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In the suburb of Burnfield, a group of twenty-year-olds hang out and shoot the breeze. Jeff (Giovanni Ribisi) goes to community college while his girlfriend Sooze (Amie Carey) is a budding performance artist. Their friends Buff (Steve Zahn), a zany burnout, Tim (Nicky Katt), a cynical Air Force drop out, and Sooze's friend in rehab, Bee-Bee (Dina Spybey), wait with them to meet an ex-classmate, Pony (Jayce Bartok), who's making it big as a rock n' roll star. The group hangs out in the parking lot of a convenience store owned by a Pakistani, Nazeer (Ajay Naidu) who doesn't like these "slackers" loitering around his store. As tensions rise between Nazeer and the group, and within the group itself, the evening proves to be one unpredictable night.

"Propelled by an upbeat music soundtrack, subUrbia is a character driven mood piece, which delves perceptively into the hearts and minds of a group of teens struggling with their inner selves. The script canvases youthful fantasies, philosophies and aspirations, while addressing issues including envy, resentment, racial discrimination and lust. The entire ensemble cast is superb, although special mention should be made of Steve Zahn, whose portrayal of Buff, the ‘post modern idiot savant’ is both entertaining and complex. The contrast between Nazeer (Ajay Naidu is poignant), the hardworking Pakistan immigrant and Tim (Nicky Katt is riveting), the racist cynic and corner bum could not be greater, and the integration of the marital tension for the former, adds greatly to the tensions. The film takes a good hard look into the inner workings of troubled teens’ minds, with an outcome of realism with some poignant, funny and devastating moments. Although a little long, the characterisations and performances are the strengths of subUrbia, which should have arthouse appeal."
Louise Keller

"Seeing Linklater's latest film, one has a curious sense of deja-vu here. Let's see, a group of seemingly disparate losers discussing their failures in a state of drunken stupidity? The film was based on the play by Eric Bogosian, the acid-tongued creator of Talk Radio, a far better mouthpiece for the writer's hollow ideas on the breakdown of modern American society. Here, he has created characters who are victims of their own stupidly, and whose morbidity forms the basis of its rough-edged, unsubtle humour. There are some nice touches, including another fresh performance by Parker Posey as a pretentious Californian, and Steve Zahn has an irrepressible streak as the drunk Buff. But the film is another of these meandering talkfests that go nowhere and have little original thought. Given the talents involved, that makes subUrbia an even greater tragedy."
Paul Fischer

"I dunno, Paul, I think you’re being a tad dismissive here. Fact is, I enjoyed the film and while it’s true that some of the characters display stupidity, and the ills of American society are not new ground – individual human beings generate a fascination of their own. I am into individuals, and that’s why I find this film fascinating and entertaining. I recognise real characters, each with complex personalities, each riding the shockwave of modern American society’s crazy blast. I especially enjoy the interplay within this group, for its sharply observed – and superbly acted – idiosyncrasies."
Andrew L. Urban

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CAST: Jayce Bartok, Amie Carey, Nicky Katt, Ajay Naidu, Parker Posey, Giovanni Ribisi, Samia Shoaib, Dina Spybey, Steve Zahn

PRODUCER: Anne Walker-McBay

DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater

SCRIPT: Eric Bogosian (based on his play)


EDITOR: Sandra Adair


PRODUCTION DESIGN: Catherine Hardwicke

RUNNING TIME: 118 mins


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 23, 1997 (Sydney, Adelaide; Nov 27: Melbourne)

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