In It for the Long Haul

Jonathan Caouette

“Walk Away Renee,” Jonathan Caouette’s sort of sequel to his 2003, wholly original film, “Tarnation” (which he famously made for $218.32), again deals with the near-impossible ties that bind him and his severely mentally ill mother, as they take a road trip, to move her from a group home in Houston to New York.

Caouette has called his work “documentary fiction, real imagined stories” and in his latest film, as he has done previously, he constructs his narrative using many elements including old home movies, snap shots, new video, answering machine recordings, musical montage, psychedelia.

What holds it all together is Caouette’s profound capacity for love–for his mother, Renee, struggling with acute bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder; his grandfather Adolph; his boyfriend David Paz; and his son Joshua–and his skill for survival.

Jonathan Caouette

David Paz and Jonathan Caouette

“Walk Away Renee” will open at the IFC Center on Friday, November 30 and will be available nationwide on VOD.


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