2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
From the 42nd New York Film Festival: Tarnation
Jonathan Caouette has known he is gay for a long time, so his film Tarnation is a different kind of “coming out” experience. Caouette’s film is a quasi-experimental documentary about his family and his life growing up, and it is not a historiography so much as an expressionistic montage of trauma, filtered through memories, abuse, drugs, dreams, and repression. Facts are loose but vividly rendered in Caouette’s film, and presumably in Caouette’s memory. Half-way through the work the no-nonsense, third personal clinical titles which contextualize most of the film’s footage, used instead of spoken narration, report that Caouette experiences the disorder known as depersonalization, where the world appears dreamlike and at a distance. Since the same can be said for the film and its insight on Caouette’s experience growing up with a mother who jumped in and out of psychiatric hospitals for decades and was administered untold amounts of shock therapy as a child and young adult, Tarnation appears more feverish recollection than factual revelation. And it is its combination of fever-dream aesthetic told through distorted, decayed, hyper colorful montage and real evidence of Caouette’s past in the form of photographs and home videos that lends Tarnation its exhaustive immediacy, immediate authenticity and simultaneously extreme subjectivity.

The filmmaker’s expulsion of his past can be searing simply in the footage itself; there are, for example, two uncomfortably long and uncomfortably resonating clips of home video footage that nearly bookend the film, one being an 11-year old Jonathan acting out with complete conviction the part of an abused, pregnant housewife who killed her husband, and much later footage of Jonathan’s mother Renee after a lithium overdose damaged her brain, when we watch Jonathan coolly stand back with the camera and catch a never ending moment of her terrifying dementia on film. Tarnation is liberally structured around this kind of reality-TV distanced authenticity, which Caouette structures with self-written but highly elliptical (not to mention questionable) title cards, disseminating the narrative through the extended montage that makes up most of the film. His montage-brief video clips of himself, photographs tracking his childhood, loving but often deranged home video of his grandparents-is put through every editing and visual trick in the book, and out of iMovie pours a crash course in being an abused child, growing up gay, being a performer, coping with family, coping with abuse, and perhaps most importantly coping with an upbringing of whose memories have been forever distorted.

No one in the film, including Caouette himself, ever really stops to ask questions, and confronted with the rare question people like Caouette’s mother or grandfather almost physically attempt to extricate him or herself from the scrutiny. Moments of overt self-consciousness creep in far too often as well, and many moments beg the question “who exactly is shooting this footage?” as many scenes, especially of Caouette himself, seem dramatically staged. Again, one must be reminded that this is no documentary; the film’s experimental approach to an upbringing and familial history rubs the line away from fact and fiction and the filmmaker’s obvious decision to keep this self-pursuit an expressionistic experience instead of a fact-finding mission is highly evident in Caouette’s deeply disturbing application of formalism. So Tarnation, which opens as if a dream of Caouette’s about his mother’s tragic destruction during her youth, comes off less an examination of a past full of problems and instead a highly distorted but highly illustrative expelled memory, ripped from Caouette’s mind and spit onto the screen in its weird, distanced traumatic immediacy.