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Home Movie (2000)

Ed Peden , Ben Skora , Chris Smith  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Home Movie + American Movie
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ed Peden, Ben Skora, Diana Peden, Linda Beech, Darlene Satrinano
  • Directors: Chris Smith
  • Producers: Barbara Laffey, Dominic Ferro, Gary Topolewski, Jeff Charney, John Shirley
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Merchant Ivory
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009XN2Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,949 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Home Movie" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Wild Bill's gator commercial clip
  • "Monsanto's House of the Future" promo (12 min.)
  • History of Kansas missile bases (8 min.)
  • Cat photo gallery
  • Linda Beech publicity stills
  • commercials
  • Liner notes by Mark Borchardt of "American Movie"

Editorial Reviews

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.

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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We LOVED this movie! August 20, 2003
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric American Homeowners August 13, 2002
In the spirit of the cable television rage on "extreme" homes, this light-hearted documentary profiles five homeowners with creative ideas on how a home should reflect it's owner's personality. From Ben Skora's high-tech electronic house, and another family's takeover of a former Atlas Missile site to the decidedly lo-tech beauty of a Hawaiian tree house and Louisiana houseboat, there is something for everyone. If this film is playing in your neighborhood go see it for a few laughs and a glimpse of the personalities that exist outside of the Malls, retail outlets, and cookie-cutter housing developments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're All A Little Quirky... January 13, 2006
My husband and I watched this movie for the first time last night. He always picks on me about bringing home "weird movies", though he actually seemed to enjoy this one along with me. We both agreed we liked the nuclear missile home the best, but would love to know and visit the Alligator guy as a friend.

I am fascinated with those that are just a bit "off". Not weird, not crazy... just those that live their life just doing their own thing no matter what anyone "normal" would think. These people are doing just that and happily ; proudly showing off their creations of "home".

I agree that this film was much too short to let us really get to know these homeowners, and there didn't really seem to be any obvious direction as to what unheard questions these people were answering.

Overall, I still enjoyed this movie very much. It makes me happy to see there are people who live their lives simply and happily in their own way. =c)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish this movie wasn't sooooooo short! May 8, 2004
By A Customer
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Food for thought in this engaging brief documentary covering four unusual homes and their owners. Recommended viewing; just a bit thin on substance and a bit made-for-TV. $18? It's a one hour show.
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