The Tracey Fragments is a good but far from great film. Directed by acclaimed Canadian director Bruce McDonald, it tells the story of Tracy Berkowitz, a 15-year-old living in Canada, who gets picked on at school and loses track of her brother Sonny (he thinks he is a dog). The film is told in flashbacks and fragments, and Tracey, played brilliantly by Ellen Page, appears in every scene of the film. It is based on a novel by Maureen Medved, who also wrote the screenplay, and while I never read the book, it feels like it was literal adaptation. McDonald does seem interesting things with the camera, like his constant use of split screens, however it does become indulgent. However it is worth seeing for Page and the soundtrack. Yes that is right. The soundtrack is excellent on it’s own, and it works even better within the context of the film.
Broken Social Scene, an incredible indie-rock band from Canada, did the score and it adds greatly to the atmosphere of the film. Listening to the score on the soundtrack, I can picture the corresponding scenes in my head so perfectly. Highlights include “Gone or Missing” (the scene when Tracy is searching for little brother), “Hhallmark”, and “Drop in the Mercury”. This wasn’t Broken Social Scene’s first fore into the world of original scores, they had done the excellent score for Half Nelson and The Invisible. They will also be doing the upcomming score for It’s Kind of a Funny Story. They should definitely do more original scores as there music is perfect for it. It is especially perfect for stories of Teen Angst, which they have now done four of them already. They also contributed a song to the soundtrack called “Needle in the Head”, which is very good. The two songs that they contributed that and “Horses” are incredibly fast pace and manic, which is in opposition to the score.
The big discovery for me was a group called FemBots, another Canadian indie-rock band. They are much more in the uptempo pop punk vein than Broken Social Scene with their more quiet and reserved music. The two original songs that they contributed are “Who’s Gonna Know Your Name (666)” and “Don’t Wanna Be Your Man”, probably the two best songs on the soundtrack. “Who’s Gonna Know Your Name” has the urgency and guitar stylings of a blues song. The drums aren’t used at all. “Don’t Wanna Be Your Man” feels like a 60’s rock song but with modern instruments. It’s Rolling Stones esque.
Duchess Says contributes a fun little track called “Ccut Up”, a remastered version of the song that appeared on Anthologie des 3 perchoirs. It is a dance punk-pop band from Montreal. Slim Twig, who plays Billie Zero in the film, contributes a song called “Gate Hearing!”, a fun and very catchy electro-rock song. Folk artist Rose Melberg contributed “Each New Day”, a very soothing folk song. Finally there is “Oh Lord, My Heart” by The Deadly Snakes.
This is the rare case where the film is worth seeing mainly due to the soundtrack. However, even without the film, it is still a great album.
– Josh Youngerman
1. Horses – Broken Social Scene
2. Ccut Up – Duchess Says
3. Don’t Wanna Be Your Man – FemBots
4. Each New Day – Rose Melburg
5. Drop in the Mercury – Broken Social Scene
7. Gate Hearing! – Slim Twig
8. Oh Lord, My Heart – The Deadly Snakes
9. Hhallmark – Broken Social Scene
10. Gone Or Missing – Broken Social Scene
11. Needle In The Head – Broken Social Scene