“Walk Away Renee,” which debuted at Cannes 2011, is Jonathan Caouette’s follow-up to his much-lauded 2003 documentary “Tarnation.” The film is playing at Los Angeles’ Outfest on Saturday, July 21 and is already available on SundanceNow. Our exclusive clip and trailers are below.
The filmmaker’s mother, Renee Leblanc, is front and center in both of his video memoirs. As a child, she was given electroshock therapy and as an adult, lives with acute bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. In “Walk Away Renee,” the latest psychiatric facility is not working out and Caouette decides to drive his mother cross country from Houston to New York. She loses her medication and the relationship between mother and son veers in both touching and tragic directions, with both souls exposed through footage Caouette creatively weaves together with metaphysical overtones. The film itself it quite a ride, immersive and boldly personal. The exclusive clip we chose below features what I call the film’s accidental Terrence Malick moment.
Caouette introduces the clip: “This is the scene that we shot, which I have just recently learned is a remake of sorts, of Lance and Pat Loud’s walk through Central Park from [documentary film] ‘An American Family.’ Renee and I walked the same path that Pat and Lance do. We seemed to inadvertently shoot this; it wasn’t on purpose and a journalist brought it to my attention. But, in any case I think it’s cool, even though it was an accident. I love An American Family, and I adored Lance.”