The Beaver Trilogy

Film/Video

The Beaver Trilogy (Trent Harris, 1979-85; released 2001)

The Beaver Trilogy

Trent Harris, 2001

Contemporary Screen

Films fresh from the international film festival circuit, area premieres, award winners, and recent audience favorites.... You'll find films you won't see anywhere else in central Ohio on the Contemporary Screen schedule.

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 7 PM

The Beaver Trilogy follows the unlikely story of "Groovin' Gary," also known as "The Beaver Kid," a would-be Olivia Newton-John impersonator from Beaver, Utah. Over the course of three films, the unlikely star is played by Crispin Glover, a young Sean Pean, and himself.

"Spanning history and farce, inhabiting the gray zone where the ridiculous becomes the sublime, director Trent Harris's accidental feature is a delicate hybrid of fiction, cinema verite and medical X-ray. The only thing stranger than the film itself is the story of how it got made, and why, 20 years later, a broad audience might actually get to see it."--Salon

Director Trent Harris shot The Beaver Kid's bizarrely riveting "audition" in 1979 in Salt Lake City. After moving to Los Angeles to study film, the director remained obsessed with the project and remade the original, this time with a then-unknown Sean Penn as the lead. That in turn led to the trilogy's conclusion, The Orkly Kid, starring Crispin Glover.

After screening the three films for the first time for over a decade, Harris realized they had turned into a feature, revealing startlingly different interpretations of the same character. As Variety enthusiastically noted, "a longtime source of underground fandom, the 'Beaver' pics are overdue for wider play." (82 mins.)

Jean Dubuffet, Vaches au pre (Cows in a meadow), 1954

Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection closes Dec 31. Don't miss the exhibition artnet named among the world's 25 "must-see shows."

Artists featured in Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection

Learn more about the artists represented in Transfigurations at our dedicated website. (Educators will also find curriculum resources to support their K–12 classrooms.)