In the years since, protests in cities like Baltimore have highlighted the stark racial disparities that define many American cities. The crash of suburbia and urban unrest are not unrelated — they are two sides of the same coin, two divergent paths set in motion by the United States’ post-war housing policy.

Posted by on Mar 25, 2019 in Bubbleinfo TV, Documentary Film, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Documentary Film, Day One

Giorgio, Guy, and I first got together in June, 2013, and this is my first video of the process. We spent several days together over the last few years, so I think he’s got enough in the can to do another one – hopefully it will all see the light of day at some point!

He did flip his NYC co-op and used the money to make this film, and has since gotten married and moved to Hollywood.  We’ll be hearing more from Giorgio!

Here’s what I was talking about in this video – we don’t have the same turnover:

Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Bubbleinfo TV, Documentary Film, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Doc Film San Diego Premiere!


The San Diego premiere of Owned, A Tale of Two Americas is scheduled for a matinee showing on Saturday, March 23rd at the La Costa Cinepolis!

The producer, Giorgio Angelini, will be here and we’ll do a Q&A session after the film.  I’m hoping to talk him into bringing an outakes/blooper reel too.  There will also be a reception/party afterwards onsite. Our two daughters, Kayla and Natalie will also attend!

This will be a private event, with no tickets sold.  Seating is limited.

If you’d like to come, email Donna at

Here is a link to previous blog posts and the five-year history of the project:

Link to Previous Blog Posts

Here is the trailer:

Posted by on Feb 25, 2019 in About Kayla, About the author, Bubbleinfo TV, Documentary Film, Jim's Take on the Market, Klinge Realty | 4 comments

Giorgio’s Documentary Film

Giorgio got a big publicity boost for the documentary film last week when he was featured on the Chris Hayes podcast.  I hate to tease the crap out of it – the film will be released at some point, I promise.  But in this 50-min podcast he lays the whole thing out:

He wrote this article about it too – an excerpt:

In May 2010, in the depths of the housing crisis, I was awarded a grant to photograph a collection of abandoned developments Inland Empire, California. With the mortgage market at a standstill and stocks creeping up from record lows, it seemed there weren’t many buyers for these brand new 5,000 square foot homes.

I rented a car for $12 a day and drove through an endless maze of freshly packed asphalt roads that wound their way through burnt down orange groves, making room for these half-built totems to a globalized housing market gone awry. On many streets, the eery quiet was interrupted only by Tyvek wrap flapping in the wind. Everything around me seemed to be slowly succumbing to the entropy of the brutal desert conditions, and I felt an overwhelming sense of alienation. What the hell had we built here?

At the top of this mountain pass, I came upon an empty home which had perhaps the best view of the entire development. Perched at the edge of the mountain face, overlooking Lake Matthew and miles of vast desert land, the only window facing this awe-inspiring, million-dollar view was a small bathroom window just above the attached garage. It was a profound moment, as this image has become emblematic to me of the utter lack of human intentionality that has overtaken home development in America today.

Simply put, the American single-family home has become a globally traded commodity, with no mission other than to be sold. Defining a home’s value has become increasing tied to a narrow set of assumptions (as are most commodities). And, overwhelmingly, that value is driven by size (price per square foot). But a home’s value should be a much more complex calculation. One that takes not just size into account, but also accounts for its lasting cultural and social impact.

Read full article here:

Link to NBC News

I think this clip got left on the cutting-room floor:

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in Bubbleinfo TV, Documentary Film, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Yesterday, we had the west coast premiere of Giorgio’s documentary film, ‘Owned: A Tale of Two Americas’ at the SF Doc Fest.  Here are tidbits:

For those in the Bay Area, it is playing again at the Roxie on Wednesday night at 9:30pm, and will be at other film festivals too.  Giorgio is hoping to have the film picked up by Netflix or similar entity, and possibly explore a series where he breaks out each piece of the film for further discovery.

The film turned out differently than expected. When Giorgio first started the project, he planned to document how suburbia fared during the mortgage crisis – that’s how I got involved. But as the filming progressed, the subject of the film turned dramatically.

An excerpt from this review:

In Owned, the bigger story revolves around a contrarian interpretation of the usually unassailable notion that home ownership is an essential element of the American dream.

“What the film is trying to say is that it’s this double-edged sword,” Angelini says. “Owning a home is great and it provides security, and if you do it the right way it builds strong communities. It dictates where you go to school and your propensity to move up socioeconomically. But at the same time, if you let capital interests invade this utopian ideal and run amok, it can quickly become commoditized to a point that it becomes dangerous for society.”

Through the stark sights of abandoned construction projects in sweeping vistas, Angelini posits that the housing industry is an insatiable beast that subsists on the back of an ultimately self-crippling economic culture.

“The idea of home had been reduced to the most efficient capitalistic desires,” Angelini says. “Instead of bushels of oranges, they decided the best land use was a collection of air-conditioned square feet. There was lack of human intention, where you could almost feel these [markets] printing out this landscape of homes.”

Owned is also a tale of two Americas. In the five years he spent making the film, Angelini expanded his view into other planned development communities and ran headlong into how racial and economic segregation is inextricably linked to middle-class suburbia after World War II.

“The original idea behind the film was rooted in the relationship between design and commoditization,” Angelini says. “It became very clear that I couldn’t tell that story without telling the other side.”

The film goes to hollowed-out neighborhoods in Baltimore to locate the contemporary effects of decades of discriminatory housing practices and policies.

“White flight didn’t happen by accident,” Angelini says. “It wasn’t a self-selecting, albeit racist, situation. It was very much encouraged by federal laws that were interpreted on the local level in particularly bad ways.”

Other video excerpts here – hopefully we’ll have a local showing before long:

Posted by on Jun 10, 2018 in About Kayla, About the author, Documentary Film, Jim's Take on the Market, Special Events | 4 comments