Home Movie

on May 03, 2002 by Annlee Ellingson
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Chris Smith, the documentary director of "American Job" and "American Movie," this time turns his eye towards home--that is, the strange places people have come to call home and how these places define them as human beings.

   There's Bill Tregle, who's settled down on a houseboat in the swamps of Louisiana. An alligator wrestler by profession, he entertains with gems like, "A houseboat without a deck is like pancakes without the syrup." Ben Skora's pad in Illinois is a '70s vision of the future, where everything is wired, even the rotating living room, so that "If the guests stay a little too long, they get the hint." In Kansas, Ed and Diana Pedan have remodeled a missile silo into an underground residence that can withstand a one-megaton blast within one mile of the property. In Bob Walker and Francis Mooney's home in California, they've redefined the "catwalk," building over 100 feet of scaffolding-like pathways throughout their place for their 11 cats. And elderly Linda Beech, who asks the forest permission before crossing a treacherous stream in her SUV, has constructed a tree house in a valley in the remotest part of Hawaii.

   But more than their unique residences, "Home Movie" is about the people who live in them, who have carved their own comfortable niche in the world and have been kind enough to share it. Directed by Chris Smith. Produced by Barbara Joy Laffey and Susanne Prissler. No distributor set. Documentary. Not yet rated. Running time: 60 min.

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