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TONY MANERO <span>(2008)</span> artwork


Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 95

Release dates 10/04/2009

BBFCInsight Contains infrequent explicit and strong sex

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Pablo Larrain

Cast includes Alfredo Castro, Hector Marales, Paolo Lattus, Amparo Noguera

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 31/03/2009

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

TONY MANERO is drama set in Chile in 1978 against a backdrop of Pinochet’s dictatorship. It follows the story of a middle-aged man whose need to impersonate the lead character from Saturday Night Fever has found him turning to crime in the pursuit of his obsession. It was passed '18'' for infrequent explicit and strong sex.

The film focuses on the increasingly dysfunctional life of the lead character and one of the areas in which this is apparent is his impotence. The sex scene is symbolic of his failure in life generally. In an early intimate scene with his lover the couple try to make love. She takes his flaccid penis briefly into her mouth, but he remains unaroused. The sex is unsuccessful and she accuses him of being aroused only by thoughts of dancing. At '18', the BBFC's Guidelines state that 'the more explicit images of sexual activity' are only acceptable if 'they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work'. In the context of this dramatic work the purpose of the scene is to convey the breakdown of his sense of reality and as such it was felt to be exceptionally justified at the adult category. There is another sex scene in which, once again, the man is not aroused, but the scene includes close-up images of nipple kissing and a woman masturbating to orgasm but without explicit detail. This too is acceptable at '18'.

TONY MANERO also contains two scenes of strong violence in which a man violently beats an old woman in her home and later a projectionist during the screening of a film in the local cinema. The attack on the woman takes place off screen (below frame) and that on the old man shows only a glimpse of blood on the man's cheek before we see his head being thrust forward onto the projector from behind. Both these scenes are powerful in terms of their emotional impact, but they refrain from focusing on detail, pain and injury and would therefore have been acceptable at '15' where 'Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury'. Finally there are two uses of 'motherfucker' which would otherwise have been allowed at '15' where 'There may be frequent use of strong language (eg 'fuck')'


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