Friday, July 11, 2008

The Tracy Fragments...


Hey guys. So, I go to the video store the other day, and as I walk in, trying to find a copy of Batman: The Gotham Knight, I hear the clerk say that they have The Tracey Fragments. So, having known about this experimental, split screen flick staring Hard Candy, and most notably for everyone else, Juno's Ellen Page, I decide to pick it up. The film has an interesting premise, which I'll get to later, and it's biggest draw is the almost constant use of the split screen. This film is kinetic, experimental, arty to the nth degree, and not as horrible as it seems.

The Tracey Fragments is a film about young teenager Tracey Berkowitz, and her hunt for her 8 year old brother, Sonny. She has a boyfriend, deals with bullies, and runs away all while looking for her brother who she lost while watching him. Now, this is based on a novel written by Maureen Medved, who also adapted it for the screen, and comes to us from indie filmmaker, Bruce McDonald, whose visual style makes this film a solid entry into the whole casts canon.

The biggest pro this film has going for it, is the visual style. It's kinetic, and keeps the film interesting, even during some of the more hyper kinetic, boisterous parts. All of the uber experimental split screen shots are sort of playing into the whole mindset that the protagonist, Tracey, has during the film. She's an angst ridden teen, who loves her brother, and is head over heels for the school "rock star" and is bullied by all of the "popular" girls. Granted, some of these things aren't new, and have been captured in better films, but none have been this visually interesting to watch. It's like Ally Sheedy's character from the Breakfast Club walked up to David Lynch and asked him to do a film on her life. The script lacks, but is saved by Pages performance, who hits most notes perfectly. She plays the angst ridden teenager so damn good, and she still has this hint of sweetness and innocence to her that is just a real joy to watch on screen. However, there are a few negatives, such as the beginning of the film.

We are introduced to Tracey and the people surrounding her life in this very sped up and kinetic feeling opening that is so hyper edited and sort of obnoxious that it bugged me a little bit. Also, as stated earlier, the script isn't really all that great. The story isn't totally compelling, but then again the visuals are so damn interesting to watch, and Page is really good here, so please, go give this flick a shot. It's fearless and audacious filmmaking, and it's truly riveting to watch, minus a lacking opening. The film takes chances, and hits on most, and thats more than can be said for other either tepid indie dramas, or stuffy hollywood blockbusters that the cinemas are filled with now a days. Please, it takes a little bit to get used to, and it may be to experimental for some, but just go check it out,. Take a break from the theatres tonight, go to your local rental shop, and give this little indie film a shot. If you do, let me know what you think!

7.5/10

Alright, so go rent that flick, and come back later for more news and notes!!!

Go see something good!

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