[box cover]

Home Movie

Food, water, and shelter may be the primal needs, but in modern times, where one rests one's head has becomes its own art form. The thesis of Chris Smith's 2001 documentary Home Movie — as is noted in its prologue — is that homes becomes their owners' autobiographies. The film then follows five homeowners who take this idea to its most extreme: Bill Tregle lives on a houseboat that can bunk twelve, and he works with his father on a crocodile farm; Ben Skor's home has been designed like a circa 1950 "Home of the Future" where everything is wired electronically, even his chairs; Ed and Diana Pedan live in an old missile silo they've turned into something of a hippie homestead; Bob Walker and Francis Mooney live in a house perfectly designed for their numerous cats; and Linda Beech lives in a treehouse in a remote part of Hawaii. As shown in the supplements, the film seems born of commercials Smith made for homestore.com after his critical hit with 2000's American Movie, and that may explain why the picture meanders (even during its scant 65-min. running-time) and seems to lose its thesis at points. That said, the movie works and is fascinating to watch — it celebrates the spirit of the American eccentric, who at first may appear a bit daft (and some of the participants have what might termed "odd spiritual beliefs"), but the project never veers into parody and delivers fascinating, thoughtful people who live their own way and do so for good reasons. Home Vision Entertainment's DVD presents Home Movie in full-frame (1.33:1) with monaural DD 2.0 audio. Extras consist of a commercial for Louisiana featuring one of Tregle's alligators, a 12-min. promo on electric houses (tying into Skora's home) called "Monsanto's Electronic House of the Future," the five homestore.com commercials for each house, a cat photo gallery (from Walker and Mooney's collection), and Linda Beech's publicity stills from when she was a star on Japanese television. Also included are liner notes by Mark Borchard, star of American Movie. Keep-case.
—DSH



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