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Tarnation  /  Goodbye South, Goodbye

June 22, 2019 - 7:30 pm
filmmaker and guest curator Sandi Tan, Tarnation filmmaker Jonathan Caouette.

Tarnation  (2003)

“Barely 30 when he completed this filmic memoir for $218.32, selfie-king Jonathan Caouette turned his traumatic youth with a schizophrenic mom into a mesmeric gothic fairy tale like no other—and in so doing showed us he was not just an artist but a magician. Weaving together treasures from his personal archive (photos, home video, Super 8, whispered-into-mic audio) with an energy that still feels urgent and raw and new, Caouette and co-editor Brian A. Kates (whose 2018 credits include Private Life, We The Animals and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) puts all of today’s Instagram stories and reality TV confessionals to shame.

“A sensation when it screened at Cannes in 2004 and a legend ever since, this jigsaw self-portrait seemingly unlocks its truths as you watch. Pain, beauty. Torment, ecstasy. Come bear witness to this transfiguration.”—Sandi Tan.

DCP, color, 88 min. Director: Jonathan Caouette. Screenwriter: Jonathan Caouette. Cast: Renee Leblanc, Jonathan Caouette, Adolph Davis, Rosemary Davis.

Goodbye South, Goodbye  (Taiwan, 1996)

Zai jian nan guo zai jian

A stylish riff on the gangster genre, re-tooled for a modern Taiwanese context, director Hou Hsiao-hsien's film profiles the lives of a group of crooks with dreams of surfing the Taiwanese economic miracle—if only they can figure out how.  A comedy of inertia, with overwrought scheming glacially leading to hilariously bungled schemes, the almost non-starting plot is a hilarious showcase of behaviors and suggests a larger national story of haphazard economic experience.

35mm, color, in Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles, 112 min. Producer: Ichiyama Shozo, Mizuno Kastuhiro, Ben Hsieh, His Hsiang, Huang Chung, Okuyama Kazuyoshi, Michael Yang.  Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Screenwriter: Chu Tien-wen.  From a story by Jack Kao and His Hsiang.  Cinematography: Mark Lee (Ping-bin).  Editor: Liao Ching-sung. Cast: Jack Kao, Hsu Kuei-ying, Lim Giong, Annie Shizuka Inoh, His Hsiang.