Saturday, 15 September 2007

The Tracey Fragments

Director: Bruce McDonald
Country: Canada

The Tracey Fragments follows Tracey (Ellen Page), a 15-year-old girl who has run away from dysfunctional home in search of her missing brother, Sonny. The basic premise is pretty simple, but the story is told from Tracey’s perspective, and so we get a lot of disorganized memories as she recalls the events of the past few days.

What makes this film unique from other films with a disjointed narrative is that it is shot almost entirely in split screen segments, meaning that, most of the time, there is more than one shot on screen at the same time. Often, there are multiple shots, and it was not uncommon for these images to come and go rapidly, and in quick succession. I loved how Tracey’s story was told, and the fact that there was so much going on in every single minute of this movie, its short length (only 77 minutes) did not at all detract from it. Canadian Ellen Page depicts teen angst masterfully in this movie, and it is no surprise that she is one of the emerging (and I hate to use that word because, in my mind, she has already proved herself in several performances) talents in cinema today.

This is one of those films that really stand out from the rest for its style that is beyond the norm. Not only that, but it is a great story (adapted for the screen by Maureen Medved, based on her novel of the same title) too. I highly recommend it to anybody who enjoys movies.

Q&A: Bruce McDonald answered several questions about the movie and made several jokes (which may not have been jokes) about doing drugs during the editing process, which took 7 months (the filming only taking around 14 days). One of the things that he mentioned was that they have released all of the footage that they filmed for the movie on the website for people to re-edit and are soon holding a competition for the best use of the footage.

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