Thanks for the Use of the Hall - Archive

This archive contains posts from May 2007 to November 2008. More recent posts are at:

Name: Dan Sallitt
Location: New York, New York, United States

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Tracey Fragments: MOMA, March 14 and 18, 2008

Bruce McDonald's amazing The Tracey Fragments, which is slated for U. S. distribution by ThinkFilm on May 9, is screening at MOMA (on Friday at 6:15 pm and Tuesday at 7:30 pm) as part of its Canadian Front series. Here's what I wrote about the film for my Toronto 2007 wrapup at Senses of Cinema:

"Meanwhile, in Berlin’s Panorama section, Canadian director Bruce McDonald reinvented the cinema with his remarkable The Tracey Fragments, adapted by Maureen Medved from her stream-of-consciousness novel about a 15-year-old Winnipeg girl (Ellen Page) suffering dramatically from the slings and arrows of adolescence. McDonald undertakes to break the screen into an array of panels, of ever-changing quantity and attributes, each containing an independent image. Whether McDonald has created an entirely new art form or an N-dimensional version of an old one, it’s immediately clear that every law of the cinema is rewritten in this universe, and that even the most arid and academic forms of montage are transformed into infinitely flexible instruments. Knowing that he’s discovered the philosopher’s stone, McDonald tirelessly generates new formal prototypes every few seconds, and leaves us at film’s end with the sense that he could have kept going forever. What makes Tracey more than an impressive demo is its unity of form and feeling, the sense that its screen may have been shattered by its young protagonist’s hormonal violence, McDonald’s wild-eyed punkish sense of drama, and Medved’s vivid dialogue (“He touched me, he stuck his cock in me, and he said I love you, in that – exact – order!”). Old-school viewers may have a tough time adjusting to Tracey’s fragmentation, but even they might appreciate McDonald’s surprising compositional grace, which culminates in a beautiful, melancholy riverside tracking shot under the end credits."

I wouldn't be surprised if it were difficult to get into the MOMA screenings, given Page's well-deserved popularity in the wake of Juno. I hope to blog more extensively about Tracey soon.



Blogger Vadim said...

How about some notes on Rendez-Vous? It kind of slipped my mind that you hadn't posted about it after the fact.

March 16, 2008 2:29 PM  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Okay, sure. I'll do it as a separate blog entry.

March 17, 2008 4:58 PM  

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