The True Legend of Tony Vilar

International Premiere

Italy | 93 MINUTES | Italian |



Like the title says, the story of Tony Vilar is half real, and half legend. Historically, he is a real-life singing star who was born in Calabria, Italy, moved to South America and reached the pinnacle of his success in Buenos Aires in the 1960's, before mysteriously disappearing after a fan pulled off his toupee. Totally humiliated, he vanished from the stage without a trace. But a legend grew up around the disappearance, and director Gagliardi takes on that legend with a musical tale about fictional Calabrian singer Peppe Voltarelli, who has always venerated the myth of Tony Vilar. Setting out to learn what has become of the former crooner, Peppe's journey leads him from Argentine record shops and tango bars to shady Brooklyn hangouts, and finally to a used car dealership in the Bronx. Gagliardi, continuing to explore the theme of the Italian Diaspora, manages to ably confuse documentary and fiction with this tongue-in-cheek, mockumentary-style spoof, enlivened by a broad cast of improbable characters. A whimsical road trip film made with a great deal of light-hearted imagination, The True Legend of Tony Vilar is a prime an example of the dynamism coming out of southern Italy, where some of the least traditional films are being created by filmmakers thinking outside the box.