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The Next Reel Film Podcast

580 EpisodesProduced by The Next ReelWebsite

Subscribe to THE weekly podcast for movie people! Features in-depth reviews of classic films and contemporary hits, with ratings, rankings, and interviews.


Tony Manero

"Once the film is out of fashion, you think they’ll still follow you? No way."

Pablo Larraín didn’t intend to direct three films that took place during the Pinochet dictatorship – it just happening that way. Looking at Tony Manero, the first film in what is dubbed as his ‘unintentional trilogy,’ it’s clear that Larraín is not one to shy away from challenging his audience. But in doing so, is he pushing us away too? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our series on Pablo Larraín’s Unintentional Trilogy with his 2008 film, Tony Manero.

We talk about why we don’t like this film, but look at what perhaps Larraín was working toward by creating such an unlikeable protagonist for the film. We discuss how well his parallels worked between Raúl’s world – an obsession with John Travolta’s character from Saturday Night Fever, general awful behavior and murder – and the world of Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship – general awful behavior and murder. We chat about actor Alfredo Castro and what he brings to the table as this despicable character. We look at the cinematography and editing in the film and, as refreshing as it is here, question how well it’s connected thematically to the story. And we look at some connections, both obvious and less so, this film has with Saturday Night Fever.

It’s an interesting film that makes for a very challenging watch. We both had a difficult time with this one but still felt that Larraín was working toward some interesting things, even if we’re not sure he ever quite got there. But there’s a lot to talk about so check it out then tune in!

Film Sundries

  • Watch this film: Amazon
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Original poster artwork
  • Saturday Night Fever. Seriously.
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    Trailers of the Week
  • Andy's Trailer: American Assassin — "I’m not convinced I want to watch this movie, but Michael Keaton nearly does it for me. He’s hit a new point in his career where I’m excited by about everything he does. He’s not carrying the film, but I have a feeling his presence will be the draw for me if I decide to see this one."
  • Pete's Trailer: Beatriz at Diner — "Yeah, this may be a little on the nose for today’s political climate in the US… France… UK… but holy smokes is it fun to watch Hayak go head to head with Lithgow. Pitched as a comedy, but I’m not convinced any of this is altogether funny."

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