Tracey Berkowitz, 15, a self-described normal girl, loses her 9-year old brother, Sonny. In flashbacks and fragments, we meet her overbearing parents and the sweet, clueless Sonny. We watch Tracey navigate high school, friendless, picked on and teased. She develops a thing for Billy Zero, a new student, imagining hes her boyfriend. We see the day she loses Sonny and we watch her try to find him. In bits and pieces, we see what leads up to her riding in the back of a city bus wrapped in a shower curtain. Coming of age, or just surviving?
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Many people will not get this movie. With that being said, if you are a person who lives life in confused fragments, then you will understand the choppy shooting of this film as more than just a metaphor-- it is a dead-on representation of the confusion many young-people face when life is a jumble of obstacles, including torment at school and psychological problems. Watching the Tracey Fragments is like watching through the eyes of a teenage girl when her world appears to be collapsing around her. It is darkly beautiful.
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD) i actually stumbled across a "fragment" of this film in a youtube parody video a few weeks ago.i got the name of the actress and the film from a fellow youtuber in one of the comments and looked it up from there.I fell in love with it from the first shot.i am absolutely 100% undoubtedly in LOVE with ellen page!she is so beautiful and so very talented.i LOVE this movie!!!did i mention how beautiful she is? lol xD
Arguabley one of the most original films out there... The TraceyFragments might rely a bit too much on its originality and not enoughon the substance. I guarantee that several weeks to several years afteryou see it, you will remember it for the way fragments of Tracey'sworld are shown on film... it's impact of the picture in picture stylespeak loud like an abstract painting... but you will forget what it'sabout. And for that, The Tracey Fragments ultimately fails - like astar giving it's last bursting glimmer, you never forget the that shinebut you will never remember exactly where in the sky it was. Still, Ican't not recommend this film - Oh no, I still say you must see it andappreciate it for what it is... A very real and fragmented portrait ofa young teenage girl named Tracey who fills life's voids with a mixtureof fantasy and reality to make a very rental worthy 77 minute originalfilm thats impact will be both lost and lasting - like every awkward 15year old nobody you see lost in their own world at the back of the citytransit. 6.5/10
I was looking forward to this film because of the unusual formal natureof the film: the screen is split into between two and twenty littlescreens at various points during the film - sometimes they are static,sometimes they float around... And while I liked the style and I thinkit will possibly start a trend, I can't say I actually enjoyed thecontent of the film. The main character, a runaway teenage girl, wasobnoxious and lacking in any redeeming features. She swore in the mostpuerile way, and sometimes spoke to the screen in a stagy declamatorymanner which wasn't suitable (for this film that is). The dialogue ingeneral was bad and her parents couldn't act at all. As for a story -well there wasn't too much of interest going on, so I left the theatrefeeling I'd seen a reasonable piece of art form-wise, but that I hadn'tbeen moved at all.
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD) What a breath of fresh air: Ellen Page; an oscar-winner waiting to happen; the story-line is so colored with covert realities that we all somehow share while acknowledging their infinite subjective realities, that even I, now past 60, easily flowed into Tracy's school-day imaginings. The multi-screen editing is done so well and on so many different levels that the "tieing of everything up" at the end signals not only an emergence of real creative genius in what is delivered to the viewer, but i think it indicates a real respect for the viewer that is often so lacking in our movie business. No movie ever made makes a clearer case regarding adolescent "puppy-love" than the car scene between she and "Billy Zero." The cost for this mistake? Well, that's the movie, isn't it? I think that the car scene should be shown in every high school.The less-than-adequate psychiatrist was also useful, as we need more movies to show the 'feet of clay' that our psychiatric profession has. Tracy is told "It's OK to be angry," so she starts shrieking hatefully at the shrink, who almost breaks into tears; necesitating Tracy's fervent apologies. In this movie, we are not spoon-fed, but as we "get it" - and as we get more of it (OK, I watched it a few times), a greater respect develops regarding its power. I think in the years to come we will look back and say "that's where split-screen really started." The technology has been around, but nobody's used it till now in any meaningful way. What a pleasure to see somebody actually DO SOMETHING.
