In Person: Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette
Preceded by Caouette’s 2010 short film, All Flowers in Time. (14 minutes)
Picking up where his trailblazing, internationally celebrated, first-person fever dream Tarnation left off, Houston filmmaker Jonathan Caouette is back with his latest film: a bold, brave, and emotionally potent documentary reverie. Caouette embarks on a cross-country road trip to move his mentally ill mother, Renee, from Texas to New York, a journey that both tightens and tests their bond. Through candid home movies, split-screen verité, musical montage, and dramas both real and imagined, Walk Away Renee raises questions about love, sacrifice, and family.
About the Filmmaker
Houston-born Jonathan Caouette has been acting and making films since he was 8 years old. In 2004 he starred in, directed, and edited Tarnation, his feature debut. Executive produced by Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell, the film was widely heralded as a cinematic revolution. Part documentary, part narrative fiction, and part home movie, Tarnation charts a psychedelic whirlwind through a variety of media and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family travesty. Premiering at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals, Tarnation won awards at numerous other festivals and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. As a regional theater actor, Caouette portrayed a schizophrenic John the Baptist in Salome, a homosexual Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and both John the Baptist and Judas in Godspell. Caouette has toured with productions of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hair; can be seen in Mitchell’s Shortbus; and directed All Tomorrow’s Parties, a feature about the cult underground music festival.
The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Nina and Michael Zilkha; the National Film Preservation Foundation; Franci and Jim Crane; James V. Derrick; and Lynn S. Wyatt.