Jonathan Caouette has garnered something of a prodigious reputation for his micro-budget debut Tarnation, which utilized visceral, discordant editing and home videos to explore his relentlessly grim childhood and the relationship with his mentally ill mother. Caouette has kept a relatively low-profile since that release, but fans eager for more material can now be treated to All Flowers in Time, a short film from the director created in 2010 and put online by the PHI Centre about a month ago. The film’s official description is as elusive as its visuals:
“I am not from this place” declares a French cowboy. An old toothless man asks, “Do you know why you’re here?”. These shape shifting personalities infect young children with an evil signal in the form of a Dutch TV show. The red eyed girls and boys believe they can now become other people and monsters much to their delight.
Caouette’s proclivity toward maximal editing has not been excised with a bigger budget—here he creates a flurry of spectral imagery around this brazen and disturbing premise. The film is reminiscent of Tarnation in its liberality with jarring mutations of image and sound, and in its acute moments of tenderness amidst a horrific and alien environment. Chloë Sevigny also stars in the film and is responsible for the best (and eeriest) scene.