Tarnation (2003)

Reid, 19. December 2007, 18:45

Dir. Jonathan Caouette

I don’t really know of other idiots would like this film or not. I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone.

The film is about Jonathan Caouette, his mother and her parents that raised Jonathan. Caouette utilizes family films and photos to a assemble a film about his family–a dysfunctional one that is sad and at times creepy (the grandmother is particularly freaky looking). If you liked Crumb, you’d be interested in this. Or if you like underground art film techniques utilized in a documentary, you would be interested in this.

I didn’t care for this film, not because it was a bad film–it is a unique and creative way of making a documentary/memoir–but because I didn’t really care for the subject matter. But that’s not saying much as most people wouldn’t care for the subject matter. At the risk of sounding callus, I’m not interested in a film who’s main objective is chronicling a dysfunctional family-especially if the film doesn’t seem to reveal any insights or interesting people. That’s how I felt about the film, Crumb.

But the film is interesting for the way it utilizes underground art film techniques to tell the story of this family. It opened my mind up to different possibilities of making a documentary. (Another documentary that was interesting stylistically is The Kid Stays in the Pictures.)

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