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Home Movie

Ed Peden , Ben Skora , Chris Smith    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product Details


Product Description

Amazon.ca

In the tradition of Errol Morris's Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control, Chris Smith's documentary Home Movie offers several short portraits of real-life, far-out folks. This particular group of rule-breakers has in common the unusual dwellings they've chosen to call home. Meet the burly fellow with a Cajun accent living happily on a floating shack in Lousiana; the white-haired inventor in Illinois who's created a Jetsons-style electronic home; a Kansas couple who've turned a missile silo into a hippie haven; a California duo who give new meaning to the phrase Cat Fancy; and an aging cult film star who has retreated to a tree house in the jungles of Hawaii.

Smith's previous documentary, American Movie, succeeds because he takes his time introducing us to his subject. Over the course of that film the audience moves from laughing at the eccentricities of a lower-than-low-budget horror moviemaker to cheering him on. In Home Movie, however, the crowd of subjects--intriguing though it may be--is simply too large for us to grow terribly attached to any of them. Smith's fondness for each homeowner shines through, but we aren't given enough time to share his affection. It's as if just when we're getting to know our new neighbors they head back inside and close the door. --Brangien Davis

Product Description

Home Movie is Chris Smith’s loving look at five extraordinary homes and the charming, bizarre people who inhabit them. Smith (American Movie) interweaves their stories in a way that makes the audience think about the meaning of home and the place of the individual in society. Smith delights in the eccentricities of these unique characters in much the same way that he did in American Movie, and connects their stories into a mosaic of American ingenuity and architectural possibility. Cajun Bill Tregle instructs us on the "do's and don'ts" of alligator upkeep from his bayou houseboat. Ben Skora's electronic home in suburban Chicago, where even the most mundane household items take on a life of their own. Bob Walker and Frances Mooney's cats are given the ultimate playground in America, a creation of rat effigies and cat freeways. Japanese cult actress Linda Beech takes us into her "tree house" nestled in the Hawaiian rain forest with water cascading around her. A missile silo near Topeka, Kansas becomes a New Age refuge for a very soft-spoken couple.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish this movie wasn't sooooooo short! May 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I really loved parts of this movie alot. Especially the Gator Guy, the Cat Freaks, and the Future Guy. However, an hour dedicated to five diffrent homes and their owners is not enough. American Movie is one of my all time favorite films .. this film gave me a very short Chris Smith fix. If this film was an hour or more longer or if it was just focused on my 3 favorite homes/owners I would have bumped up my rating to a 4 and possibly even a 5.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ...and about the Judas Priest documentary May 5 2004
Format:DVD
The Judas Priest documentary the other reviewer mentioned is Heavy Metal Parking Lot by Jeff Krulik. It's not available on Amazon, or any mass market vendor, unfortunately, but you can read about it, and about his other films, at his website. (Google 'Krulik') I recommend the 'Krulik and Friends' compilation tape, if you can find it. Both Chris Smith films and Krulik's films are documentaries with offbeat humor and a collection of oddball people as subjects, which are treated with love in the final analysis, though you may laugh AT them at first (like Mark and Mike in American Movie). People who enjoy one would likely enjoy the other, I think.
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2.0 out of 5 stars NO effort put into this doc. Feb. 9 2004
Format:DVD
Having watched Chris Smith's AMERICAN MOVIE I was an instant fan of this guys work, The way he really spent time with the Borchardt's and how he caputured the families love and gripes with each other made me really connect and feel for them.
so when this documentry on people who live in weird homes came out on DVD I was more than excited to watch it. I couldn't have been more disapointed in what I saw. The five people he interviewed were really not that far off base, meaning they where somewhat normal, and there houses, though very different than what you or I probably grew up in weren't all that interesting nor were the houses totally out in the bizaro world.
I was also disapointed in the lack of time Chris spent with them. Unless these people wore the same exact thing everyday Chris only spent one day at each house and we the viewer hardly gets to know or connect with them, espicially how this documentry was set up weaving in and out of each story in five minute increments. The documentry was only 65 minutes long and to have 5 different houses to work with, there was a lot of potential for something really special. Chris showed he put very litte effort in this project.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but.... Dec 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I saw this in the theater when it was released and thought it was great. But to my suprise the real treat came at the end of the movie when after the final credits, rolled a short 30 minute or so documentary style film done outside the parking lot of a Judas Priest concert back in the early -mid 80s! I never laughed so hard in my entire life! It had the whole theater up in roars! I'm a bit dissapointed they didnt include this in the DVD. Hopefully, this will be released in the future. At least as a special feature!
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5.0 out of 5 stars We LOVED this movie! Aug. 20 2003
Format:DVD
My wife and I saw this film by chance in a independent theater in Seattle. The whole theater was laughing, and I must say that it was one of the most charming movies we've ever seen. Now, we're avid fans of Chris Smith, and are awaiting his next film.
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