A fierce, stark, implosive crawl through the adolescent pscyhe of a tortured 16 year old, inimical to her sorroundings and wrung to desolation by her temerity. Maureen Medved's eerie expose' of a rape victim's fragile self-desecrating self is redrawn by the Canadian author herself, with the complicitous and postmodern applications of director Bruce McDonald. The plot does not cover much ground, but that which it does range over it digs deep within. The warped sense of intimacy that we see Ellen Page's leading character tarry within is portrayed with such a vivid, terrific and terrifying virulence that we see before our very eyes the perils that it promises. The loneliness and alienation is confided to us by the mere strains of personality that Tracey Berkowitz betrays in her gall, a reactive toughnes within which tracey fenced herself while coiling about her the trimmings of a barbed wire. The movie disorients and bounces, tatters and titters, fidgets in a continuous flourish of images that synchronically and diachronically impose themselves on the screen in adjecent, fading and overlapping fragments. The pattern of the narrative is sporadic and laden with the logic of a psyche that cannot make sense of what it is suffering, as much as it caves within this same pain for fear that anger and madness have the best of her. How stirring to watch the most talented young artist working today engaged in a production of such an entrancing livid urgency. Ellen Page shows us here why she may very well be the best ever. Yes I said it, she is that good. Incredibly so; and if she was showered with awards and applause for Juno, here she deserve nothing short of awe. The movie differs in elemental ways from the novel it adopts its script from. The blizzard, the rape scene and the ridicule Tracey is subject to at school is dealt with in a very different reality. It actually adds a dimension to the narrative. Musings and dreamy aspirations are thwarted and tentaizingly strewn about the screen to echo the thoughts of a girl who is gearing to meet her fate as if by choice. Her parents are more sympathetic but insensitive and disruptive, if not altogether psychologically and emotionally violent all the same. The performences of Ari Cohen and Julian Richings are compelling, animated and free of the predicament of being cast in roles of such a perforating indiffference. Thinkfilms takes a risk in this production, for the topic of adolescent rape is somewhat of a taboo, especially if depicted in such realist and matter-of fact terms. The psychology is drawn about with bursts of anger and surreal sessions with a stone-faced therapist that in a void of whiteness delivers an insatiable array of innuendos, particles of a methodology that arrests its purpose as it seems incapable of offering a dialogue to a tormented mind. The soliloquies and voice-overs of the leading character are effective and demonstrative, often slurring through the scenes and designating a tentative memory double guessing itself. The frustration of being tit-less, an "it" according to her classmates, is a wound inflicted on Tracey too debilitating for even her feigned callousness. She carries herself as if burping lava sliming along announcing the eruption that never happens full force. A throttle that will release tension in a rape scene where she fantasizes she is making love with her boyfriend. She will at a later time while addressing us, on a bus running from reality, even claim that her rapist was actually her lover, several frames before we come to fully realize the truth of things. She insists that he "put his c*** in me and then said I love you, exactly in that order." How painful to recall that phrase. She is fearless indeed, but the tenderness is so pervasive we want to reach out to her and embrace her with a tight hold that may provoke her to at least surmise as possible that someone cares about her. The fragments of the story are shuffled with the overriding narrative of Tracey's brother Sonny's absence. She tells us she has not so much as run away as gone to retrieve her brother. This may function as an allegorical device if we run that route. Sonny disappears in conjunction with the rape scene, which I must add is innocent in its graphic covertness, but more powerful because of it. Do not have a minor watch this movie! It is too much even for mature audiences. But if art is a means to insights this movie succeeds admirably. It is a viewing that will haunt you more than any horror flick could ever wish to.The emotional starkness inscribes a feel of verisimilitude that is quite unique. The language is rouch and vulgar, but necessarily so. The psyche of a tortured, violated, thwarted and crushed adolescent girl is rendered in shattered pieces the spectator will be left picking through in an attempt to satisfy the fragility we are left with upon finishing the movie. It is one of the most exceptional movies ever made, one that deploys postmodern language in a way that is not pretentious or ineffectual. It hits the spot, problem is that it leaves a deep wound where it hits.
Pretentious, pointless, tedious, depressing, unintelligible - those are the first few adjectives that pop into my mind, after seeing this straight-to-film-festival movie. Ellen Page is a great actress, but she still needs a script to act with.
