House: After Five Years of Living

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

Here they go again, stumbling onto a primordial, fundamental, infinitely repeatable method. Photographs! Make a kind of slide show, of your native surroundings especially, or the time you skipped class and went for a walk, or pretty well anything you can think of. What’s great is that this idea is completely accessible, democratic, universal. We could all do it. We all should!

As for these particular photographs, they are really carefully composed, really artful and joyful. And the things they record! This is an exquisite assembly of amazing objects, placed just so in their own space, and in the film too. Did I say democratic and infinitely repeatable? Your version of this film may not quite show the same set of artistic chops that these folks have. You might not have their budget! Plus, you probably don’t have a distinguished Hollywood composer—Elmer Bernstein, right at the top of his game—writing a beautiful chamber score for you.

Doesn’t matter! The art behind the Eames’ seeming artlessness only makes this film more impressive. And we should take a whack at it anyway. I note that the film’s precipitous pace inhibits our (proper) appreciation of each individual cool thing, but the cumulative effect is an equally virtuous alternative. There is beauty, all around! And as for appreciation, there’s always the museum, and the fact, to which this film alerts you, that you’ve got the makings of one in you very own home.