Tarnation in July

Optimum Home Entertainment have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Tarnation for 25th July 2005 priced at £19.99. Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation is a spellbinding and heartbreaking documentary self-portrait that chronicles Jonathan's chaotic upbringing in a dysfunctional Texas family.

Caouette has been documenting his life since he was eleven years old. In Tarnation, he weaves a psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of 80s pop culture and dramatic re-enactments to create an epic portrait of an American family torn apart by dysfunction and reunited through the power of love. Soul-searching, and utterly compelling, Tarnation is all the more remarkable for having been made for just $218 on iMovie software.

Tarnation begins in 2003 as Caouette learns of his mother's lithium overdose in his native Texas. Faced with the haunting remnants of his past, including a family legacy of mental illness, abuse and neglect, Caouette returns home to aid his mother's recovery. Slipping back into the archives of his youth, we watch Cauoette grow up on camera, seeking escape from family trauma through musical theatre, grade-B horror flicks and the forging of his identity through popular culture.

Tarnation is executive produced by Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell and while undeniably a documentary at heart, Tarnation mines a greater terrain, serving up a history of late twentieth century popular culture and family life that plays out like a collective fever dream.

Features include:

  • 1.33:1 Full Frame
  • English DD5.1 Surround
  • Audio commentary by Jonathan Caouette
  • Short Film by the winner of the Short Film competition in association with Love Film and selected by Jonathan Caouette
  • Trailer

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