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    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    RIP Bobby Fischer

    No, I didn't know the man. In fact, I only bring it up as an excuse to run a clip from one of my favorite films, Searching For Bobby Fischer.

    I first discovered the film when I was working at That's Rentertainment. (A local video store chain for the non-resident readers, though they have since closed up shop.) One of the things you find as a video store clerk is that you very seldom get to watch a movie all the way through. There are always distractions. People come in, shelves need to be restocked, windows need washed. That sort of thing.

    So you develop a library of movies, movies you know so well that you can walk away at any point and come back later and know exactly where you are and what is going on. (Concert films were also perfect for this purpose.) I had such films as Strictly Ballroom (I need to post on that some day), Joe Vs. The Volcano (ditto), and Searching For Bobby Fischer.

    Searching For Bobby Fischer is an incredible film. It's perfectly cast and beautifully acted. In many ways it's a sports film, but it's also a film about fathers and sons, about teaching and learning, about growing older and growing up. Here's the final scene, where our hero Josh (you'll quickly figure out which character that is) is facing the top player in his age group for the national title of his age group. Look for Joe Mantegna and Nancy Allen as Josh's parents and Lawrence Fishburne and Ben Kingsley as his two chess teachers with drastically different styles.

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