Tarnation (2003)

January 29, 2008


Jonathan Caouette

Jonathan Caouette (written by)

Release Date:
22 April 2005 (UK)


Plot Outline:
Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette’s documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother — a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more — culled from 19 years of his life.

(Cast overview, first billed only)
Renee Leblanc    …     Herself
Jonathan Caouette    …     Himself
Adolph Davis    …     Himself
Rosemary Davis    …     Herself
David Sanin Paz    …     Himself
Joshua Williams    …     Himself
Michael Cox    …     Guy cussing in short film
David Leblanc    …     Himself
Stacey Mowery    …     Herself
Michael Mouton    …     Himself
Greg Ayres    …     Himself (as Bam-Bam)
Vanda Stovall    …     Herself
Dagon James    …     Himself

Vivian Kalinov    …     Herself (as Girl in Student Film)
Steve Caouette    …     Himself


Tarnation is a documentary made on an Apple Mac for think it was $200,000.

It’s a testament to the filmmaking of this independent filmmaker, that not only did he manage to make this film he managed to get it distributed.  As to the film itself, it’s a rather depressing affair, which follows the life of the protagonist from birth. Up until the present day, which was 2003. The film focuses on the relationship between the filmmaker, and his mother and their experiences with mental illness.

I had been wanting to watch this film for long-time and it did not disappoint with its frightening take on reality. I wouldn’t say this film is for everyone, because of the depressing nature of the material. However, if you do want to touch of reality, and some excellent independent filmmaking, this is the film for you.