A story of one man, one life, one unique snowflake among all the other snowflakes. Jonathan Caouette’s story, gorgeously told here in Tarnation, evokes a startling sense of empathy, and if you have ever gone through anything similar, deep sympathy and compassion. His story demonstrates that no matter how well-intentioned your parents, no matter how idyllic your life might start out to be, things just happen, and keep happening. And happening. Chaos and entropy are truly driving forces in the lives of Jonathan and his mother. Bad circumstances lead to more bad circumstances, and the worst gets uncontrollably worse as bad fortune is passed down from parent to child. But the beauty of life is still there, the beauty of a train wreck, of a schoolyard massacre, the melted crayons, humanity in its most fragile, delicate state being disfigured, the beauty of destroyed beauty, the raw humanity of ugliness and sorrow, and the soothing realization that all of our social constructs of good and bad, pain and joy, beauty and travesty, are all ephemeral patterns in the grass. You might experience this film as a cathartic release, but I think it is much more than that. Caouette’s startlingly fragmented vision of the stochastic nature of life in all its insanity and tragedy is stunning. His visual orchestration of fragmented memories, dreams, traumas, confusions, the experience we all have, just below the surface ‘face’ we must keep to prevent us from losing our sanity, of the moment-to-moment terror of existence – ingrained cultural memes, thoughts, impressions, emotions, fears and memories all whizzing through our minds with a sparkling terror, giving rise to each instant of the ‘reality’ created within us and around us, flowing and permeating and enriching our lives, giving rise to the illusions of the world and the self – is breathtaking.