I watched this on my computer monitor, a streaming movie from Netflix.Ellen Page was 18 or 19 when this was filmed, playing 15-year-oldTracey Berkowitz who gets teased at school constantly because she isunderdeveloped, while the other girls her age are buxom. She hasstrange parents, and a little brother who barks like a dog and wags histongue. When dad insists that someone tell him why the boy is barkingTracey says she hypnotized him.In much of the movie Tracey is trying to find her little brother. Wenever know quite why he is lost, except maybe as a "dog" he haswandered away.At one point Tracey is sent to a psychiatrist, played by a man dressedup as a woman and with a wig.There really isn't much of a story here, and it is told in fragments.Maybe that is why it is called "Tracey Fragments", maybe it is aglimpse into the fragmented mind of a teenager trying to figure outwhat life is like.Her mind fabricates all kinds of stories. A girl may die in a swamp, noone knows where the body is, it decays and flowers grow from it. Beesmake love to the flowers to produce honey, and eventually the parentsof the dead girl buy the honey and eat it, so in the cycle they eat thegirl. She also does one about horses, glue factory, kids making thingsin school, eat the glue, eat the horse.If this had been edited in a conventional fashion it would have beenperhaps the most boring movie of the year. But the editor had a newtoy, and the film is presented in multiple fragments, sometimes with asmany as 12, or even more, different segments on the screen. This addsconfusion at times, and after a while it becomes more annoying thaninteresting, but still makes the movie a visual experiment not quitelike any other.Interesting to view, but not greatly interesting. Ellen Page is good.
It doesn't surprise me that this has a relatively low rating on IMDbbut as usual this doesn't accurately reflect the quality and depth ofan original work of art such as this. Some people watch movies to beentertained and some watch films to expose themselves to something thatmight challenge them and make them think. I can do both but if you everfind yourself in that latter group then I highly recommend that youwatch this film. If you find yourself strictly relegated to the formergroup I'd suggest you don't waste your time.Original, innovative, raw and challenging. There is a depth of emotionand an unravelling sense of mystery here that pulled me in and kept mecaptivated for the length of the film. Not to mention kept me thinkingfor days afterwards. It also ended satisfyingly well which is what Ifind most movies incapable of doing.View with an open mind and I believe you will be rewarded. I highlyrecommend this film.
The London premiere of Canadian movie "The Tracey Fragments" was showntonight at the Rich Mix cinema as part of the East London FilmFestival. Known across the film world for it's split-screen footage aswell as it's star, Canadian native Ellen Page, it made for aninteresting and ambiguous viewing experience.The plot, narrated in a disorganized flashback, tells of TraceyBerkowitz (Ellen Page) and her attempt to find her missing brotherSonny (Zie Souwand) in the frozen backwaters of the Canadian suburbs. Abullied and misanthropic youngster who never really fits in to eitherher family or school, Tracey takes on a journey as she searches for herbrother but also herself at the same time."The Tracey Fragments" is indeed just that, with the same told frommultiple angles in a single frame on-screen that convey Tracey'sfractured mind, family and life. For the most part, the technique worksand actually conveys a lot of meaning, particularly in the familyscenes. In whatever context it's used, it rarely feels like just agimmick.Furthermore, there is the film's representation of it's heroine. Manybad things happen to Tracey Berkowitz and yet although her plight ismoving at times, her selfish actions and carelessness prevent theaudience from sympathizing with her completely and this keeps the filmfrom being overly sentimental. That said, however, the tone isunrelentingly remorseless and without much humour to lighten it up,things tend to drag at times.Page, as ever, leads the way with another complex performance, probablyher best to my mind along with "Hard Candy". She isn't quite strongenough to hold the long shot at the very end of the film, but otherwiseshe's excellent. Page is well supported by a solid supporting cast andsome strong direction by Bruce McDonald.This film is not a light or fun viewing experience, but is certainlyone of a kind in it's technique and performances and is worth seeing.
This was easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life! I actually purchased this junk in a dollar store, and let me tell you, a dollar was too much! Visually headache-inducing, with some of the most irritating, unsympathetic characters ever committed to film. Please trust me and avoid this stinkbomb!
This review is from: The Tracey Fragments (DVD) I am a huge fan of Ellen page, she is, in my opinion, one of the best actresses of our day. I saw her in Juno then in Hard Candy and fell in love with how she conveys the emotions of all her interesting characters that she portrays. I was looking forward to this for I really enjoy artistic cinema but I must say this film left me bored and underwhelmed. I really didn't like the format of this film and barely anything happened. It was only an hour and ten minutes but it felt like a three hour film. It wasn't interesting and I really was just waiting for something to happen that never came. Ellen was good as usual but the rest of the film wasn't there.
