The Beaver Trilogy (2000) is a documentary film directed by Trent Harris, featuring "Groovin' Gary", Sean Penn, Crispin Glover and co-starring Courtney Gains and Elizabeth Daily.
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 screened at the Lincoln Center in New York City in July of 2000. Beaver Trilogy unveils the inner world of a fantastic character compelled to hide, yet at the same time, tell the world about his secret life.
Richard LaVon Griffiths, the original Groovin' Gary, died in Salt Lake City on February 2, 2009, at age 50.
Check out Trent Harris on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/trentharris11/
Check out Trent Harris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trent.harris.507
Check out his website where you can find info. on his other films, books and art, and purchase them: http://www.echocave.net/
Check this out!
The Beaver Trilogy Q&A with Director Trent Harris at Raindance Film Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb-oBJtoYCA
The film was also featured in the public radio show This American Life in the episode entitled, "Reruns." The episode first aired December 6, 2002.
In an interview with Robert K. Elder for his book The Best Film You've Never Seen, director Phil Lord highlights the merits of the trilogy: “To me, it felt like it was a film school education in 83 minutes. It’s a great treatise in story-telling and the different ways you can tell a story just with subtle changes.”
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