Michael Renov is professor of critical studies at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He will sign copies of The Subject of Documentary (University of Minnesota Press, 2003).

In his most recent book, The Subject of Documentary, Michael Renov draws on the works of both avant-gardists and traditionalists to explore an emergent praxis that places the mediamaker in front of the camera as subject. How his theories of new autobiographical practice apply to tonight's film Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette's riveting freefall through a life at turns harrowing and strangely redemptive, will be the subject of his introductory lecture. Caouette says about Tarnation, “Filmmaking for me became a means of dissociation and escape. By picking up a camera when I was a kid, I found a way to survive the life I was enduring. I used the camera as a weapon, a shield, and a way to illuminate how I was feeling about everything. Tarnation is designed to mimic my thought processes so the audience can feel like they're in a living dream, which can be scary and intense, but also beautiful and glorious.”

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