Directed by: Hugo Diego Garcia
Written by: Hugo Diego Garcia
A period crime piece from filmmaker Hugo Diego Garcia, short film Tony is a slick and stylish gangster flick that embodies some of the best cinematic aspects of the genre whilst bringing in a coming of age thread to splendid effect.
Tony (Hugo Diego Garcia) is a rebellious teen whose street crew of misfits have become a real family to him, replacing the violent father he has at home. As his connection to his loyal friends becomes cemented, his destiny looks to be increasingly in peril through the variety of thuggish antics the group embark on in order to establish respect for themselves in the area.
Historically, #crime and in particular #gangster movies have a strong sense of isolation. Characters that crave huge amounts of power seem to do so from a motivation of having none to begin with. This is sometimes the reason why the central characters are immigrants, stepping into lands where they have no inherent influence or control over their surroundings. By transposing this structure onto a teen's search for his own identity and freedom from his controlling father, Diego Garcia has beautifully combined two cinematic tropes to masterful effect.
The performances are enrapturing, with intimate and bold portrayals of these anti-hero characters, in particular Hugo Diego Garcia who captures the emotional fragility of the central character brilliantly. As an ensemble, there is a close, personal physicality to the chemistry which was visceral. Certain sequences bordered on homoeroticism, with plenty of touching and the pouring of drinks into each other’s mouths, perhaps denoting the important formative part of Tony’s life that we are witnessing rather than providing any conclusive answer as to his sexual orientation.
Movies that throw their trilby in the ring with classic crime greats are always going to be fair game for comparison and scrutiny. With short film Tony, the #filmmakers are careful to do justice to the revered genre whilst taking risks with their aesthetics. The film has an 80’s period feel, with an incredible synth score, and even make references to Scarface, so they know where their cinematic heritage lies. That being said, there are bold moments of signature style that are impressively delivered, such as an entrancing dance sequence as well as the beautiful opening shots of French mountains. These stylistic touches and formidable filmmaking ensured this crime caper brought a gun to a gunfight when it comes to standing shoulder to shoulder with arguably some of moviedom’s most cherished gems.
Watch the short film trailer for Tony below.