Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

'Walk Away Renee' Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette Talks Parallel Realities, A Possible Book, Making Personal Docs & More

Photo of Christopher Bell By Christopher Bell | The Playlist June 29, 2012 at 5:03PM

Jonathan Caouette made a name for himself some years back with his debut feature "Tarnation," a manic, prodding look into his family, created on the cheap using home videos and the trusty iMovie program. His stock blew up, and a successful screening at the Sundance Film Festival eventually lead to him helming the "All Tomorrow's Parties" documentary and a personal horror short "All Flowers In Time."
0

Walk Away Renee
Quitting Personal Documentaries, New Projects
Elsewhere, Caouette has stated a desire to never do documentaries again, but here he wanted to make his feelings clear. "I did say that, and now I'm putting my foot in my mouth again. I'm gonna rephrase that: I never want to make a personal documentary again. This is certainly the conclusion to 'Tarnation,' I'm certainly removing myself from the spotlight and looking forward to doing other works. I don't want this to be some sort of post-post-modern '7-Up' series or 'This American Life,' you know?" He definitely leaves the door open for more documentary work, mentioning that he had "at least one more documentary" in him. "I think it'd be really cool if it happens -- but I don't want to say what it is! I don't want the universe to zap it away, I'm not normally superstitious about anything, but something cool can be brewing and it could happen pretty quickly." Caouette also noted his eagerness to move into narrative filmmaking, with recent inspirations being the current crop of narrative/doc hybrids coming out now. Presently writing a screenplay, he was coy to say what it was exactly about, but did let a few details slip. "The goal is that I want it to feel like a run-on sentence that will be very phonetic in the way it’s delivered. It would evoke one very solidified theme with a very solidified narrative with a three act structure, but the way it’ll come out would be very dream-like and hopefully very new," he described, cautiously adding, "if I can pull it off in the way that I’m hoping I can pull it off." It's still an idea he's trying to wrap his head around, but sounds like something that could be very interesting.

As a little breather from his filmmaking work, Caouette dabbles in acting, though doesn't go out of his way to seek it out. "I won’t turn down an acting job if it’s cool, but I don’t go out for it. If it’s someone I’ve worked with or respect, I’ll do it. I have a small part in Xan Cassavettes’s film 'Kiss of the Damned,' that was a lot of fun. There's also 'Portland' that a friend of mine, Matthew Mishory, is doing. I just recently saw a movie he finished, 'Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean,’ and it kind of reminds me of something like an early Todd Haynes film, like the new queer cinema or a reinvention of queer cinema, in a way. I will probably have a part in his next film but I'm not sure when that's shooting."

Walk Away Renee
The Difficulties Of Making Something So Personal
"I had to do a handful of press one day, and I was feeling very vulnerable and wasn't able to do it. I felt really terrible having to opt out that day, but then I got my mojo back and started being able to talk about it again. It's a very emotional film for me, for obvious reasons... but I think it's weird, because I remember thinking this way initially before 'Tarnation' came out, but then I quickly got into this realm and mode where I was able to talk about it. Now I'm looking back and comparing the way I feel now versus eight years ago, and I think I may be less uninhibited with some aspects of my life now than I was back then, so maybe that's how I was able to talk about things more on a personal level back then... I'm not sure."

Time Is An Illusion, But Parallel Realities Exist
Opening with a quote from Albert Einstein ("The distinction of past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion"), Caouette elaborated on his thoughts concerning that statement. "For me, that's a thing that's pretty adjacent to the perpetual existential crisis that I've been going through most of my life," he paused with a chuckle. "But really, in the past five years I've been in this frame of mind, a hyper-awareness of my existence and the idea that now, looking back at everything in retrospect, it does very much feel like an illusion, and that terrifies me. I've been very obsessed with time, the notion of the past, the way that time exponentially speeds up as you get older, the relativity factor of that." 'Walk Away' also argues the existence of parallel realities or universes, something that the filmmaker is a firm believer in. "Just as different sound waves have different layers of sound and so on and so forth, I really think the whole idea of being born, living, and dying -- all of it -- there has to be layers of it, just like there’s layers to everything. And I don’t know why I feel so strongly about that, but I do." He admits that he doesn't know enough about it beyond just a general ponder, but he does end on a very simple, interesting note. "The mere fact of existing is so fantastical to me, why would anything else not be able to exist?"

This article is related to: Jonathan Caouette, Walk Away Renee, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates