Tarnation (2003) - full transcript

Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. A psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family travesty. The story begins in 2003 when Jonathan learns that his schizophrenic mother, Renee, has overdosed on her lithium medication. He is catapulted back into his real and horrifying family legacy of rape, abandonment, promiscuity, drug addiction, child abuse, and psychosis. As he grows up on camera, he finds the escapist balm of musical theater and B horror flicks and reconnects to life through a queer chosen family. Then a look into the future shows Jonathan as he confronts the symbiotic and almost unbearable love he shares with his beautiful and tragically damaged mother.

-♪This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine♪

♪This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine♪

♪Let it shine, let it shine,
let it shine♪

♪Oh Jesus is coming one
fine day, one fine day♪

♪Oh Jesus is coming
one fine day♪

♪And I love the Lord,
this is something that is so♪

♪And I love Him
so, yes, I know♪


I was having-- I
was having the weirdest dream.

-What kind?

-It was about my mother.


What happened?

Was it a nightmare?



-[whispering] No.

Is it raining?



-Let's-- um...

Let's go to bed.

[alarm ringing]




Hi, Maggie.

This is Jonathan Caouette again.

I'm, uh, just calling to
get the status on my mother,

Renee LeBlanc.

Is she still not talking?

And they started the dialysis?

And do you know...

like, what the
repercussions are of this?

'Cause I went on the internet
earlier and it doesn't look too




Yeah, we could leave--
I could run a key over

to you before I have to
go to the train station.

I feel like I'm gonna
have an anxiety attack.


Yeah, I'm really--
I'm sick on top of it,


I've got, like, a 102 fever.

I guess from all the stress.

-[Renee] Go placidly amidst the
noise and hate and remember what

peace there may be in solace.

As far as possible
without surrender,

be on good terms
with all persons.

Speak your truth
quietly and clearly.

Listen to others.

Even the dull and ignorant
too have their story to tell.

Avoid [inaudible] and
aggressive persons.

They are
vexations to the spirit.

If you compare
yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater

and lesser
persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as
well as your [inaudible].

Keep interested in
your own career,

however humble.

[inaudible] real possession in
the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in
your various affairs,

for the world is
full of trickery.

But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is.

Many persons
strive for high ideals,

and everywhere life
is full of heroism.


-[Renee and Rosemary]
♪One little two little♪

♪Three little indians♪

♪Four little five
little six little indians♪

♪Seven little eight
little nine little indians♪

♪10 little indian boys♪

-[Renee] Oh brother, I wonder
how we're gonna sound on tape.

-[Rosemary] Horrible.

-[Renee] That'll put us on
the Jonny Carson show,

don't you think, Mother?

-[Rosemary] Oh, yes.


-[Renee] I mean, wouldn't we
really be a star attraction?

-[Rosemary] We sure would.


-[Renee] Yeah, it's still good.

What all do you
wanna record on here?

Jonathan, say something
to the tape recorder.

Say-- say "hello."

Talk in the tape recorder,



-[Renee] Are you
gonna say your ABCs,



Sing your ♪A B C D E F G♪

♪Tell me what you think of me♪

♪A B C D E F G♪

♪Tell me what you...♪

♪A P P E E C♪

♪No I C D E E C♪

-[Renee] Go on, do some more.

Anything you say now
is being recorded,


What do you want to say?

-[Rosemary] I
have to [inaudible].

-[Renee] Do you want
me to [inaudible]?

-[Rosemary] [inaudible].

-[Renee] [inaudible].

That's a real wise decision.

Jonathan, what do
you want to say,


-[Jonathan] A B...


-[Renee] Did you know that
this was February the 24th,

1975 and this is a Monday?


-[Jonathan] Hello.

-[Renee] Hello.

-[Jonathan] Hello.

-[Renee] Hello there,

[echoing] Hello.


Hello there, beautiful.

pattycake, baker's man,


You have to do what, Mom?

-[Rosemary] [inaudible].

-[Renee] I like your
teeth, they look good.

-[Rosemary] [inaudible].

-[Renee] With what?

You don't have any teeth there.

-[Rosemary] [inaudible].

-[Renee] Is it loud, darling?

-[Jonathan] No?

-[Renee] Is it loud?

-[Jonathan] No.

-[Renee] Is it soft?

-[Jonathan] No.