"The Tracey Fragments" was an incredible story of female adolescentstruggle in today's age of unloving parents, over-sexualized highschoolers, and quack psychiatrists.This story was told through a very interesting and creative narrativeand visual style. It's got that post-modern, out-of-order storytellingtechnique -- a la Quentin Tarantino or Charlie Kaufman -- that I love.And yet, with it's fragmented, multi-framed editing style, it dared togo deeper into this technique than either of those writers have everdone, allowing two different stories to occur simultaneously byjuxtaposing scenes from different points in time and differentsettings. this style also allowed the director to use different takesof the same action simultaneously, repeat shots, show events happeningfrom completely different angles, focus on multiple things andcharacters at the same time, highlight small details, allow the sceneto play out at different speeds, and sometimes just completelydisorient the audience. Each technique had its own unique effect, andwas never, ever overused or clichÃ©d.On top of this was an excellent performance by Ellen Page, her best sofar in her career. She's been perfect in the roles I've seen her do --"Hard Candy" and "Juno" -- but I knew she was capable of much more."Hard Candy" was a little unbelievable and "Juno" was not much morethan entertaining. But Tracey, I think, is the kind of role I've beenwaiting to see from her, and she did it better than I think any actresscould have done. This was a full character, realistically written witha whole array of emotions, and she did an outstanding job with it.I'm really disappointed to see so many viewers who just couldn'tappreciate it due to the visual technique. I think many were justbothered by the fact that there was so much to see, and they didn'tknow what to pay attention to. No, you couldn't pay attention to all ofit at once, but that's the point. I like art that isn't spoon-fed tome, that I can come back to and notice something different every time,and this is that kind of movie. Most films make it too clear whatyou're supposed to pay attention to, but this one gave you the power tochoose. Sometimes I appreciated the entire composition, sometimes Ijust focused on one little detail, but isn't that what you're supposedto do with any film? In that sense, appreciating this work of artreally isn't that different than any other.I would recommend this film to anyone with an open mind and an interestin the avant-garde or experimental.
This film is yet another great thanks to Ellen's amazing performance.Throughout the film, you see Tracey fall in love, attempt to rebel,deal with the bullies and completely break down. Exactly what everyother teen goes through. But being that I'm the same age as Tracey inthe film, I honestly couldn't have delivered the role better even if Iwere experiencing this first hand! She came off to me as a truly honestand genuine person.It took me until the end but I realized the symbolism of growing up(another great quality about this film, making it so unique.) After shelost her virginity to Slim Twig's character, her little brotherdisappeared. Her little brother symbolized her innocence or herchildhood. And the fact that she made her top priority finding herlittle brother showed responsibility. Overall I believe that though fragmented screen put my eyes to work, itwas appropriate for the scatter-brained, emotionally unstable girl.Both Ellen Page and Slim Twig did a fantastic job and the symbolismmade it even better. This is a truly unique film and I'd say it'seasily in my personal top 5!
Not innovative, as others have claimed. It's just a hackneyed, MTV style waste of time. Nothing new or exciting.As a viewer, you'll have no rooting interest for the main character, because none is ever offered by the storytellers. And if you don't care about the character(s), you don't care about the film.A total waste of time. It's like a Final Cut Pro exercise on video editing, only much, much worse. At the film's conclusion--if you make it that far--at best, you'll feel like you've been wholly misled; at worst, visually raped.This movie should've never been made.
Take away the extraneous/repeated shots the picture in a picture in a picture in a picture shots the long rambling along shots the stuff that makes no sense and you would end up with a movie of about twenty(20) minutes that almost makes sense.
