Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What in Tarnation?

If you haven't checked out Jonathan Caouette's brilliant documentary Tarnation yet, you must--it's a moving, brilliant piece of art. This innovative movie is a poignant look at a young man's life growing up with a damaged family in Houston, Texas, and while at times a bit self indulgent, it never fails to keep your eyes glued to the screen. And as it was made for only a mere $187.00, it also proves Jean Cocteau's quote, "Film will only became an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper." The quality of the film notwithstanding, I mention it also because the director is a couple of years younger than I, and frequented one of the same Houston clubs I did: Visions. Taking artistic license, he makes it seem like Visions was a hardcore place that he had to sneak into, but actually, it was a teen club that served soda at the bar and let in just about anyone. Our friend Michael was a bartender, and I can't remember the bouncer's name, but he tried to pick up my friend Laura every night. His schtick was to look at IDs and if you're were above the age of 5, say "Fine." But without fail, whenever Laura handed hers to him, he'd get a silly grin on his face and say, "Oh baby, you're SO fine." She, however, did not think likewise, and his infatuation over her was a source of much humor. I digress, but my curiousiy about Caouette is piqued: in the late 80's there were much edgier clubs in Houston, such as Cabaret Voltaire or Numbers, so why did he showcase the cheesy Visions?