-[Renee] Do I love you?

-[Jonathan] Love you.

-[Renee] Jonathan [inaudible]
that man has pretty eyes.

Mommy has a boo-boo?

Where's mommy's boo-boo?

-[Jonathan] There.

-[Renee] Right there?

♪Oh baby, how
are you doin'?♪

♪How are you, darling?♪

♪Don't touch my
tape recorder♪

♪Don't touch my tape recorder♪

♪Baby, don't...♪

♪I do love you, baby♪

♪I don't want you to
touch my tape recorder♪

Thank you.


This is a family
[inaudible] being recorded.

Be nice, you're on
tape recorder now.



-Am I on?

My name...

is Hillary...

Chapman Laura Lou Garia.

This is like a, um,
testimony, isn't it?

Jimmy says when I
wear too much makeup,

it makes me look
like a whore, so...




Oh, I told you my name.


my testimony is about, um,
me and my little baby...


I've b-- I've been through hell.

I'm kind of nervous
here in front of you all.

What a year, you know?


housewife for me.

Um, it all s--
started when, um...

Jim-- Jimmy was
coming home late at night.

He was getting-- you
know, getting into,

um, alcohol.

And I-- I was...pregnant
with Caroline and...

still gaining the pounds.

She's only-- she's
two years old now.

Healthy baby.


s-- she-- he used to beat me...

when he'd come
home drunk at night.

[starting to cry]
He used to beat me.


he used to, um...

he...kicked me in the
stomach while I was pregnant.

And, um...

he'd tie me up...

when he was smoking that dope.

That's what got to
him...in the brain there.

And, um...



This is really, um...

hard for me.

One night, he got out the gun.

I was tied up on the bed.

And he came and
pointed it to my head.

He said, "I'll
kill you, bitch.

I'll kill you!"

It was the other way around.

I-- I...

I got out the gun one night.

Blew his ass away.

-[woman] [whispering] That's it.

-[man] [whispering] That's it.

-[woman] [whispering]
Wake up now.

Wake up, angel.

Wake up.

Wake up.

Get up.

That's it.

That's it.

-[man] [whispering] That's it.

-[woman] That's it.

Come now.

Wake up.

Wake up, angel.

Wake up.

Up you get.

-[man] [whispering] That's it.

[whispering] Up you get.

Up we get.

-Hi, camera.


[laughing] I must
look really gross.


[coughing] TB.

I got T... [laughs]

I got TB: tobacco and beer.


[inaudible] you
show my pretty legs.

I think I have to
get some new shoes...


[inaudible] you're being ornery.

Lompis, ompis, bompis.

I need something to
comb my hair with.

I'm Charlie from the
Chocolate Factory.

[laughing] It's Charlie
from the Chocolate Factory.

[inaudible] I'm Charlie
from the Chocolate Factory.


Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory.


Charlie from
the Chocolate Factory.

I'm gonna get my
hair colored one day.

[inaudible] colored.

What color should I make it?

-[Jonathan] Blonde.

-[Rosemary] [inaudible].

I'm too old to be a blonde.

Nicotine and the heat from the
cigarettes still get on their

lip no matter what
side you put it on.

Isn't that right, Jon?

You make a testimony.

And I'll tell you
that's the honest truth.

-Hi, [inaudible].

My name is Sharelle.

Have you ever just sat down?

You like my hair?

It's done.

It's done.

My secret is egg.

And my name is Sharelle.

And I bet you can tell...

uh, I'm fine now.

I'm-- I'm not using,
so I'm not a doper.

I'm just...

I'm on...


♪Sunny day,
sleeping the clouds away♪

♪On my way to where
the air is sweet♪

I now have strep throat.

I can't remember my birth.

She was diagnosed schizophrenic.

[inaudible] it's
official what her illness was.

She had a head trauma
when she fell off the roof.

She did do LSD,
PCP, and marijuana.

You know, she was
a flower child,

a hippy back in the '60s.

I am emotionally
disturbed right now,

even though I wasn't brought
up in a very neat and perfect


[inaudible] freaked
me out. [laughs]

I had a [inaudible]
in another dimension and then I


See, um, I got a
little of a drug.

I'm not exactly sure what kind,
but I believe it was either PCP

or LSD, and it
depersonalized my mind.

Nobody else hears it, but I do.

