I’ve never really wanted a house. Whatever gene makes people crave white picket fences, stainless steel appliances and perfectly manicured lawns, I don’t have it. And OK, sure, there’s a little corner of my brain where I fantasize about the kind of built-in bookshelves that require a rolling ladder, but for the most part my dream house is just a safe place to sleep when I’m well and truly exhausted.
This movie, though. This movie made me think about home in a whole new way.
Home Movie is a documentary by Chris Smith (better known for his work on The Yes Men), it came out in 2000, and it features 5 interesting homes. Except that’s not quite right—it’s more than that. It’s a love song to people who choose to live differently, to carve (or weld, or hammer) a space in the world for their own peculiar hopes and passions.
The cast of characters includes a man who designed and built his own 50’s style House of the Future, complete with dancing robot butler. It includes a family that lives in abandoned missile silo, going for days without sunlight. It includes Linda Beech—my personal favorite—a former Japanese television star spending her golden years in a Hawaiian tree house.
Home Movie is 66 minutes long, which is kind of a weird length for a feature film, but exactly the right length to cheer you up after a horrible day. Are you having a horrible day today? Do you suspect that this day may turn out to be horrible? Go watch this movie right now!
PS—There are a lot of other movies with similar names. Don’t be fooled.