Review: Home Movie

The pitch must have read like a discarded House Beautiful spread.

Home Movie

The pitch must have read like a discarded House Beautiful spread. A New Age family in Topeka, Kansas build their home inside a missile silo last used by the government during John F. Kennedy’s administration. Cat-lovers Bob Walker and Francis Mooney turn their home into a color-coordinated feline playground. Ben Skora makes “The Jestsons” possible with his kitschy home in suburban Chicago—a press of a button operates everything from soap dispensers and toilets to vanity tables and lounge chairs. Alligator keeper Bill Tregle finds peace of mind in his bayou houseboat. Linda Beech, a cult Japanese TV personality, lives in a treehouse (hydroelectricity courtesy of a neighboring waterfall) in one of the most remote regions in Hawaii. Chris Smith’s latest piece of eccentric Americana takes a peek inside these five quirky abodes and reveals how architecture is a mirror-reflection of the soul. For Beech, luxury lies not in money but in the abundance of flowing water. If American Movie was in any way contemptuous, Home Movie dares us to question the happiness Smith’s quirky subjects. The message is both simple and humbling: the home should soothe the soul. Home Movie will be presented with a special bonus short film titled Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Videotaped just before a 1986 Judas Priest concert, this cultural relic may be overtly disdainful though it may make some ‘80s survivors glad they were into Madonna rather than Metallica.

 Cast: Bill Tregle, Ben Skora, Darlene Satrinano, Ed Peden, Bob Walker, Francis Mooney, Linda Beech  Director: Chris Smith  Distributor: Cowboy Pictures  Running Time: 65 min  Rating: NR  Year: 2002  Buy: Video

Ed Gonzalez

Ed Gonzalez is the co-founder of Slant Magazine. His writing has also appeared in The Village Voice and The Los Angeles Times. He’s a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, the Critics Choice Association, and the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association.

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