Please don't keep me waiting... I can't take this kind of pa-eee-ain.
January 2, 2007 11:24 PM   Subscribe

The Beaver Trilogy... Starring the Beaver Kid himself (circa 1979), Sean Penn (circa 1981), Crispin Glover (circa 1985) and a bathroom cameo by... wait, is that Carrot Top? Oh my, Olivia Newton John has never looked so good.
Parts 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11
posted by miss lynnster (29 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Don't forget the Official Site
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 PM on January 2, 2007

Thanks. I forgot that one.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:41 PM on January 2, 2007

I've been waiting to see this for years. Thank you!!!
posted by pwb503 at 11:50 PM on January 2, 2007

I've been avoiding seeing this for years. Damn you!!!
posted by davejay at 12:18 AM on January 3, 2007

The Crispin Glover version made for a compelling (if cynical) dramatization, but it was nice to see that the real Beaver Kid did not face the same kind of scorn and derision.
posted by metaplectic at 1:19 AM on January 3, 2007

I couldn't finish it, i feel like a loser. It was just too painful. From what I saw (the transition from part one to part 2) it was just too depressing. Please correct me if it changes tone at some later point.
posted by eparchos at 2:17 AM on January 3, 2007

posted by Smart Dalek at 3:57 AM on January 3, 2007

Darn! I did a search... maybe it didn't come up because it was misspelled. (At least all of the old links are dead so I don't feel like it's a total repost.)
posted by miss lynnster at 4:09 AM on January 3, 2007

There is free streaming of a This American Life broadcast that has a great segment on The Beaver Trilogy. Look for episode 226 from the year 2002. (direct link is unavailable).
posted by bustmakeupleave at 4:52 AM on January 3, 2007

Check the second link for the This American Life episode, the word "Beaver."

*I'm pulling an all nighter for work tonight... I really need to stop checking this post to distract myself but... ugh.*
posted by miss lynnster at 5:02 AM on January 3, 2007

I was listening to the This American Life episode only this morning, and lamenting that this wasn't distributed. Now I can watch it - hurrah! It's funny how things coincide like that sometimes.
posted by greycap at 5:14 AM on January 3, 2007

The best part of the film is the first 4 or 5 segments with the Original Beaver Kid. It's hard to tell if its scripted or live and once you realize its live it becomes impossible not to become lost in the film. The last two parts, where they re-enact with pro actors, is standard modern pop art technique, switching perspectives between looking "at" the film and looking "through" the film, style over substance.
posted by stbalbach at 5:25 AM on January 3, 2007

Best. Talent show. Ever.

Saw this a couple of years ago after I heard the NPR story, wrote to Trent Harris, and asked for a copy of the film. He sent me a festival copy tape, which was an excessively nice thing to do for a random person. Possibly one of the most interesting films ever made, and made again, and then made a third time. Filmmaking as therapy. Great post.
posted by billysumday at 6:15 AM on January 3, 2007

I watched it last night and then relistened to the TAL episode this morning, which for those of you confused, really sums up why this is special. Especially when the narrator gets so excited about it. (Question: She sounds a lot like Sarah Vowell. Does everyone on TAL have to have a nasal voice?)
posted by fungible at 7:57 AM on January 3, 2007

I wound up watching the whole thing because I was drawn in by the original Beaver Kid—what a great find! He's irresistible, you root for him, you're willing to tolerate his Olivia Newton-John impersonation because he's so thrilled to be doing it. It's amazing that that was the first time Trent had picked up a video camera; he struck gold and for obvious reasons he was never able to let go of it. But I was deeply disappointed by the recreations. It's as if the idea was to see how many cliches you could lard into the poor thing, turning real life into a bad TV movie. (In the Glover version, the director even says "Would I lie to you?") People seem to accept him? Boring! Let's have them mock him! He seems like a goofy guy who just likes doing impersonations? Boring! Let's turn him into a closet case! And when he sings, let's have him sing even worse, so you can't mistake the fact that he's a bad singer! And... and... let's add a socko ending! As Peter H said in the original thread, there's more than enough of that sort of thing. But many thanks for the post, and don't worry about the quasi-double: the ability to watch the actual movie is plenty of justification for a new post.

