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FilmStubs: The Beaver Trilogy (2000)

In 1979, filmmaker Trent Harris visits the small town of Beaver, Utah to film a talent show. Impressed by a performer called Groovin' Gary, he recreates Gary's act in 1981 with Sean Penn and in 1985 with Crispin Glover. (NR, 83 min.)


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

7:00 PM

The FilmStubs series is Free and made possible by a grant from Friends of the Library.
For more Springfield-Greene County Library events click here.

Stick around for a Q&A with director Trent Harris via Zoom after the film!

Our story begins in 1979, with a 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 to film a talent show. At the show, the man dons a blond wig and performs in drag as Olivia Newton John. Harris captures it all on tape: A portrait of a true outsider. Harris shot a dramatic piece, “Beaver Kid 2” based on the documentary; This interpretation of the story, made in 1981 on a home video camera with a budget of $100, features a young Sean Penn as “the Beaver Kid”. Still possessed, Harris then rewrote the script, cast up-and-comer Crispin Glover in the lead, and created the final segment, “The Orkly Kid”, with funding from the American Film Institute. The trilogy unveils the inner world of a fantastic character in three incarnations. [Letterboxd]

Starring: Groovin' Gary, Sean Penn, Crispin Glover
Director: Trent Harris
Genre(s): Documentary, Comedy, Drama

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"The most talked-about Amer­ican film in years."

— The Globe and Mail

"A rivetingly strange, multi­layer­ed inquiry into ce­leb­ri­ty, ob­ses­sion, and serendipity."

— A.O. Scott, New York Times

"Of all the films that have ever been or will be, nothing compares to Beaver Trilogy."

— Sundance Film Festival

"Filmmaker Trent Harris is a genuine maverick who has poisted his first piece of genius."

— James Christopher, The Times London