Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Year, another Jaw-Dropping Documentary

Robert here, looking back at 2004. This past decade really was a documentary renaissance, and if Errol Morris' The Fog of War from 2003 was the best of the decade (in the opinion of this humble writer) the most original documentary arrived a year later. Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation is a portrait of the director's mother, grandparents and self with arms that stretch wide and utilize a palate of home videos, photographs, television and movie clips combining to make a tapestry of life and mental illness like none you've seen before.

Filmmakers are often told that they have ten minutes to grab and keep the audience. This montage which falls in the films first few minutes (and is set to one of the best bands of the decade Iron & Wine) should have you reacting the same as me.... willing to give Caouette my full attention for as long as he want's it.



I said this in another post but this is one of only two movies to be filmed exactly where i lived. Yet I didn't know it was filming. no hollywood lights or whatnot but he lived like a block or two away from me and my neighborhood was right there in the movie in Greenpoint/Williamsburg NYC.

such a gripping one-of-a-kind movie. But i rarely hear people talk about it anymore.

Kurtis O said...

Great to see "Tarnation" recognized. My pick for doc. of the decade.

Adam said...

Love it. Even if that pumpkin song completely destroyed a little part of me.

OtherRobert said...

This film screwed me up big time for weeks. I didn't choose to watch it: it was thrust upon me. Once I got into it, I didn't want it to end.

That was a strange class. We watched 28 Days later, then spent three weeks going through the pilot episode of Twin Peaks, then jumped to a class based on Hands on a Hard Top and Tarnation to explore documentary filmmaking. I'll give the professor credit for not boring me, but it sure did confuse the heck out of most of the class. It was all horror films or documentaries. A dream, really.

Deborah said...

Wow. I've never even heard of this one, but that clip just FLOORED me.