Making good movies is hard. I'm afraid this guy impersonating a screenwriter bears more than a little resemblance to the Kid impersonating Olivia.
posted by languagehat at 8:28 AM on January 3, 2007

I thought Owen Wilson hailed from Texas not Utah.
posted by tfmm at 8:48 AM on January 3, 2007

Question: She sounds a lot like Sarah Vowell.

She is Sarah Vowell.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:00 AM on January 3, 2007

She isn't Sarah Vowell. She's Starley Kine. I can't find her name in a quick google, so I'm not sure how it's spelled.
posted by serazin at 9:24 AM on January 3, 2007

(Question: She sounds a lot like Sarah Vowell. Does everyone on TAL have to have a nasal voice?)
I happen to like her voice. I also think she is awesome, brilliant, and adorable. Sarah, if you're on MeFi, call me.

Oh and the answer to your question is yes, apparently all of the regularly featured contributors to TAL whose parts are on the bitter black comedy side (such as Sedaris and Vowell) are required to have a voice that is grating in some way or another. If you're going to make the Penguin a sympathetic character and Batman an asshole, or if you're going to talk dismissively about someone comparing themselves to Rosa Parks, having a bright and cheery or grave and somber voice just isn't going to cut it.

Oh, and OP? You. are. awesome. As soon as I heard the "Reruns" episode a couple of weeks ago (and OMG, it was a rerun), I dearly longed to see this film. I feel a bit cheated, though -- I thought each version was exactly the same, shot-for-shot, and it clearly isn't (I haven't watched the whole thing yet, just snippets).

Oh, and I'm holding out for the sequel.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:31 AM on January 3, 2007

Oh, and this is the new official page.

Someone might want to e-mail the director and let him know his movie is now out there on YouTube. I mean, it's great that we can see it now, but it is his work, and he should have control over how it's viewed, shouldn't he?

*puts finger on his nose* "Not it!"
posted by Deathalicious at 9:35 AM on January 3, 2007

Gee, thanks Deathalicious. I needed someone to call me awesome today. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 9:46 AM on January 3, 2007

Saw this a couple of years ago after I heard the NPR story, wrote to Trent Harris, and asked for a copy of the film

I emailed Trent a few years ago after reading about the film, and he and I had a very nice series of emails to each other. He seemed like an awfully decent fellow.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:49 AM on January 3, 2007

It's not Owen Wilson.

It's Luke.
posted by wfc123 at 9:54 AM on January 3, 2007

Critics have called the films of Trent Harris absurd, pointless, hysterical, brilliant, and one of a kind. Independent Film and Video Magazine called Harris "one of America's premier cult directors."

I'll go with the second one.
posted by wfc123 at 9:57 AM on January 3, 2007

It was funny until he got older and began believing he murdered JonBenet Ramsey.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2007

Is that Ron Jeremy in Beaver Kid 2?
posted by al_fresco at 10:50 AM on January 3, 2007

Godd bless you, Miss Lynnster, God bless you. I have been wanting to see this for awhile.
posted by LoopyG at 11:36 AM on January 3, 2007

I was disappointed.
posted by _aa_ at 2:55 PM on January 3, 2007

If I am not interested by the end of the third video, am I likely to be interested in the remainder?

I mean, the guy seems nice and happy and friendly and all. And that's great. But not particularly interesting.

But at the same time, it seems like it might be something that could conceivably become interesting. So, I'm not sure if the reaction I had to the first few is the typical reaction even of people who find the whole thing interesting; if so, I'm willing to watch the rest. If not, not.
posted by Flunkie at 4:19 PM on January 3, 2007

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