Sundance Film Review: Beaver Trilogy Part IV

Posted January 26, 2015 in
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The Beaver Trilogy Part IV
The Beaver Trilogy Part IV – Brad Besser Photo: Dan Billups

Beaver Trilogy Part IV
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Brad Besser

Almost 12 years ago, I had the privilege of taking Trent Harris’ film class at the University of Utah, and we were assigned to observe the original “Beaver Trilogy” for an assignment. For those who don’t know, this collection of three short films begins with the actual 1979 encounter with Dick Griffiths (aka Groovin’ Gary) outside the KUTV studios. Griffiths eventually invites Mr. Harris to film a talent show in Beaver, Utah where he performs as “Olivia Newton Dawn.” The following two elements are fictionalized recreations Mr. Harris developed starring Sean Penn and Crispin Glover respectively. Director Brad Besser sets two paths into motion in this “Where Are They Now?” endeavor as he seeks to find the whereabouts of Mr. Griffiths nearly 36 years later and showcases Mr. Harris’ wild film career. While the latter takes viewers from the L.A. riots to Southeast Asia with Mr. Harris’ undertakings, it’s the candid interviews and uproarious tales from friends and family in central Utah that provide the most entertainment. Rather than having the storylines veer away from each other, it would have been more appealing to keep the direct line to the source material intact with additional stories from the Griffiths and their friends. 
-Jimmy Martin

Screening Times:

Time: Tuesday, Jan. 27 @ 12:00 p.m. Venue: Egyptian Theatre, Park City

Time: Saturday, Jan. 31 @ 6:15 p.m. Venue: Red Stone Cinema 1, Park City