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Jonathan Caouette (born November 26, 1973)[citation needed] is an American film director, writer, editor and actor.

Jonathan Caouette
Jonathan Caouette.jpg
Born (1973-11-26) November 26, 1973 (age 45)
OccupationDirector, producer, film editor, writer

Film careerEdit

Caouette is the director and editor of Tarnation (2003), an autobiographical documentary,[1] that premiered at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals in 2003 and the director of All Tomorrow's Parties about the cult music festival. Caouette has also directed the experimental short film All Flowers in Time and the feature documentary Walk Away Renee. The latter was produced by Agnes B and premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, Caouette served as a creative advisor for director Matthew Mishory's film, Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman.[2]

As an actor, Caouette played a major role in the 2006 film Fat Girls[3] and the film Portland, scheduled for pre-production in 2012.[4] He also appeared in Shortbus, directed by John Cameron Mitchell[5] and in the German documentary Wie ich lernte die Zahlen zu lieben/ How I Learned to Love the Numbers about OCD by Oliver Sechting & Max Taubert.

Personal lifeEdit

Caouette attended Westbury High School in Houston, Texas from 1987 to 1990.[6][7]

Caouette has a son, Josh,[8] who was featured in the 2008 documentary Bi the Way. Caouette is gay and lives with his husband David in New York City.[9]

At the age of 12, Caouette accidentally smoked PCP, resulting in what a doctor later diagnosed as depersonalization disorder. The director has described Tarnation as an attempt to give his disorder filmic form.[10] Of the film, he said:

It was a completely organic process based on these unusual, psychological experiences I've had in my adult life—these strange, trancelike experiences, similar to sensations I remember from childhood when I had a very high fever. Where I'm half asleep and half awake, just on the cusp of dreamland. And right as I'm about to conk out, this whole plethora of information comes from my own awareness and rushes into my mind's eye. It's like a story, or a poem, or a series of images…It only makes sense for a moment and then it dissipates. It's like this weird waking dream. I wanted to lucidly mimic that in the form of a film and transpose it cinematically. Soon after I met John [ Cameron Mitchell ] and I had auditioned for his film Shortbus. I had to break away from everything in New York to go rescue my mother in Texas where my grandfather was, one could say, inadvertently allowing her to overdose on lithium. I had to go out there to be their saving grace. After I nursed her to health. I brought her back to New York with me, documenting everything. When I came back, I met this guy who was an intern at the MIX Film Festival. I showed him about 45 minutes of the film I had been making, which had three working titles at the time. "Lucid," "The Day I Disappeared" and "Tarnation," and he said, "Whatever this is, you should finish it because there's a deadline for this film festival coming up in three weeks." So I took my vacation from Mikimotos, where I was working as a door-man, and I went on this crazy editing marathon and got the film in right in the nick of time. I got it into the hands of the then festival director, Stephen Winter, who is also really good friends with John Cameron Mitchell, and that's how everything exploded.[11]



  1. ^ Scott, A. O. (2004-10-05). "Tarnation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-02-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Official Fat Girls website". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  4. ^ "Official PORTLAND website - The Cast". Archived from the original on 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  5. ^ "Shortbus By IFQ Critic Todd Konrad". Retrieved 2010-10-12.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Westbury High School Houston, TX at". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  7. ^ "Meet Houston Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette at January 26 SWAMP Salon". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  8. ^ Dietrich, Joy (2010-05-19). "The Insider – Jonathan Caouette". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  9. ^ McLean, Gareth (2005-04-16). "My life, the horror movie - interview with Jonathan Caouette". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  10. ^ Wilcha, Christopher. "Jonathan Caouette", "BOMB Magazine", Fall, 2004. Retrieved 2011-7-25.
  11. ^ Wilcha, Christopher. "Jonathan Caouette", BOMB Magazine, Fall, 2004. Retrieved 2011-7-25.

External linksEdit