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Old 09-12-2017, 11:09 AM
Max Torque is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,972
Last movies I saw: American Assassin. Preview screening on August 15, although the movie doesn't come out for another couple of days. A decent enough movie, but no real surprises. I didn't feel like it was a waste of time or anything.

The Beaver Trilogy. This movie deserves some explaining, even though it's hard movie to explain, but I'll try. It's essentially the same basic story three times, with changes each time. The first is a straight-up unplanned documentary: in the 70s, a TV cameraman is trying out a new camera outside the station and spots a young fella, Gary, taking pictures of the news helicopter. The kid is a real character, and very friendly, and really likes performing. He later invites the cameraman to a talent show in his home town of Beaver, Utah. The talent show is pretty unspectacular, until Gary comes out in full makeup as Olivia Newton-John and does, basically, a drag show, the likes of which Beaver has likely never seen.

The second part is a fictional re-telling of the first, as an early project by the cameraman when he started going to film school. It covers everything in a more straight-forward narrative format. Especially notable: the cameraman was looking around to cast someone in the role of Gary and found this guy named Sean Penn, right before Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released.

The third part is another fictional version of the same story, which I believe he made much later in film school, with some pretty significant changes and fleshing-out of things. Once again, the director fished around for local actors to fill out the parts, and cast this guy named Crispin Glover, right before Back to the Future came out. There are some other recognizable names in it, too; one I noticed was Elizabeth Daily, who sometimes goes by E.G. Daily. I know her best as the voice of Tommy on Rugrats, but she's been in tons of other stuff (Dottie from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, anyone?).

Anyway. I'm glad to have seen it, though I'm sure it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. It's very rarely seen, because really the only way to see it is at special screenings or buying the DVD from the director's website directly. I think there's a lot to talk about with this movie; it's a shame that it doesn't have a wider audience. It should probably be shown in film schools; it's a good example of how the same essential story can be told in different ways. If you want to see more about it, there's actually a documentary about the history and making of the Beaver Trilogy on Netflix, called Beaver Trilogy Part IV.