Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beaver Trilogy

I was reminded about this film in a conversation with Jill, who is officially no longer an "Austin Artist."

It seems the only way to see the film nowadays is to get a copy directly from the director, Trent Harris, which is what I did from his website. Much has been written about the film, an excellent detailed synopsis of the film is available here, and a pretty thoughtful review is given here. The movies were the subject of a popular episode of This American Life, spoiler alert, Starlee Kine pretty much describes the events of every frame in graphic detail.

The Beaver Trilogy consists of three films and in order of appearance they are The Beaver Kid, The Beaver Kid #2, and The Orkly Kid. The Beaver Kid is a kind of documentary. While the director, Trent Harris, was testing a new color video camera, he happened upon Richard Griffith, whose CB handle is “Groovin Gary,” taking pictures of the Channel 2 helicopter in the parking lot where Harris worked. After this initial meeting, Harris sets out to create a piece for PM, a show like Real People, centered on a talent show Griffith has organized in Beaver. The second and third installments are fictionalized accounts of the same story, where a very young Sean Penn plays Gary in a black and white short made for $100, and Crispin Glover portrays him in the third and most flushed out version of the tale.

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