Pablo Larraín (1976) was the Chilean surprise of last year. After the little-screened Fuga, his second feature, Tony Manero, supported by the HBF, has been an enormous success since its première in Cannes. The beautiful and gritty film takes its title from John Travolta’s character in the worldwide hit Saturday Night Fever (1977), and is a critical, occasionally gruesome, yet also very funny film.
Santiago, 1978. A Chilean TV show organises a contest for a local Tony Manero, while anyone who reveals a contrary opinion is arrested, tortured or murdered by the Pinochet regime. The poor Raúl (beautifully played by Alfredo Castro) is convinced that he'll win this contest as the only real Tony Manero. Certainly if he can have a dance floor with flashing lights under the tiles. Armed with this obsession and the aggrieved tunnel vision of the putdown loser, the immoral opportunist Raúl wants to realise his dream in front of the whole Chilean people .
Tony Manero shows that Chile, about 20 years after the end of the dictatorship, is still coming to terms with its past. Larraín's film does not focus on the dictatorship, but with its idolisation of Tony Manero provides a parallel with today's Chilean society. According to Larraín, the country has forgotten its original culture and traditions, and Chile now functions entirely in America's wake. (GT)



Filmmaker
Pablo Larraín
Country
Chile, Brazil
Year
2008
Medium
35mm
Length
98’
Language
Spanish
Producer
Juan de Dios Larraín
Production Company
Fabula Producciones, Prodigital
Sales
Funny Balloons
Writer
Pablo Larraín, Alfredo Castro, Mateo Iribarren
Cinematography
Sergio Armstrong
Editor
Andrea Chignoli
Production Design
Polin Garbisú
Sound Design
Miguel Hormazábal
Cast
Paola Lattus
Website
http://www.funny-balloons.com/images_dl/tony/