General Opinion (of the movie, not Ellen's performance)

The fragmented movie by Bruce McDonald
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GiveHimTheKick
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Jul 22, 2010 9:49 pm

I know a lot of critics have said the same thing about this movie. "Ellen Page is amazing, but the movie sucked." So what I wanna know is, plain and simple, did you enjoy the movie and would have you enjoyed it if Ellen hadn't been in it? Personally, I think I would, just not as much. Her performance is so believable and twisted that we have to believe she is in fact Tracey Berkowitz. Her emotion is just spot on, and any other actress who would be willing to be involved with an arty Canadian project like this would have sucked. Just the truth.
In the country dead bodies live in swamps and ditches and shallow graves. A man dumps the body of a girl in a ditch. The body rotts melts into slime. Flowers pop up where the body lies, seeds fly out of the flowers and a bee sucks the flowers and makes honey. Then the family of the girl buys the honey from the store. And the family eats the girl.
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Joro
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Jul 23, 2010 12:38 am

Good question. I'm not quite sure though. It is an odd movie, and I generally like such films. It depends quite a lot on one's emotions and experiences before watching the movie and how much one can relate to it. Of course, the acting and storyline are important, but that's just the bright side of the moon.
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Jul 23, 2010 12:39 am

You saved me from creating a new topic :P. I just watched it for the first time last night as I'm currently working through all of her work by saving the pennies to get the dvds I can from amazon (annoyingly some just seem to only be in region one which can be frustrating, but I shall get to them later). The fairly unique visual style and composition of the film itself I believe are reason enough to watch it. You can find fascination in such a small percentage of the screen and constantly have your focus maintained unlike in other films where your eyes are left to wander with the familiar camera set ups and the single shots. Ellen is astoundingly good in the film and does do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of the story, but I think that also speaks a lot of the script and the direction in order for her to get to that. It managed to hit a particular spot with me that a lot of films just miss. It felt like something more than an average run of the mill film, and had an originality to it that is rarely seen.

Although I think Ellen contributed a lot to my enjoyment of the film (aside from her being quite so rude to me when she was breaking that fourth wall), but the various other components that made this short and powerful film quite so unique have to be appreciated also.
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Jul 23, 2010 2:08 am

Apart from the fact that Ellen totally owned the title role, I don't have anything nice to say about this movie. I guess I would rather call it video-art, anyway...

But I enjoyed the Re-Fragmented clips very much, so I thank the filmmaker for making them available (and thereoncewasabug for the re-up).
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Jul 23, 2010 8:42 am

I am a Bruce McDonald fan. His movies are always a little off the beaten track and I like that about them. The Tracey Fragments is no exception. Also, the film making geek in me enjoys the quality of movie he managed to make with a couple of Panasonic DVX-100Bs which are fairly cheap basic standard definition cameras aimed at a non-professional market.
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Jul 26, 2010 12:20 pm

Watched it again last night and I have to say, still awesome. This is the 3rd time I've seen it now in just over a month and I still find it to be a tremendous movie. The dialogue is pretty brilliant too.
In the country dead bodies live in swamps and ditches and shallow graves. A man dumps the body of a girl in a ditch. The body rotts melts into slime. Flowers pop up where the body lies, seeds fly out of the flowers and a bee sucks the flowers and makes honey. Then the family of the girl buys the honey from the store. And the family eats the girl.
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Jul 27, 2010 3:33 am

Found it in the instant streaming section of Netflix so I'll probably watch it tonight. Not expecting much out of the movie, just seeing it because I've heard how great Ellen's performance is in it and I figure if it's awful I can just turn it off. Sounds a bit bizarre but hell it's right there available to stream, I'll say what I think of it later.

Seems like most people here like it a lot though, perhaps it's just a movie you kind of have to be a fan of Ellen to enjoy since she carries the whole movie?
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Jul 27, 2010 7:41 am

The Tracey Fragments was an interesting film, and Ellen was again excellent in the role of Tracey.

