Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Tiny: A Story About Living Small (2013) ***

NR, 66 min.
Directors: Merete Miller, Christopher Smith
Writer: Merete Miller
Featuring: Christopher Miller, Merete Miller, Daryl Gibson, Jay Shafer, Logan Smith, Paul Smith, William Smith, Tammy Strobel, Dee Williams

I hate, hate, hate home improvement shows. My wife loves them and invariably I will walk into the living room on a Saturday afternoon and one of the cursed things will be on my TV. However, there is one home designing phenomenon that I have to admit is a guilty pleasure of mine—tiny houses. I will click on any Facebook link that has anything to do with tiny houses. I love the ultra-simplification philosophy that goes into them. I like the lower environmental footprint they promote. But mostly, I just love to see how their designers find different ways to fit all the basics of living and even one or two luxuries into less than 200 square feet.

“Tiny: A Story About Living Small” is a documentary made for a man of my guilty pleasure. Made by the girlfriend of a man who decides at the age of thirty that his big contribution to the world is going to be to build a tiny house himself to live a simplified life in out on a plot of land that he’s purchased in the middle of nowhere. The movie details the entire process of building his tiny house. He has no experience in construction. He does a surprisingly good job building it, considering. It also takes him about 9 months longer than he estimated. It costs him $26,000.

The director also interviews several other people who have adopted the life of living small. The houses are amazing. One women lives in an 86 square foot home. I built a closet that big. Her home is cooler than my closet. One of the men she interviews was one of the pioneers of the tiny home movement, an innovative architect of tiny homes. He eventually left the life of living small as his family grew. He now lives in a 600 square foot “mansion.”

I don’t believe I could fit my brood of six and two corgis even into 600 sq ft; but I like to dream about living in one of those tiny homes. Sitting in the window seat reading while Angie lounges in the loft streaming “The Good Wife” on a tablet, it sounds like a perfect lazy Sunday. I just don’t know where we’re going to store the kids.

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