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Michael Bernstein October 7th, 2004 01:05 AM

Tarnation (see it if you can)
I saw the New York theatrical premiere of Tarnation tonight at the Film Forum.

I found it lovely, artful, touching. See it if you can; you may not like it, but it's a great example of what you can do with consumer grade camcorders and iMovie. During the Q&A I asked Caouette how much they enhanced the film between the iMovie cut and the 35mm version we saw, and he said: "Not much, really. There were a couple of split screens I was not able to do...and we did some stuff to keep it from being too blue, or too cold...but basically we just uploaded it to Avid for the conversion to HD."

He claims he made the movie for about $200. Plus $300,000 for music rights (and maybe ten grand for the HD conversion? Whatever).

All I have to say is: Wow.


Michael Bernstein October 7th, 2004 12:04 PM

Check out the Tarnation Trailer on Rolling Stone's web site.


Matthew Groff November 8th, 2004 09:51 AM

Just saw this film last night. It is pure garbage through and through. Obviously hacked together with every lame iMovie effect he could get his hands on. Worse than his hackneyed editing skills is his narcissistic mania.

If I wanted to read for an hour and half I'd save four bucks and buy a book and head to a cafe.


Michael Bernstein November 8th, 2004 10:12 PM

To be fair, he abandons the "let's title everything in sight" thing pretty early--after ten or fifteen minutes.

Part of the time I watched it I spent thinking: well, this is kind of self-conscious and precious and, yes, it uses lots of film clichés. But then I would get caught up in his story again.

I think it's unfair to say that the film is pure garbage through and through, but that's because I liked it.

Funny, I talked to someone who thought it was brilliant--which I didn't, for the reasons above--and had to say, "No, I think it just has some very moving stuff in it."

Sorry you didn't enjoy it at all.


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