And I've been-- I've-- I've
been to Maryland [inaudible].

I hope they don't die.

I am depersonalized and I think
it is from the brain damage.

I feel like I'm
in a dream all the time.

I forgot how it
was to be normal,

you know?

Sometimes, it freaks me out.

And I think I'll-- I think that
was the time I was talking about

her and her pussy
and all that stuff.

I was making-- I don't
usually talk dirty like that.


Oh, well.

Life is a trip.

It's like one big long dream.

No, no gay person came up
to me and brainwashed me.

If anybody is
listening, I am gay.

I've always been gay.

I don't know if it's
from the molesting or not.

I'm just lusty for everything.

I don't-- I don't even like
to suck on stuff like that.

I just have the
feelings of doing it.

I don't like to do it.

Seriously, I don't.

I love my mother so much.

[voice breaking] Can
you take this anymore?

Little bit, yeah.

And...I don't want
to die [inaudible].

I'm not crazy.

And I'm not going home.

I'm staying here...

for the rest of my fucking life.

She kidnapped me,
took me to Chicago,


She was raped in front of me.

They were talking
about these tunnels...

these tunnels that
were underground.

These skeletons
that were discovered.

Nobody's supposed
to know I'm gay.

But I sort of
wanted it in a way,

because I do have gay feelings.

But I don't know why.

I guess I'm a silent faggot.

Look at me.

[whispering] [inaudible].

Do you think I'm crazy?

I'm not crazy, I'm just stupid.

[inaudible] I'm cracking
up, I'm hearing things.

There was a very
big, fucked up mistake.

There goes that noise.

What the hell is it?

He molested me.

I wanna die.


Ow, I just stubbed my toe.

I just stubbed my toe.

Oh God, it hurts.


You see my transplant?

I mean, my implants?

[laughing] My transplants...

You know what, Jon?

You could have a hairstyle
just like that boy had.

Long on one side.

And the other side
they have cut short.

You ever seen that?

-[woman] You certainly
have emotional problems.

-[indistinct screaming]

-Who the fuck is this?


I need...

I need teeth!


Help me!

Help me!

You're making a
sinner out of me.



-You don't even have to l--

-[Rosemary] I see red.

What's the red?

-It's probably this.

Wh-- what do you mean, red?

It's in black and white.

-[Rosemary] I see
a red light, Jon.

-That doesn't mean anything.

-[Rosemary] Turn on the air!

Grandma, you don't-- look.

Grandma, do you see it?

-[Rosemary] I don't want to!

-[Jonathan] Now watch this.

Hold it like this.

Hold it just like that and
have this going up to my face.

Just put it in
your lap and hold it.


-[Rosemary] Like this?





-It's sore.


-The weather is clearing up now.

We're still having the rain.


we will now return to
our normal things again.

It is really amazing how the
weather could change from-- from

a sun-shiny day to-- to
stormy, uh, to a stormy day.

-I don't have any teeth at all.


-And one thing we have to
[inaudible] it has always been a

good baseball town.

Love baseball.

It's been the number one sport,
especially for the old-timers.

I am Houston proud, and
don't mess with Texas!

-I want to say something.

And if you don't go over
there and sit down [inaudible],

I'm gonna blow your
fucking brains out.

I got stuff to do, I
want to be alone to do it.

I gotta make some resolutions
about my stupid life.

I can't bite my
fingernails, I can't do it.

I can't keep [inaudible] because
I'm a person and I'm a nervous


-When do you have to
return the camera,






All right now?

-[Rosemary] Jonathan, I
have to go to the bathroom.

You can't film me
going to the bathroom.

That would be pornography.

That shade!

I told you to open
it by the stick!

Now, let it down!

Let it down, Jonathan!

I told you to always
open it by that stick!

-[Jonathan] Hello?

Talk into the video camera.

Hang on.

You ready?

-[Renee] Yeah.

-[Jonathan] Okay, go.

-[Renee] Dr. [inaudible]
says I'm doing a lot better.

All the therapy help
and all the help.

He says I'm doing a lot better.

Okay, can you
hear me in Houston?

-[Jonathan] Yeah.

-[Renee] Thank you.

Have a nice day.

I love you too.


-[Jonathan] Bye.

-[Renee] Love you.

-[Jonathan] Love you.

-[Renee] Are we going now?

