The Artist vs. Life
Artist: Jonathan Caouette
USA, 88’, 2003
English with Turkish subtitles
"This self-portrait of an artist offers concrete support for the idea... that art can heal some of the wounds that life inflicts." —A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Still unlike anything before or since, Jonathan Caouette’s mesmerizing, twenty-years-in-the-making documentary-essay is an ultra-personal mélange of 8mm home movies, phone messages, reenactments, and head-spinning surreal freakouts documenting his tumultuous coming of age with a mentally ill mother. Frequently devastating, yet shot through with love for the troubled woman at its center, Tarnation remains “a remarkable film, immediate, urgent, angry, poetic, and stubbornly hopeful” (Roger Ebert).