Xavier Toby Reader

Xavier Toby

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Here I Am: by Australian director Beck Cole

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 5 August 2011

Set in Adelaide, this film about an Aboriginal woman leaving jail and struggling to reconnect with society and her daughter isn’t the most amazing story ever told. It lacks big twists and big laughs. But that would only subtract from this lovingly told tale.

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Beer delivered and served by trike with zero waste

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By Xavier Toby in New Eco on Thursday 4 August 2011

At a cost of about $2 a pot, The Good Brew beer comes from local microbreweries with solar or other environmental measures in place. It’s delivered by trike to the Melbourne CBD or inner northern suburbs, and served from reusable kegs into reusable glasses. Also, it’s delicious and wine is available.

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Melbourne alt-country band The Cliffords

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By Xavier Toby in New Music on Tuesday 2 August 2011

Rock/pop with an alt country twist, The Cliffords play hook filled songs with roaring choruses and lyrics that stick. ‘You guys would be the best pop band in Melbourne if ya pulled ya finger out’, a Melbourne publican told them. So they did, and finally produced their first full-length album.

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Snowtown: an Aussie flick about a serial killer

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 2 August 2011

Not an easy film to watch. At all. Often in serial killer movies it’s clear who the bad and good guys are. But this is a true story, and told with all the comprise and messiness of the truth. Based on the Snowtown murders in Adelaide from 1992 to 1999, the characterizations are honest and real, along with the violence. What’s not given is much explanation or justification. To be honest, at the start I hated it. Then it got awesome.

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Watch the full length movie: Sister Smile

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Monday 25 July 2011

A nun that outsells Elvis and the Beatles. It’s a true story too, but I doubt that many who read this review will be old enough to remember the song, Dominique, by the singing nun, Jeannine Deckers. Interestingly, there was another film made long ago about the life of the singing nun that made it out to be a much rosier story, and had a lot less to do with truth.

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Oranges and Sunshine: starring Emily Watson

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 7 July 2011

Did you know that up to 150,000 underprivileged children were forcibly deported from England to countries including Australia up until 1970? I had no idea. Sometimes a story is so compelling that the usual narrative drivers aren’t required.

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Dogtooth: a movie by Yorgos Lanthimos

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 7 June 2011

You’ll spend a large part of the time thinking, ‘What the hell?’ But in a good way. It’s a highly disconcerting story, where a husband and wife keep their three adult children imprisoned with strange stories of the outside world.

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I Am Love

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 29 March 2011

The plot of this Italian film might not be riveting, but the characters are lovely personal portraits, and every scene is produced with such care that the entire film feels to have been painstakingly painted. It’s a film with an individual, meandering pace, where the viewer is kept on the edge of these lives, and drawn into them for the lack of explanation.

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Interview with Catfish director Ariel Schulman

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 8 February 2011

Catfish director Ariel Schulman discusses the making of this documentary, and the allegations that it’s all as fake as the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary, I’m Still Here. Based around a relationship that his brother Nev starts on Facebook, Catfish features an array of intense twists and turns.

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Melbourne’s Rooftop Cinema

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By Xavier Toby in Cool Travel on Thursday 13 January 2011

It’s date night, and going to the movies is such a cliche that the multiplex is no longer good enough. Over summer, there are movies in gardens, swimming pools and on the most renowned rooftop in Melbourne. That’s at the Rooftop Bar, on top of Curtain House on Swanston Street, which also includes Cookie for cocktails and Thai, and the Toff in Town for gigs and class. Which you should know.

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Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl movie trailer

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 13 January 2011

The best bad film ever? It’s close. With any low-budget film with questionable acting and plot lines, there’s always the same question: ‘Is it so bad that it’s good?’ Often the answer is, ‘No, it’s just bad’. This film, though, is so bad it is amazingly awesome.

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Winter’s Bone: best drama at 2010 Sundance Film Festival

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 28 December 2010

Some movies say too little, and nothing happens. Other films say too much, and too much happens. In Winter’s Bone, plenty happens and just enough is said. In the way of any great story, much is implied by the smallest actions and fewest of words.

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Last Ride: Australian movie starring Hugo Weaving

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 16 December 2010

Most movies avoid morally flawed and reprehensible central characters since it’s too hard to get audiences to empathise with them. Instead they go for safe fluffy leads who have a few little problems, but are only misunderstood and really, they’re the sorts of people that we should aspire to be. Boring and yuk.

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Five Minutes of Heaven: by screenwriter Guy Hibbert

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Wednesday 15 December 2010

What goes through the mind of a terrorist? Why does he so readily kill? How can you ever forgive him? Back in 1975, a young Catholic is killed by a Protestant in Northern Ireland. The murder is witnessed by the Catholic’s eleven-year old brother, whose family is shattered as a result.

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Rare Exports: a Finnish movie about Santa

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By Xavier Toby in New Film on Friday 3 December 2010

Santa eating kids. Santa torturing kids. Santa mutilating kids. I don’t know about you, but I hate Christmas. Okay, hate is a very strong word. I really hate Christmas. Everyone gets stressed out, then eats too much and whinges about being fat. Also, the amount of presents a kid gets has nothing to do with being naughty or nice — it’s how rich their parents are, and how much guilt they feel.

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