-She's awake, she sees.

-She don't see.

As long as she [inaudible],
she can't see nor hear.

She's like dead now, see.

-[man] She's awake, she sees.

-[woman] She don't see.

As long as she [inaudible],
she can't see nor hear.

She's like dead now, see.

-[man] Typhoon!


[indistinct overlapping voices]

-[woman] I'm sorry to hear
you aren't feeling well.

I'm sorry to hear you
aren't feeling well.

I'm sorry to hear you
aren't feeling well.

[indistinct overlapping voices]

-♪It's just a little bitty
pissant country place♪

♪Ain't nothing much to see♪

♪No drinking allowed♪

♪We get a nice quiet crowd♪

-♪We're gonna zoom,
zoom, zoom-a-zoom♪

♪Come on and

-♪Well, I don't care
if I'm pretty at all♪

-♪And I don't care
if I never get tall♪

-I don't wanna die!

I don't wanna die!

-[woman] It's blood, Jessica.

It's blood.

-[woman] Hit her!

-[woman] Oh, my God!

I found a crab over there.

-I'm Timmy!

-[foreign language].

-Will you draw me a sheep?

-[man] Was their a message
on their lips in their last

convulsive breaths?


-[man] Never should we sell our
possessions and our very souls

to false prophets.

-Is that a way to
bring up a boy?

He'll be a lesbian?

-[woman] How can a
son be a lesbian?

-[man] Those who do not remember
the past are condemned to repeat


-Everybody means everybody!

And that means you!

-That's not possible!

That's a mistake!

-[man] Ahh!

-I was quite the celebrity.

-Please help me!

-[inaudible] kill you today.

-[woman] Jon...


-We're still [inaudible].

That's what I
like about Houston.

It gets cold here for a while
but don't stay cold very long.

Just for a little while.

-It's not a matter of
[inaudible] for you,

is it?!


-You're making a
sinner out of me.

You're making a
sinner out of me!

-Somewhere, my
flower's up there!


-How do you get it with
the face looking into the...

The camera lens
or somewhere else?

-[Jonathan] Yeah,
into the camera lens.

-I would like to
display my earrings,

which are-- I bought them at
Elizabeth Taylor's boutique in


Yes, that's in San Francisco.

And she also has this
boutique in Houston.

These are what she wore in
her White Diamonds commercial.

And, um...

I've-- I've become, uh,
overwhelmed by these earrings

because they are white diamonds.

And they are an authentic
possession of-- that Elizabeth

Taylor once wore.

I gotta run over to my apartment
in LA and pick up some items...

and bring them to my
son, who is in Houston.

[laughing] It makes no sense,
but that's all I could think of.

Hey, momma's gotta go now.

-[Jonathan] I have a crush on
this guy in theater arts that

looks just like Nick Drake.

He lives out in the woods
and he's a great musician.

He carves [inaudible]
and ZZ Top on his legs.

-[Jonathan] [inaudible].

[laughing] Tell
me where you are.

-[Jonathan and
Michael] I am Pazoozoo!


-That bitch.

[pretends to cry]

That bitch.


Fuck off, bitch!

Fuck-- fuck the fuckers!

Fuck you, bitch!

the wind blows♪

-Uh, what these kids
are doing is, uh,

using Marianne Faithful as, uh,
in regard to her relationship

with, uh, Mick
Jagger as sort of a

quasi-metaphor for the
Dorothy Valance character.

-You either rock out
really crazily and get down--

-[woman] Yeah.

-Or you could go very demure
while everyone's rocking out

behind you and just be like...

you know, move your
fingers, maybe hips,

and bopping a little
shoulder here or there.

-[doll] I dig that crazy beat.




-[doll] Like, you're way out.


-[Jonathan] She's a beatnik.

-[doll] Hey, sweetie!

Like, you're
something else, you know?


-[Adolph] See it?

-[Jonathan] Yeah.

Why do you keep that?

-Why I keep that?

I keep that for my protection.


-[Jonathan] Really?

-Yeah, too many
people breaking in.

-[Jonathan] I love you, Dad.

-I love you too.

-Look at my new phone.

-[Jonathan] It's great.

-Isn't it great?

-[Jonathan] Mm-hm.


There's nobody on the line.

There's nobody on the
line, but this is brand new.



-Here I am in
beautiful, sunny--

-[woman] Say something.

