Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Beaver Trilogy

Jes and I were listening to an old podcast of This American Life this evening, themed on reruns, and they talked about the Beaver Trilogy. I'd seen a link to this on Digg awhile back, but didn't have the full story, and didn't make it past the first segment on YouTube. But the story on This American Life was so compelling, that I had to find the whole thing again.

The Beaver Trilogy, for those of you who don't know, consists of three films, the first a combination of serendipitous filming and documentary of Groovin' Gary in 1979. The second two films are docudramas inspired by the first, but filmed years later by the same director, Trent Harris. The second stars a very young Sean Penn in 1981. The third stars an also very young Crispin Glover and was filmed in 1985.

The whole thing kinda reminds me of Napolean Dynamite, but much more existential.The fact that the director kept coming back to this same subject, that this experience was one he felt continuously drawn to, is really fascinating. There are elements of creativity as therapy, as well as Nietzche's concept of the Eternal Return. Actually, I find Napolean Dynamite a better source of one liner allusions than a film. But this work as a whole... this is a gem. If you have the patience to watch all these parts (which are linked in the correct order below) you should check out the podcast of This American Life, it's the one from 12/11/2006, # 226, and it's available for free in the podcast section of the itunes store.

But you know, the Dragon's got a soft spot in his scaly ol' heart, for quirky, good natured small town folks, who just really don't fit. Groovin' Gary, my glass is raised to you.

Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid) - pt 1
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid) - pt 2
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid) - pt 3
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid) - pt 4
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid 2) - pt 1
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid 2) - pt 2
Beaver Trilogy (Beaver Kid 2) - pt 3
Beaver Trilogy (The Orkly Kid) - pt 1
Beaver Trilogy (The Orkly Kid) - pt 2
Beaver Trilogy (The Orkly Kid) - pt 3
Beaver Trilogy (The Orkly Kid) - pt 4

"Man, this town's enough to drive a guy nuts!"

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