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The Tracey Fragments (2007)

Director: Bruce McDonald
Starring: Ellen Page, Ari Cohen, Erin McMurtry
Rated R Running time: 77 minutes
Released by Thinkfilm

Told in its entirety using splitscreen techniques, Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments is a strong contender for the title of "Most Agonizingly Pretentious Film of the Decade." Hipster star of the moment Ellen Page is Tracey Berkowitz, a mentally damaged teen who leaves her cartoonishly shitty home in order to find her missing younger brother. Along the way she suffers from your typical teenage romantic delusions, relives various high school torments, and reflects on just how badly her equally nutty parents have screwed her up. The Tracey Fragments is the kind of self-absorbed exercise you would expect from a high-strung art school queen, not a veteran filmmaker like McDonald. McDonald's films are usually challenging to the sensibilities of the more mainstream viewing audience, but this time around he tests the patience of even the most adventurous filmgoer by happily sacrificing substance for style. The aforementioned spiltscreen usage, a meandering indie rock soundtrack, lots of stagy fourth wall-breaking monologues from Page, and a non-linear storyline are just ploys to convince a hipster audience that what they are seeing is "groundbreaking" or "edgy", and to ignore the fact that there isn't an interesting story to be found here.

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