Say "Hello,
how are you?"

How old are you,


-[woman] When will
you be 21, soon?

-Two months.

-[woman] Two months?

How old are you, David?

-[laughing] 13.

-[woman] When will you be 14?

-In December.

-[woman] Is that
three months away?

-I guess.

-This is September 1993.

-Yeah, three months.

-And I'm still smoking.

My own private Idaho.

-[Renee] You wouldn't
have a family if I die,


You'll have no one.

-[Jonathan] That's not true.

-It is true.

I'm all you've ever had.

You never...

you never really
appreciated me for what I was.

-Everybody has
this mark right here.

But before a person is born,
God shows them everything.

He shows them
heaven and everything.

But when they're
getting ready to be born,

God doesn't want them
to remember any of that.

So an angel touches-- touches...

it touched me, it touches
everybody before they're born.

And everybody has
this little mark.

He says that's what it is.

It's that angel touches your
child before they're born so

they won't remember.

Yeah, Rosemary
ha-- had a stroke,

oh, uh, quite a few months ago.

And, uh, we, uh, have a lot
of hope and confidence that,

uh, she will proceed
in being well again.

Diet very carefully.

We think that's one
of the keys to it.

We're giving her low sodium
and we give her a lot of fresh


Well, we're saying about another
30 to 60 days that she will...

start and gradually
get better and better.

-[Jonathan] Do your
Bette Davis imitation,


See how pretty?

Pretty Grandma.

Grandma, say
hello, start talking.

Look into the camera.

-[Renee] She's
really, really tired.

-[Jonathan] Look right into
the camera and start talking.

-What do you want me to say?

-[Jonathan] Just
talk about stuff.

-I don't feel like it.

-[Jonathan] Take the wig off.

Pull it off, Grandma.

You can just pull it off.

You don't have to
do it from the top.

-[Renee] Take it off.

-[Jonathan] From the side.

-Maybe [inaudible], one of the
war songs that's stuck with me,

"Coming In On a Wing and a
Prayer," and they have a

meaning to them, too.

Every one of them.

[inaudible] something
to me that gives me hope.

-We were all sleeping and they
just woke us up and banged on

our doors a couple of times
and asked us to evacuate.

-I want you to know that I--
I-- I really believe in you.

And you have such good thoughts,
such good deeds that you've


that you've really impressed
me and make me a happy guy.

-I'm gonna help
myself to some coffee.

-[David] Sure, go ahead, please.


What's your name?


You do not pay attention!

You're not listening.




-♪Don't you forget the nest
where you used to rest♪

♪It wasn't the worst
but among the best♪

-Would you like another donut?

-Mm, it's good.

Especially when we
cause a riot, you know?

Oh, my goodness!

This is wonderful.

-We're gonna blow up now.

Happy new year!

-[David] Happy new year, baby!

-Happy new year!

...doing, David?


-[Jonathan] Now stand up.

Let's see what it looks like.


-[David] Wow.

-[Jonathan] Looks like
a-- a nuclear angel.

Where are we?


-[Jonathan] Where is home?


-[Jonathan] Where do we live?


-[Jonathan] It's our
New York apartment!

See how big it is?

-They say in one of my
books that Elizabeth Taylor was

hamming it up for the
camera at age three,

so I inherited that.

I was an extremely abused child.

It was a-- an ongoing thing.

There was no end to it.

I never knew from one minute to
the next when I was gonna be hit

or slapped or drug by my hair...

by my-- the
people who raised me.

Sick parents
raise sick children.

My children are
Jonathan and David,

and they are very
special, wonderful children.

When I was a little girl,
the mother who raised me...

would chase me through the
house with a belt in her

hand, and I would run to my
bed and lie on my stomach,

and she would
whip me on my back.

Rosemary was the
woman who raised me.

She was...

schizophrenic, she
was very neurotic,

and she was very psychotic.

She would hit me on
my back, she would...

hit me with her fist
for no apparent reason.

I was extremely
abused and, uh...

hopefully, I-- I didn't bring
over any of the abuse to my


I wanted to be the
one to break the cycle.

-[Jonathan] Tell me
about the accident.

What happened?


I feel out the window.

-[Jonathan] What
was the accident?

-I fell out....

-[Jonathan] What was your
first memory of the first mental

hospital that you went to.


