In the City of Angels, Skid Row covers 50 square blocks. This rather scattershot documentary introduces us to the residents of the Madison Hotel ($8.20 a night): drunks, drug addicts, the walking wounded. Charles Bukowski's w(h)iney voice-over and music by Tom Waits, Coltrane, et al, threaten to romanticise the film, and at times it does feel like an old Disney travelogue gone badly off course, but gradually the lives of these people take over. Billy hasn't left the fifth floor in two months. He pays Adam to run his errands. Adam, he explains, can't talk - lung cancer - can't read or write, he's 'in a world of trouble'. They all are.
Christine Choy, Renee Tajima