In the director commentary portion of Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette introduces himself as the writer, editor, director, and creator of the film, notably omitting the name of its executive producer (and obvious reason this film was ubiquitous at festivals), Gus Van Sant. Only in the commentary does Caouette reveal that a lot of what appear to be linear documentary sequences of his boyfriend coming and going to work and himself talking on the phone were “recreations.” I guess that happens in a lot of documentaries but it’s an annoying technique here, because Tarnation is such a naked plea for sympathy, and very thinly beyond that, a plea for viewers to see how talented and amazing Caouette is, at the expense of his grandparents and especially his schizophrenic mom.

There’s one shocking moment of use of the Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Powers” during a Brooklyn montage, but that was only shocking to me, I think…otherwise, a very self-involved student filmmaker with a powerful patron…

In the director commentary portion of Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette introduces himself as the writer, editor, director, and creator of the film, notably omitting the name of its executive producer (and obvious reason this film was ubiquitous at festivals), Gus Van Sant. Only in the commentary does Caouette reveal that a lot of what appear to be linear documentary sequences of his boyfriend coming and going to work and himself talking on the phone were “recreations.” I guess that happens in a lot of documentaries but it’s an annoying technique here, because Tarnation is such a naked plea for sympathy, and very thinly beyond that, a plea for viewers to see how talented and amazing Caouette is, at the expense of his grandparents and especially his schizophrenic mom.

There’s one shocking moment of use of the Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Powers” during a Brooklyn montage, but that was only shocking to me, I think…otherwise, a very self-involved student filmmaker with a powerful patron…

In the director commentary portion of Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette introduces himself as the writer, editor, director, and creator of the film, notably omitting the name of its executive producer (and obvious reason this film was ubiquitous at festivals), Gus Van Sant. Only in the commentary does Caouette reveal that a lot of what appear to be linear documentary sequences of his boyfriend coming and going to work and himself talking on the phone were “recreations.” I guess that happens in a lot of documentaries but it’s an annoying technique here, because Tarnation is such a naked plea for sympathy, and very thinly beyond that, a plea for viewers to see how talented and amazing Caouette is, at the expense of his grandparents and especially his schizophrenic mom.

There’s one shocking moment of use of the Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Powers” during a Brooklyn montage, but that was only shocking to me, I think…otherwise, a very self-involved student filmmaker with a powerful patron…

In the director commentary portion of Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette introduces himself as the writer, editor, director, and creator of the film, notably omitting the name of its executive producer (and obvious reason this film was ubiquitous at festivals), Gus Van Sant. Only in the commentary does Caouette reveal that a lot of what appear to be linear documentary sequences of his boyfriend coming and going to work and himself talking on the phone were “recreations.” I guess that happens in a lot of documentaries but it’s an annoying technique here, because Tarnation is such a naked plea for sympathy, and very thinly beyond that, a plea for viewers to see how talented and amazing Caouette is, at the expense of his grandparents and especially his schizophrenic mom.

There’s one shocking moment of use of the Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Powers” during a Brooklyn montage, but that was only shocking to me, I think…otherwise, a very self-involved student filmmaker with a powerful patron…

Subscribe to find out How Franz Marc Returns.

Get arcane details about Modernism's integrative personality plus news about Raubkunst research; experiments in material culture; art, art history, and art historian criticism; fractured fairy tales, animal studies, and more.

You have Successfully Subscribed!