Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fragments...Why are broken things so beautiful?

I sat down the other evening intent on editing a photo shoot and writing a food review for Brujas, one of my favorite little student Dives North of the Universidad de Costa Rica. Instead, I ended up watching a film.

The Tracey Fragments is a bitter and memorable disappointment, as lovely and impact full as the broken mirror which seems to be its inspiration. It is a concept film, wrought with all of the pretensions and narrative losses that drive so many away from the mere idea of an art-house flick.

The movie centers on Tracy Berkowitz, (Ellen Page, watchable as always) a fifteen year old girl in crisis (were we all?) or rather, the film focuses on her inner thoughts, thought simultaneous to action simultaneous to thoughts about action simultaneous to memory and imagination equals (breath) multiple frames.

Wait...What?

Are we talking the sort of split screening used to indicate simultaneous action or a phone call in Quintin Tarontino films?

No, The Tracy Fragments can pride itself on an artfull and perpetual rearrangement of the frames, time zones, and imagery.

Even if the forever appearing and reappearing squares are sometimes frustratingly out of sequence, the reasons for the composition are often clear. Is that clarity a good thing? No, not exactly. Tracy works best when it focuses on the narrator's obsessive and joyful thoughts about Billy Zero, (Slim Twig) the new boy at school who exudes punk Brit style sexy, and simultaneously, the empty glorious distance of a vogue fashion model. Tracy's thoughts of Billy Zero are hard hitting, fascinating, I dare say they make you forget, no better yet, appreciate and pardon the gimmick for instants at a time.However, Billy Zero is not exactly at the film's core. The problem with describing The Tracy Fragments is that it all too easily sounds better than it is. I could tell you what I think the central driving point of the film is in specific event related terms. and in all likelihood, those events would sound exciting and unexpected. I won't make them seem any more redundant or anticipated than they were by outlining here, and instead offer this little line of abstracts,

Picture solitary innocence as a girl who wears her hair over her eyes, destroy by longing, turn human discard, and compound it all by uncharacteristically severe guilt punishment for lusting/longing. End film at most brain scrambling instant, and haunt on.

Anyone who has seen this film, I'd love for you to tell me how I'm right or wrong.


For further reading, 2 things way more fascinating than this article, first, the origional novel by Maureen Medved, which sounds even from a synopsis like it has more depth and guts, and then the incredible film editing contest (Damn, just missed it) hosted on the film's official site.

5 comments:

equivoque said...

etsy greetings!
--equivoque

Hey Harriet said...

I haven't heard of this film but I'm curious to see it because my name features in the title :)

Cathy said...

neat blog, i will follow it for sure..

Ocracoke Island said...

wow being 15 is so painful I don't know if I could watch this movie :)

Chrisy said...

Haven't had the opportunity to see this film yet...pity it didn't live up to expectations...the concept is certainly interesting...and the actors experienced...it's difficult to get the right mix...