Sunday, 30 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 278: Fri Oct 5

The Beaver Trilogy (Harris, 2000): Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus 8pm
This film is screening as part of the Trent Harris retrospective at the Raindance Film Festival, which runs from September 26 to October 7. More details on Festival can be found here.

Here's a full review of this extraordinary movie by Time Out's Tom Huddleston in his Classic Film Club series on the magazine's website.

Chicago Reader review:
'Trent Harris shot the first section of this video in 1979, but the trilogy wasn't completed until 2000. A TV cameraman, Harris traveled to Beaver, Utah, to tape a local talent show in which a young drag performer appeared as “Olivia Newton-Dawn”; the audience is minuscule, and after his preshow makeover at a mortuary the singer looks more like an old man than a woman. Parts two and three are fictional remakes of the documentary, the first shot in 1981 with a lively and unknown Sean Penn as the singer, the second in 1985 and featuring Crispin Glover, whose manic energy and shifts of tone are especially effective. The remakes allow Harris to comment on aspects of the original sequence, emphasizing the small-town homophobia that a drag performer might encounter and suggesting that the TV crew wants to exploit him for laughs. The ensuing questions of truth versus fiction and copy versus original take on a special poignancy when applied to drag.' Fred Camper

Here's a clip.

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