July 2, 2009

PODCAST: Pablo Larraín

TONY MANERO director Pablo Larraín

As Andrew Grant, David Fear and I discussed in our podcast last October, Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín's Tony Manero was my favorite feature at the 2008 New York Film Festival, a marvelously unhinged study of pop-culture obsession in a suffocating environment (if I may crib myself). From All Movie Guide:

As Augusto Pinochet holds Chile in the grip of dictatorship, a fifty year old man obsessed with John Travolta's character from Saturday Night Fever imitates his idol each weekend in a small bar on the outskirts of Santiago. Each weekend, Raúl Peralta (Alfredo Castro) and his friends—a devoted group of dancers—gather in a small bar and act out their favorite scenes from Saturday Night Fever. Raúl longs to become a showbiz superstar, and when the national television announces a Tony Manero impersonating contest it seems like he may finally have a shot at living his dreams. But as Raúl is driven to commit a series of crimes and thefts in order to reproduce his matinee idol's persona, his dancing partners (also underground resistance fighters who rail against the regime) are persecuted by the secret police.

Calling in from Chile, Larraín and I got down! ... I mean, we got down to business over fascism, disco, the Chilean filmmaking scene, and why he agrees with one of his naysayers—with an appropriate smattering of cultural references throughout: Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, John Zorn and Felix Mendelssohn (?!).

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Tony Manero opens in New York tomorrow and in Los Angeles on July 17, with more dates to come. For showtimes and more info, visit the Cinema Village website.

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Posted by ahillis at July 2, 2009 9:13 AM


Whoa! You mean I got to see "Tony Manero" in Denver weeks before it got a theatrical release in NYC?

Posted by: Peter Nellhaus at July 5, 2009 5:43 AM

Hmmm. So with the John Travolta impersonators and crime, the sequel could be called "Vincent Vega".

Posted by: jaxrogue at July 6, 2009 11:56 PM
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