Xavier Toby Reader

Xavier Toby

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Passenger Side: written and directed by Matthew Bissonnette

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 2 August 2013

As a species, our attention spans are supposedly shrinking, and most mainstream films pander to this assumption. Images, action, strands of story and scene changes are ceaselessly thrown at us in an effort to keep our attention, and distract from the lack of meaningful plot and characters worth caring about. Passable movies keep you awake […]

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It’s the twentieth anniversary of WOMADelaide

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By Xavier Toby in New Events on Thursday 8 March 2012

Hitting Adelaide this Friday is the twentieth anniversary of WOMADelaide. Just one more year until it’s legally allowed to drink in the USA. How exciting! WOMADelaide brings together innovative musical artists from around the world, with a lean towards the folksy end of the spectrum.

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Australian movie A Few Best Men

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Wednesday 8 February 2012

With all the gross out jokes and silliness of the common comedy romp, you’d think making them would be easy. Well, it’s not. It’s actually really difficult. Writing a joke is one of the hardest tasks anyone can undertake.

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Melancholia: a film by Lars von Trier

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Wednesday 4 January 2012

I wish there were a lot more of the types of films made by Lars von Trier. Each is very different but still distinctly von Trier, and each is superb. Melancholia is the follow up to the wonderfully confronting Antichrist. This is all about the end of the world, and told with an honesty and pacing that is probably much closer to the actual end of the world than all the Hollywood crap would have you believe.

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We Need To Talk About Kevin: based on Lionel Shriver’s novel

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 25 November 2011

A delightful uncomfortable film, told from the point of view of a broken woman. Kevin’s just not right, and that’s obvious from the outset as mother Eva battles to bring him up in a world where the onus is put squarely back on the mother. The intensity is poured on throughout, as tragedy seems imminent.

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Woodford Folk Festival 2011

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By Xavier Toby in New Events on Friday 25 November 2011

I’ve been to Woodford before. That’s why I’m going again this year. It’s a music and fringe festival all in one, with only one ticket. Well, there are day or season passes, but the idea is that one ticket gets you access to everything. So no messy ticket decisions. With over 400 acts from December 27 to January 1st.

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Red State: a movie from director and writer Kevin Smith

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 10 November 2011

Fundamental Christians, with a big emphasis on the word ‘mental’, in a shootout with the police. Oh, and the Christians kidnap three local lads looking to get laid. There’s rampant homophobia, and heaps of people get it in a big blown apart, their heads are everywhere kinda way.

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The Tall Man: award-winning Australian documentary

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 3 November 2011

The true story of one morning on Palm Island, when Cameron Doomadgee allegedly swore at a policeman, and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. This powerful and award winning documentary follows the inquest into Doomadgee’s death, talking to those involved and giving a real sense of this tragedy surrounding this event and those involved.

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Town Called Panic: brilliant animation out of Belgium

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Saturday 22 October 2011

Animated plastic toys. Peppered with brilliant slapstick. A storyline that makes the most wondrous stupid sense. Too excited to form proper sentences. Amazing animated film from Belgium. Hilarity that just builds and builds until your head explodes.

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The Guard: most successful independent Irish film ever

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 11 October 2011

Films don’t get any funnier than this. Dotted throughout are laugh-out-loud moments as Brendan Gleeson perfectly plays an eccentric Irish policeman, with Don Cheadle as his straight-faced FBI sidekick. What makes a good comedy great is the supporting cast, and real effort has gone into making even the smallest parts shine.

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The Whistleblower: true story of human-trafficking scandal

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 7 October 2011

The treatment of women in war torn and impoverished countries usually lags way behind first world standards. Most horrifying of all is when people from developed countries take advantage of the opportunities in these disadvantaged places to perpetrate horrible abuses against women.

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Exclusive Q&A with Mike Mills about his film Beginners

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 26 August 2011

LAEM: Where did the inspiration for the graphics, graffiti and cartoons seen throughout the film come from? MM: ‘I went to art school, not film school, so this kind of open filmmaking comes quite naturally to me. It’s how I instinctively solve problems in production, story, or just film boredom. The reason the graphics and drawings worked is because they were a real way to understand what Oliver was thinking and feeling. And while they are quite straightforward and declarative, they end up feeling strange and lyrical, and deliver information in a way that doesn’t feel dialogue driven’.

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The Eclipse: horror, thriller, romance rolled into one movie

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 18 August 2011

Not a horror, thriller or romance, but with elements of all three, this is a curious film where an explanation of the theme, characters and setting do nothing to convey the strength of the story. Instead of providing a glossy version of lives and events, with characters full of clever quips and insights, you’re thrown into quiet lives trying to deal with the messy reality of tragic events.

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The Trip: starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Wednesday 10 August 2011

Steve Coogan playing up his narcissistic on-screen persona with long-time companion Rob Brydon in the passenger seat. The banter is, at times, hilarious, and then uncomfortably, squeamishly hilarious, and then just a bit sad. Which is funny, too. The impersonations are the highlight, while the substance comes in the comparing of Coogan’s supposedly lonely but more successful career with Brydon’s stable home life and solid body of work.

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Hellphone: Hang Up or Die!

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 9 August 2011

Have you been to the movies lately? I have. Horror movies are getting pretty shit aren’t they? It’s as if they’ve run out of ideas in the English-speaking world, and need to get all introspective and self-referential in order to be entertaining. Whatever.

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