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The Tracey Fragments
DVD disk
08.05.2008 By: Jason Adams
The Tracey Fragments order
Director:
Bruce McDonald

Actors:
Ellen Page
Slim Twig
Ari Cohen

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An angsty teenage girl searches through the city for her missing brother, who she hypnotized in to thinking heís a dog. Also, mindf*ck.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS is the cinematic equivalent of modern art. Itís bold, avant-garde, and while it may be fashionably brilliant to some, it doesnít do much for me. In fact, Iíd normally poke fun at the ďartistsĒ whose work somehow finds its way in to museums; however, I find myself more forgiving of experimentation in film. I'd rather watch a movie that fails trying to do something radical, new or exciting, then sit through more formulaic crap we've seen a hundred times before. Unless it gives me a headache, which is what THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS did.

The title ainít lying either. The movie is comprised of literal fragmentsósimultaneous bits and pieces of footage, sounds, abstract thoughts, etc. At times, there may be as many as fifteen moving images on the screen at once, as if THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS itself has mental psychosis. Itís like split screen on acid. Or better yet, itís like the editing from Ang Leeís HULK gone haywire. In some ways, the proceedings play like an interesting perception of memory and personal interpretation, but that doesnít stop it from being almost impossible to watch. Iím not sure what the hell was going on with the actual story (nor did I feel like working hard to try and piece it together). The plot isnít even important, Iíd venture. Itís really more of a movie meant to let wash over you and taken as an experience more than a narrative. But the only thing I kept thinking was that the editors (Jeremy Munce and Gareth Scales) should get an award for not killing themselves.

Ellen Page powers through all the nonsense and gives a solid performance, if you can call it that. The only other positive I can mention, aside from pure ambition, is a cool soundtrack put together by Canadian ambient rockers Broken Social Scene which actually enhances what little atmosphere there is.
THE EXTRAS
Behind the Scenes (7:12): This is a movie where the ideas behind it and the making of it may actually be more interesting than the film itself. So you may actually enjoy this.

Tracey Re-Fragmented: Before the filmís release, the director put raw footage from the film online and let fans re-edit the movie as they saw fit. The winning entries are showcased here.

A Single Frame: Photographs from the film and set.

Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS is pretty much the definition of "not for everyone." Maybe with a more compelling story at its center, Iíd be willing to work through the format (ala MEMENTO). But as it stands, this is a serious case of style over substance thatís only worth a look if you love seriously challenging and experimental flicks.

Extra Tidbit: Principal photography only took two weeks, but post-production was nine months.
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