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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Opening this weekend : Bobby - /* our lives on this planet are too short */

Way back in September with the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in its 9th day with one day to go, we felt privileged to see the debut of Emilio Estevez's take on the last days of Bobby Kennedy. Robert Kennedy, the brother of Jack, was a beacon of hope in the 1960s, running for the leadership of the Democratic party. This is the review from Friday on Day 9 [along with another wild film seen afterwards: Suburban Mayhem with a New Zealand talent to be reckoned with: Emily Barclay, who is also in 06 TIFF film The Silence, and was also in Toronto for her 2004 stellar debut In My Father's Den].

9:30 a.m.

Bobby Kennedy was the voice of a generation of American youth - his ideals and his speeches were emblematic of a time of hope in the air and he stirred the nation disenchanted by a war that was claiming too many American soldiers. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy represented America's last chance for hope. This view of history helmed by Emilio Estevez in his first writer / directorial role and dream project is a bold, strong, and compassionate statement looking at the events and the stories of the staff and guests at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on that June day in 1968 while RFK is campaigning for the 1968 Democratic leadership and the Presidency. The cast has been noted as being the size of a Robert Altman film with many notable names: William H Macy and Helen Hunt, Sharon Stone and Demi Moore, Laurence Fishburne, Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood, Joshua Jackson and others. Their sequences flow along, sometimes intersecting. The earnestness of the youthful campaign organizers and workers in their quest to get Bobby elected kindles that excitement in the air. The spirit of Bobby is everywhere, spurring moments of great deeds and sacrifices even in small moments. In one of the more noble scenes, Laurence Fishburne delivers a moving speeches about his kitchen staff colleague who has had to surrender his ticket to the Dodgers game, not just any Dodgers game but on the night of Koufax going for history - his sixth consecutive shutout, because he has had to work a doubleshft at the last moment. Fishburne compares his worker to a young, selfless King Arthur: "the once and future king" - which will reference the ending of the movie as well. As in Death of a President a foreboding overshadows the events of the day as they move along to the climactic moment. Bobby Kennedy's presence is always seen and felt in the background through television coverage, speeches and references from the cast. After Kennedy finishes delivering his California primary victory speech in the ballroom, the denouement is imminent while the speech of RFK plays over scenes of the lives of America: "Our lives on this planet are too short."

Bobby is a stirring and unrestrained movie with the punch of a worthy consideration.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can

Suburban Mayhem
11:45 a.m.
Varsity 6

"I knew the grandmother, she was mad - I knew the mother, she was madder. It's genetics I reckon, that's the only thing I can come up with. You can't get clean water from a dirty tank."

After Bobby meant less than 15 minutes to get up to the Varsity for the very last chance to see Emily Barclay in Suburban Mayhem. Timetable conflicts by the 06 TIFF schedulers has thwarted all previous attempts to see this movie which was at the very top of the list of movies had to be seen at 06 TIFF [after Candy].

Pretty Beach is suburbia nowhereswville up the coast north of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Emily Barclay is 19 year old Katrina Skinner, the young mother partying and living out of control. A contented housewife with a kid? No. This is not the mere disaffectation of American Beauty suburbia. This is full on carnage - starting with her brother Danny she loves so much who was sent to jail for life for decapitating the head of his murder victim. Danny was a leader among his wildstyle friends. Katrina is conniving and irresponsible, but wants to hold on to it all including her baby. Nonetheless she leaves in the hands of her beautician school friend Lilya for days while she goes out partying and looking for money to pay for a lawyer for her brother. Katrina is not reluctant to use her body and her wiles to keep sway over her boyfriend Rusty and their mentally challenged friend Kenny. As she plots to get the money to get Danny out of jail, the question arises: can she get away with the murder of her father? Suburban Mayhem is just that and more - and one wild and crazy ride we are so glad to be a part of.

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