Hot Docs 2015: Beaver Trilogy Part IV

Beaver_Trilogy_Part_IV The history behind a cult classic is examined in Beaver Trilogy Part IV.  Trent Harris is the director of cult films, such as Rubin & Ed (1991) and Plan 10 from Outer Space (1995).  However, his biggest success is Beaver Trilogy, which began as documentary footage of a chance encounter in a parking lot, which was remaked by Harris twice as fictional short films. The shorts were combined in 2000 and Beaver Trilogy ended up being Trent Harris’ biggest hit.  However, the film is only part of the story. Beaver Trilogy Part IV kicks off with an IndieWire quote calling Trent Harris “The Best Underground Filmmaker…You Don’t Know…But Should.”  Harris developed the personal motto “Listen to your Visitors,” since conversations with strangers can be so profound.  This paid off when Harris had a chance encounter with a young man from Beaver, Utah named Dick Griffiths in the parking lot of a television station, which resulted in a 1979 documentary short entitled The Beaver Kid.  The short was remade in 1981 as The Beaver Kid 2, starring a young Sean Penn, and again in 1985 as The Orkly Kid, starring Crispin Glover.  Harris initially kept these shorts a secret, but when he decided to combine them as Beaver Trilogy it ended up being the biggest success of his career. Beaver Trilogy IV follows the story of how Beaver Trilogy came to be and even tells the true story behind Dick Griffiths.  The audience is guided by a very exuberant narration by Bill Hader and the documentary as a whole has a bit of a tongue-in-cheek tone to it, including the film suddenly deciding to provide a biography of director Brad Besser. Overall, this is a fun look at how footage shot in a parking lot can become a cult classic. ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT Screenings:

  • Sun, Apr 26, 9:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Mon, Apr 27, 1:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
  • Sun, May 3, 12:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).