Now, anyone's home movies, edited properly, could reveal gross and bizarre behavior. Most people, unprepared, act funny in front of a camera. Caouette seems unfair at times and unfavorably self-indulgent at others, trying to be the principal subject and distanced filmmaker at the same time and making the mistake of referring to himself in the third person, taking pot shots, and so on. This has, I think, the opposite effect of what was probably intended.
Still, "Tarnation" is mostly engaging and effective. "Tarnation" is an independent movie in the truest and best sense. There is something to please almost any fan of film, be it the imaginative editing, the experimental nature of the project or just the gorgeous soundtrack, with narcotic songs by Low, Magnetic Fields and Lisa Germano. In a film like this, you'd expect many sophomoric moments. They are here, but they're thankfully drowned out by an overall beauty and insight. Wayne Melton
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