Probably the only negative of TTF was they did not spend more time with Dr Heker....who I thought was one of the best minor characters in any of Ellen's films....Julian Richings was a riot as Heker....a great mix of seriousness and camp....and thought it was hilarious that Tracey and her family could never figure out the Heker was really a "he"

As Bluetoes/Milo already alluded to....Bruce McDonald is a legendary Canadian director who makes some interesting off-beat films.....and got a lot of critical love for his "Hard Core Logo". He is making a film with Broken Social Scene that is supposed to be out later this year...and looking forward to seeing it
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Jul 27, 2010 9:13 am

Just a question, is the movie depressing? It looks really dark and I'm not in the mood for that, so I chose to watch Arrested Development instead. Figured I should catch it while I'm in a mood to match it more than I am now if this is the case.
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Jul 27, 2010 11:27 am

It's not exactly light hearted, but it's no Requiem for a Dream.
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Jul 27, 2010 2:06 pm

UCFRdWarrior wrote:
Probably the only negative of TTF was they did not spend more time with Dr Heker....who I thought was one of the best minor characters in any of Ellen's films....Julian Richings was a riot as Heker....a great mix of seriousness and camp....and thought it was hilarious that Tracey and her family could never figure out the Heker was really a "he"
Was Dr. Heker supposed to be a man dressed in womens clothes or was that just the way that Tracey saw her? I thought it was the latter.

HeartHer, the movie is pretty depressing but it really is a must see. I really like TTF, its probably my second favorite EP movie after Hard Candy.
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Jul 27, 2010 8:54 pm

Noodle wrote:It's not exactly light hearted, but it's no Requiem for a Dream.
Okay, sounds good, I've seen plenty of movies just as dark as Requiem for a Dream. Don't need lighthearted, if I wanted a lighthearted Ellen Page movie I'd rewatch Juno or Whip It :) .
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Jul 27, 2010 10:17 pm

Well, when watching Whip It I like to imagine that Juliette Lewis is just carrying on her role as Mallory from Natural Born Killers, so her evil undertones do seem much more threatening :P
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Jul 28, 2010 12:24 pm

What's the better idea at 2 AM, do Summer reading for school or watch The Tracey Fragments for the first time? Second option of course.

I can't say I look at and say it's an amazing movie like some can. Not to say it's bad, it's quite good, hell I could even say that about it and think it's great, but what makes it worth watching isn't the story or anything typical about movies, Tracey Berkowitz is just an interesting character and the vague, standard, but surprisingly deep story delves really deep into her psyche.

Of course I enjoyed watching it because Ellen's performance was simply stunning. Wholly believable and she poured all her emotion into it.

It's not a film I'll be watching every now and then because I love it so much, but it's one I'm very glad I watched, even if it only to see Ellen's amazing performance combined with an interesting visual style. Although the style is a bit unorthodox, perhaps unnecessary, it is a marvel in editing and whoever was in charge of it deserves some props for such an interesting concept done pretty well.

So if anyone hasn't seen it here, which I doubt, then watch it. I can't guarantee you'll like it, you might dislike it, but if you're a fan of Ellen, it's a must see, at least once.

Even though the topic asks for an opinion of the movie, not Ellen's performance, I can't really do that because her performance really IS the movie. The overused term tour de force is actually perfectly fitting this time. The story is trite, but strangely enough it doesn't break the movie because it's not why I watched it. Once again she manages to take a character who might be quite unlikeable in the hands of someone less talented and make me completely feel for her (see Vanessa in Smart People, a smart ass bitch who thinks she's better than everyone else, but I still loved the character because of how real she felt).
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Aug 29, 2010 6:07 am

UCFRdWarrior wrote: As Bluetoes/Milo already alluded to....Bruce McDonald is a legendary Canadian director who makes some interesting off-beat films.....and got a lot of critical love for his "Hard Core Logo".
Hard Core Logo is like a twisted, dark, punk version of This is Spinal Tap. And the lead guitarist is played by another of my favourite actors, Callum Keith Rennie. He's the most convincing non-guitar player in the role of a guitar player that I've ever seen.
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Sep 09, 2010 3:51 am

For what in that film need a horses? I mean, why Horses are shown in a film?
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Sep 09, 2010 7:11 am

x-must wrote:For what in that film need a horses? I mean, why Horses are shown in a film?
The song "Horses" by Broken Social Scene was playing while Tracey was running, it was just a little random artsy thing.
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Sep 23, 2010 7:34 pm

I find the movie very interesting. I don't even know how many times I've watched it but everytime I do I see something I hadn't noticed before. I've read the book too.
I don't remember if they mention it in the book or in the movie that Tracey might have borderline personality disorder.
I've worked at a hospital in the psychiatric open unit and Tracey actually reminds me of some of the young girls there. She's so lost.
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Sep 28, 2010 6:51 pm

I love this film. Cool soundtrack, which i listen again and again)
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Feb 27, 2011 5:12 pm

I just watched "The Tracey Fragments" , I have to say..I was torn between liking it and not liking it. I loved Ellen's performance, but there was just something about the camera work and how everything went back and forth between past and present. To me, that just made me confused. If had to rate it, I would give it.. 2 1/2 -3 stars. It was good, but so far not my favorite.
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