Friday, October 07, 2005


Went and saw Tarnation , reportedly the first feature length film made entirely with Apple's low budget editing software iMovie

(well, free software actually, it's preinstalled on every new Mac)

Tarnation tells the harrowing story of the director, Jonathan Caouette, and his relationship with his mother, a former model, who has been going in and out of mental institutions since her late teens. The movie begins when Jonathan learns his mother has suffered brain damage due to a lithium overdose and wants him to come and see her. From then on Tarnation progresses as a fascinating mix of images that tell the story of both his mother and him. This includes an early introduction to rape, violence, heavy drug abuse, and the video- and Super-8 camera which Caouette has used extensively to record himself, his dysfunctional family and his friends from a variety of gay scenes. After an acid-trip like journey, which includes a surprising visit by Jonathan's father who left his mom after a few weeks of marriage without knowing she was pregnent, the film ends with the mother in a terrible state living with the near-senile grandparents in their decaying house. Conclusively, Caouette more than hints at the possibility that the mother's life-long mental problems were in fact caused by gramps and granny's sexual abuse in her early childhood.

Ever felt you had a troubled childhood?
shut up, you wimp! and go and watch Tarnation instead!

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