-[Jonathan] Tell me!

-This is way too much.

-[Jonathan] No,
tell me, tell me!

Because it's not
your fault, Renee.

-No, it's not.

-[Jonathan] It's not your fault!

-No, it's not!

-[Jonathan] You have
nothing to run away from!

-[Renee] I'm-- I'm sick, okay?

-[Jonathan] You're not sick!

-[Renee] Oh, yes, I am, now.

-[Jonathan] Will you just please
help me with my stupid film?

-[Renee] My stomach
can't take this.

-[Jonathan] Talk to me!

Mommy, this is the kind of shit
that you talk to me about all


You bring this up and you
recycle these stories to me all

the time about Rosemary and
Adolph and your doctors and how

fucked up they fucked you up.

-Your father i--
of course is Steve,

and he was a very good provider
for us when he was married,

when I was married to him.

And, um, had a
beautiful apartment home,

had the finest
furniture and the best food.

And he was a good, loyal friend
and husband to me for the length

of time that we were married.


-[Jonathan] How
did you guys meet?

-[sighs] Oh, my God.

I've got enough problems, honey,
without bringing up the past,


My therapist told me I don't
have to bring up the past!

-You know, I'd like to find
out a few things about myself,


-[Renee] We can talk, Jon.

We don't need it on film.

-[Renee] Hello, Jonathan.

Adolph's going to
have me committed.

I can't take it anymore.

Adolph screams and
yells at me every day.

I can't stand this.

Hello, honey?

Listen, please call
your mom tonight.

It's-- it's
definitely an emergency.

Jonathan, please call me!

I think Adolph's gonna put me
in the hospital to make it look

like I'm the one
that needs the help.

They'll come to my door and
put handcuffs on me and put me

inside of a car and
carry me to God-knows-where.

Let me tell you, Jonathan, there
should be a law against this.

This is a call of desperation.

I take Lithium like a good girl,
but there's nothing wrong with


Let me tell you, Jonathan,
I'm getting out of Texas,

and I'm...

I'm coming to live with you.

-[man] David or Jonathan,
please call Renee.

David or Jonathan,
please call Renee.

David or Jonathan,
please call Renee...

-All great.

Everything's great.

-Walking around.

-I know.

-It's crazy.


Great, great, I-- and now,
I know may never recover.

My apartment became very dirty.

-[Jonathan] Oh, I saw.


-And I fell out.

-[Jonathan] How are you feeling?


-[Jonathan] Good.

You look beautiful.

-One, two,
three, four, five,

six, seven and--

-Can't complain,
everything is fine.

-[Jonathan] Yeah?

-[singing indistinctly]




Mamma, don't do it to me.

[singing indistinctly]

Fixed and fast.

Mommy loves you all the best.

Film Michael.

-Don't touch it.

Don't drop it.

-[Renee] Okay, I'm
not doing nothing.

Stay back.

-You're shaking it,
you're shaking it.

-[Renee] No, no.

-Okay, don't-- you have
to-- you're shaking it.

You're gonna drop my camera.





It ain't my fault.

I talk funny 'cause,
you know, [inaudible].


[laughing] Okay.

Oh, Lordy.

It's a pumpkin.

[inaudible] pumpkin.

[inaudible] pumpkin, baby.


I swear to God,
this is a pumpkin.



Smile, you're
on candid camera today!


Ooh, smashing pumpkins.


I'm snowing.

[inaudible] snowing.

And it's...really
stormy weather.

[inaudible]. [laughs]

This is little pumpkin,
short and stout.

Tip me over and pour me out.

I'm the little pumpkin,
short and stout.

Tip me over and pour me out.

It's a pumpkin.

Do the pumpkin.


Do the pumpkin [inaudible].




[inaudible] pumpkins.





Do the pumpkin.


I know!





I can get onstage and entertain.

Do the pumpkin.


Do the pumpkin.



Do the doll's head.


She's cute.

Do the doll's head.



Do the pumpkin.


It's mine.

This is all I have
for dinner [inaudible].


That's why I'm
so...interested in pumpkins.


Let's go upstairs [inaudible].


-[Jonathan] What prompted
you and Grandma to start

administering shock treatments
to her over and over again?

What-- who talked you into that?

-It was the doctors.

-[Jonathan] Didn't you think
that electricity on the brain at

that time could
have been harmful?


