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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

42 Story House (review)

Countless filmmakers are making a go of it without the involvement in any way of the corporate studios: not for financing, not for production, not for distribution. Here’s one of those superindie films.

Hollywood scriptwriter Todd W. Langen stepped outside his creative comfort zone and set himself a filmmaking challenge: one year, one house, one guy with a camera. And he came up with these 42 short films, all produced entirely by himself, featuring no one onscreen but himself (some are entirely void of humans), and all shot around his own house. And they are, in the aggregate, a remarkable expression of filmmaking invention: Hollywood has the entire planet at its feet, and much of what it spits up isn’t half as ingenious or resourceful as Langen’s mad little collection of cinematic silliness. From riffs on movie tropes — like the overusage of unnecessary narrators, or the unfunny stuff that gets leaned on for supposed comic relief — to having geeky fun with science fictional ideas (I want one of Langen’s little time-resetting gadgets) to Monty Python-esque goofing on suicidal eggs and uppity home electronics, this is an ultra-low-budget affair that proves that a little application of a lot of imagination goes a long way. [watch a trailer/buy from the filmmaker]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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