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September 13, 2004 9:43 PM   Subscribe

The Beaver Triologyblurs reality and fiction as it tells the story of a teen obsessed with the spotlight. [as heard on This American Life.]
posted by drezdn (6 comments total)
I exchanged a few e-mails with the filmmaker. Very nice guy who still seems to feel bad about his impact on this young man's life. It's a great movie, too. From what I gather, Sean Penn won't give permission for it to be distributed. It makes the art house rounds once in a while.
posted by squirrel at 10:57 PM on September 13, 2004

Saw the preview for this last night at the Alamo Drafthouse It's showing there a week from tonight. Sean Penn? Crispin Glover? I thought the dude was wacky last night... and I REALLY think he's wacky now!
posted by psychotic_venom at 6:04 AM on September 14, 2004

Man I rented this from Vulcan in Austin (psychotic - they have it in the north store by the pornos) and watched this over the winter. Almost immediately it became one of my favorite films ever. The first part, that is. The second and third parts seem abusive, and no one can outsing Olivia Newton John anyway. Why try?


I fucking love the original Beaver Kid. Seriously. Brought a sincere happy buzz to me while watching ...nearly cried, very honestly. It stayed with me for weeks. I was pissed off at Sean Penn and wanted to kick his teeth out watching the second, and had to turn off the video. The crispin one is even weaker, but I liked it for it's afterschool special feel. It's odd though - one has to wonder what impact the beaver kid had on Crispin's future el weirdo persona, i.e. his books, albums and the Rubin and Ed movie, as well as the George McFly character, which he did the same year he did The Orkly Kid (beaver kid pt 3) ... I idolized Glover in highschool and now think he stole some of his schtick from Beaver.

As a review: the movies tend to dillute the initial message, ridiculing the main character, and I can't forgive it. The coolest thing about the first one was how much the town generally accepts him; especially his friends who play backup to his lead on stage. To mock him, word for word (the sean penn take - again, fuck him, bastard) and then to turn the town against him (crispin's turn, portraying him as a pussy) seriously pissed me off; there's more than enough stories about that sort of thing. What makes the first part of the trilogy truly wonderful, heartbreaking, sad and strangely happy, is that the town accepts him and that's he's sincerely this person, not an actor.
posted by Peter H at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2004

(spoiler part two)

Also, when the o.g. Beaver kid sings to the video camera, "I need you, channel two" - hard to pinpoint why, but he kind of boils down all the insecurity and wanting you'll find in any actor or oddball seeking hollywood. It's a really strange uncomfortable but very honest moment, this weirdo isolated in a small winter town, starving to leave but stuck. We all know it's stupid and insignificant but it's honest; so to ridicule it, again, really angered me. Just my 02ยข
posted by Peter H at 9:58 AM on September 14, 2004

Olivia Newton John anyway. Why try?
oops, I mean Newton "Dawn" - (beaver kid no.1) groovin gary's persona. No one can top that.
posted by Peter H at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2004

Yeah, the original Beaver Kid really touched me, too. That says something about the power of documentary, I think, as compared to dramatic re-enactment.

I get the sense that the filmmaker kept remaking the movie because he was trying to figure out something.

If it weren't for the fact of Penn's and Glover's eventual fame, this movie probably wouldn't ever have seen the light of day... and may have been a better film, too.
posted by squirrel at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2004

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