-[Jonathan] I'm wondering if
Mommy would have never had the

shock treatments, if
she would have been normal,

if she would have not had to
deal with anything like this.

-Well, she-- she--

-[Jonathan] Any illnesses.

-She's normal, she gets
depressed once in a while.

-[Jonathan] She gets delusional.

She tells me that you and
Grandma used to lock her in



-[Jonathan] That you would just
lock her in closets and abuse

her and...

she's even told
me things like...

horrible things, Dad.

Like your mother used to molest
her and touch her on her vagina.

And she thinks that
you're not her real parents.

-Sometimes, she thinks
Elizabeth Taylor was her mother.

-[Jonathan] That
Elizabeth Taylor was?

Do you know what
she also told me?

That she was born
with four nipples.

And that she was also
born a hermaphrodite.

A boy.

She either is delusional and she
completely believes what she's

saying or there's
maybe some truth to this.

-We've got a happy family and
a wonderful family and we love


I know things a little more
deeper than-- than you do.

-Dad, the world is
a hateful place.


-Yes, it is, Dad.

-[Jonathan] Do you think this
family has been a government


-Yes, it has been.

-I-- I-- I don't know what--

-[inaudible] your fucking
memory is shot to hell!

-[laughs] Now, honey--

-You can't remember
shit in your own life--

-You're too pretty
to talk like that.


-Fuck you!

-[Jonathan] Dad, did you
ever lock Renee up in closets?


-Jonathan, don't
bring that up, damn you!

-No, I--

-Adolph, don't bring that up.

Jonathan, damn you.

Stop it!

-I'm out of it.

Just-- I-- I--

-[Jonathan] Why are
you so angry with me?

-The questions you
ask me and all of that,

there's nothing the
matter with-- with me.

You're trying to-- you're trying
to scheme something on me.

-[Jonathan] I'm not trying
to scheme anything on you!

-Just leave me alone and
you tend to your business!

You understand?

-[Jonathan] I'm not trying
to scheme anything on you.

-Well, just leave me alone!

Police department, please.

I'm on the phone.

-Adolph, are you insane?

-No, I want to call--

-Yes, you are!

-I want to talk to [inaudible].

You can come over to my house.

[inaudible] here is acting
up and I want you to....

Take that away!

Take that away!

-[Renee] He's photographing--

-No, I don't want to
be photographed by him!

-More like yourself.

-Can you see?


-[Renee] Can I get my
New York ID tomorrow?

-Yeah, what time do
you need to get there?

-[Renee] [inaudible].


You've gotta wake me up in
the morning because I'm off my

sleeping schedule right now.




-Oh, I know.



-Filming on the toilet?

-It's like five in the morning
and I wanted this scene to kind

of be in the dark like it was
when I was younger with the

light and...

the sun's about to come up, so
I have to hurry up and do this.

My mother's up right now.

She's-- she has insomnia.

She's-- she's off
her sleeping schedule.

She's downstairs right now.

She's just...

turning the sink on,
so I'm-- I'm really...

I'm scared of
letting myself go to,


talk about anything right now.


I don't know...

if it's just because
I'm a grown-up now, um...

that people tell me things
like "Why do you look so


Or... [sighs]

"Why do you have
such stress in your face?"

Or "How come you can't
get a sentence out now?"

Or "What the hell
is wrong with you?"


We sat through Neil Simon's
Seems Like Old Times with

Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase
like three times in a row.

That was back in the days
when like people could do that.

You could just like sit through
a movie over and over again.

Oh, fucking shit.

I don't ever want to
turn out like my mother.

And I'm scared 'cause...


when I was little and she
was my age that I am now,

which is 31, um...

she seemed a lot
better than she does now.

I love my mother so much.

As fucked up as it is...

I can't escape her.

She lives inside me.

She's in my hair,
she's behind my eyes.

She's under my skin.




Uh, I can't do this.

Here, sweetie.

Take this.

I love you.

-[Renee] ...But do not distress
yourself with imagining.

Many fears are born of
fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a [inaudible] discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the


You have a right to be here.

And whether or not
it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive him to be,

and whatever your labors
and aspirations in the noisy

confusion of life, keep
peace with your soul.

With all its
[inaudible], drudgery,

and broken dreams, it is
still a beautiful world.