ARTSY: The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Groovin’ Gary

In 1979 Utah filmmaker Trent Harris met and filmed a young Olivia Newton John impersonator named Groovin’ Gary — all feathered hair, Boogie Nights wardrobe and a disarming, ‘aw shucks’ naivete — who he filmed performing at a Salt Lake City talent show. In 1981, Harris decided to remake his documentary with a then-unknown Sean Penn in full-on Spicoli mode portraying Groovin’ Gary. For reasons unclear, he re-told the story of Groovin’ Gary a third time in 1985 with a then-unkown Crispin Glover (Back To The Future would come out later that year) as Groovin’ Gary. Combined, the three films form The Beaver Triology, which first screened at Lincoln Center in 2000. The Beaver Trilogy screens tomorrow night at PhilaMOCA, along with Harris’ Plan 10 From Outerpace. Let the buyer be weird.