Tarnation Reviews

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Luke Goodsell
Empire Magazine Australasia
November 7, 2012
Witness his hilarious high school musical rendition of David Lynch's Blue Velvet: much like the documentary itself, it's a heartbreaking, beautiful monstrosity.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
May 14, 2011
An original, personal, emotionally touching documentary, which represents a new type of indie, based on innovating filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nick Rogers
Suite101.com
October 21, 2010
As performance art born of personal pain, "Tarnation" stares teary-eyed into how genetics, culture, environment and susceptibility conspire to trigger mental illness - a documentary more to be experienced than simply viewed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 2, 2008
Jonathan had plenty to be woeful about, but the movie is best when it slips quietly into the pockets between his family's dramatic episodes.
Enrique Buchichio
Uruguay Total
November 13, 2006
Como toda confesión, en la que alguien desnuda su intimidad sin pudor para quien quiera escuchar, Tarnation es capaz de generar desde la fascinación curiosa hasta la incomodidad y el rechazo.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Lawrence Toppman
Charlotte Observer
May 13, 2005
The film is in the May program of the Charlotte Film Society, and even the CFS has offered few pictures this compellingly strange.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
May 4, 2005
A twisted pastiche of pain, suffering, and narcissistic indulgence.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Scott Andrews
FilmFocus
May 1, 2005
Full of real humanity and occasional insight, this is not the most feelgood movie you'll see this year, but in its total honesty it does manage to be important and moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 60/100
Tom Dawson
BBC.com
April 19, 2005
There's no doubting the deep love Caouette feels for his troubled mother, nor his achievement in forging such a rawly emotional film from his own traumatic experiences.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 15, 2005
Nearly impossible to watch, thoroughly unpleasant yet strangely arresting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly
April 14, 2005
Undeniably compelling, it's proof of the therapeutic potential of filmmaking, but also of our limitless propensity for morbid curiosity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
April 13, 2005
As a first-time experimental filmmaker, Caouette displays remarkable directing and editing skills.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
April 8, 2005
Here's hoping your kids' home movies never look like this.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
March 24, 2005
A soul-baring scrapbook of a film, its audacity surpassed only by its tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
February 17, 2005
You shouldn't go see "Tarnation" because it was made so cheaply. You should see it because it was made so well.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
January 21, 2005
Although aggressively unconventional, it's never pretentious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
January 21, 2005
Tarnation is visually inventive, even dazzling at times, and the music is terrific, but the subject matter is hugely depressing and weirdly narcissistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
January 21, 2005
An astonishing multimedia diary ... all accompanied by a scrolled family history that is as harrowing to read as a ransom note.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
January 7, 2005
A disturbing self-portrait limned from the filmmaker's relentless narcissism and his fetishization of mental illness, family dysfunction and personal suffering.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Eric D. Snider
EricDSnider.com
December 19, 2004
A haunting, riveting film that's as self-serving as it is revelatory. It's movie-making as therapy, and I hope it worked.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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