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The Beaver Trilogy (2000)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 338 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 10 critic

It begins in 1979 with the chance meeting in a Salt Lake City parking lot where filmmaker Trent Harris is approached by an earnest small-town dreamer from Beaver, Utah. Harris jumps at the ... See full summary »

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Title: The Beaver Trilogy (2000)

The Beaver Trilogy (2000) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Groovin' Gary ...
Himself (segment "The Beaver Kid") (archive footage)
...
Groovin' Larry (segment "Beaver Kid 2") (archive footage)
...
Groovin' Larry (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
...
Merril (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
John Bluto ...
Byron (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
...
Terrance (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Lila Waters ...
Mother (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Shane McCabe ...
Mr. Larson (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
...
Carrissa (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
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Storyline

It begins in 1979 with the chance meeting in a Salt Lake City parking lot where filmmaker Trent Harris is approached by an earnest small-town dreamer from Beaver, Utah. Harris jumps at the chance when the young man invites him to come to the small town of Beaver to film a talent show. At the show, the man dons black leather, blond wig and performs in drag as Olivia Newton John. Harris captures it all on tape. What unfolds is a strange, funny, and ultimately poignant portrait of a true outsider. Not willing to let the story go, Harris then created a dramatic piece, "Beaver Kid 2" based on the documentary. This interpretation, shot in 1981 on a home video camera with a budget of $100, features the young Sean Penn as the Beaver Kid re-enacting the same scenario. Still possessed, Harris then rewrote the script, cast Crispin Glover in the lead, and in 1985 created the final segment, "Orkly Kid" as an American Film Institute project. The three pieces were re-edited, compiled, and finally ... Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

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20 January 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The three short films were originally shot 16 to 21 years before their release: "The Beaver Kid" in 1979, ""Beaver Kid 2" in 1981 and "The Orkly Kid" in 1985. See more »

Connections

Edited from The Orkly Kid (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Don't Keep Me Waiting
Performed by Groovin' Gary
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User Reviews

 
Unintentional voyeurism
8 December 2004 | by (Auckland, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This is how i felt while watching this film. I loved it. It was hilarious. But i did feel a like i was getting sneaky view into somebody's psyche and then laughing as it got twisted around to make an interesting point. A friend put it this way:

"I feel like we broke into somebody's house and are now watching their awful home videos without their knowledge".

Another one of those fact is stranger than fiction pieces of film. "Groovin' Gary", the original "Beaver Kid", is a small town guy who turns up at a nearby TV station in the hope of getting on film - and he certainly does, though not, perhaps, as he initially expected. With high hopes of fame and significance he invites Harris to come and film a truly awful talent quest that he has organised in his home town - headlined by his own drag act "Olivia Newton-Don".

Director, Trent Harris, does a brilliant job with this slowly evolving story. Some footage of an awkward kid who wants to be someone morphs, over two subsequent reinterpretations, into the story of freedom from repressed sexual identity in small town America. Harris simultaneously critiques the attitudes of small town America, the cult of celebrity, and the exploitative practices of the film and television industry.

Both Sean Penn and Grispin Glover pull out stunner performances. a young Sean Penn is the most evocative - so closely does he follow the actual 'Gary footage', but with strong nuances given to push the sense of the interaction the way Harris wants it to go.

In the end the wide-eyed naivety the original Gary is what moved me - when contrasted against these possible interpretations of his situation.

A film not to miss. I have not seen anything else like it.

Jacob.


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