The Tracey Fragments 2/11/2010The way this film is presented is like nothing you've seen before!Canadian director Bruce McDonald's experiment in film-making is apretty wild ride to watch. The film is played out in several differentfragmented scenes that are all playing at once. It really puts you intothe mind of the main character Tracey Berkowitz, played perfectly by ayet undiscovered Ellen Page.Tracey Berkowitz is as she states "just a normal girl that hatesherself". She is a rebellious outsider who gets mercilessly picked onat school (mainly by the girls). They refer to her as "it" because ofher androgynous look. The story revolves around her search for her oddlittle brother Sonny. We first see Tracey in the back of a city buswrapped in a shower curtain, talking about her life. It is the middleof the night in winter. Just how did she get to this point? Her parents are always at odds with her. When she gets in trouble atschool for mouthing off to a teacher she is grounded and forced towatch Sonny. The scenes with her psychologist are quite strange in thefact that even though Dr. Hecker is supposed to be a woman it isobviously played by man. This further reinforces the idea that themovie is based on Tracey's thoughts, feeling and point of view. She hasalso some how convinced Sonny to act like a dog the whole time. They gooutside and run around in woods and snow when Tracey sees her new crushBilly Zero drive up to her. This scene is shown towards the end of themovie, but is the event that puts the whole story in motion. While searching for Sonny she runs into numerous low life characters,most notably Lance from Toronto, who say's he has seen Sonny. They goback to his apartment and he seems to be a nice guy, but what's hisangle? Tracey starts to get in over her head when a tough guy comeslooking for Lance and Tracey is caught in the middle. She barelyescapes with his life and we find out why she is riding the bus wrappedin a shower curtain. Tracey's world is cold, brutal, and unforgiving.All the people seem out to get her, while the only person that reallyaccepts her for who she is, is her brother. The end result of the storyis very heartbreaking and disturbing, but the way we get there is veryinteresting and entertaining. Tracey's character follows a long line ofpeople who live in the margins of life and are happy to be bythemselves and live life on her own terms. Ellen page totally owns thisrole, and is kind of similar to her break out role in "Juno". This isdefinitely a movie that has to be experienced.
...this was artsy nonsense with a capital fartsy, no two ways about it.Presented in a scattergun multi-frame format, Bruce "Picture Claire"McDonald's "experimental" rendition of novice novelist Maureen Medved'sfaux "Catcher in the Rye" tale of teen angst and despair (with ascreenplay by the selfsame author) utterly fails to engage, primarilydue to its highly stylized presentation, and almost completelyunlikeable protagonist, a loopy 15-year-old outcast with some seriousproblems (like losing a little brother who thinks he's a dog) and anattitude that made this viewer wish she would follow him wherever heprobably went. Starring Ellen "Hard Candy" Page, who riffs incessantlyon the darker edges of her "Juno" persona, "The Tracey Fragments" isfar too much of a labor to watch to get anything meaningful out of it.No doubt Ms. Medved was tickled to write her own screenadaptation--more power to her--but if her source material is anythinglike this film, it must be damned near unreadable, and just asdepressingly irritating. I give it five stars strictly for the obviouslove and craftsmanship that went into it, and a pretty decentsoundtrack. Ms. Page is a fine actress, and I hope she got a goodpaycheck, but this is not the sort of pretentious twaddle I want to seeher doing. Grow up, young lady, and start acting your age. Of slimperipheral interest: "The Tracey Fragments" features at least twokevinbacons to George Romero. I'll leave it to Constant Reader todiscover them.
This is a brilliant film, visually captivating and with a magnificent performance from Ellen Page. Perhaps most interesting is how the mood of the film, helped tremendously by the lighting and color choices for the scenes, perfectly captures the feeling of being a teenager caught up in the intertwined mess of school bullying and family dysfunction, thrust into their own head to fantasize about a way out. Maybe it's too stark and bleak for some viewers. To express the trauma that Tracey is dealing with and reacting to, and how her mind is processing all of it and struggling to assert a self in the midst of it... to present this on screen with such raw feeling is a beautiful, albeit brutal, achievement. I feel very strongly that the artistic choices in how the film is presented, it's broken sense of chronology, the collage and fragmented visuals, the narrative slipping through different forms of memory and blurring between 'fact' and 'fiction', all of it brings the spectator into the psyche of our protagonist, to break down the third person perspective close to experience the story as it unfolds in the mind of Tracey. It probably succeeds as this more than any film I have seen. It is fantastically well done and very stunning.
Shards of cubist consciousness flicker, dance, fade, sparkle.Phantoms of inner life move across the screen, killed by the brute physical realities of outer life, silenced out of emotional necessity.The bronze vesper scene. The twin tragedies of becoming who you're not and being who you are.How many movies were shot to make 1 movie? This is visual music that goes beyond melody or rhythm. Like Evangelista and The Vertical Ray of the Sun, it's a world you enter. Watching over and over.