Mar 21, 2015

Little Tony




Undoubtedly, my first impression of a film with a title like ‘Little Tony’ is that it is about a dumb and sub-literate yet keenly charismatic wop who knows how to smooth talk his way into many women's panties but can barely hold an unskilled construction job. While Kleine Teun (1998) aka Little Tony directed by Dutch auteur Alex van Warmerdam (Abel aka Voyeur, Borgman) does feature an illiterate philistine who manages to get some relatively sweet blonde ass and who has a wife that looks like the virtual doppelgänger of Tony Soprano’s rather rotund dyke-like dago sister, the film is far too savagely sophisticated, callously cynical, and decidedly Dutch to be about a gregarious pussy-pounding guido meathead. Rather intriguingly, auteur van Warmerdam not only plays the lead character of the film, but his real-life wife Annet Malherbe—an extra wide and chunky woman of the inordinately dark and swarthy sort, at least for a Dutch chick, who has appeared in most of her husband’s films—also plays the role of his character’s overly domineering spouse, thus making for one fiercely fucked flick that once again proves why the director is arguably the most playfully psychopathic filmmaker working today. A delightfully deranged (anti)heimat comedy set in rural Central Holland on the outskirts of the city of Utrecht, which has been the Catholic religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century, van Warmerdam’s film is certainly the closest thing to the New German Cinema films of the late-1960s and 1970s directed by people like Walter Bockmayer (Flammende Herzen aka Flaming Hearts, Geierwally), Peter Fleischmann (Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern aka Hunting Scenes from Bavaria, Die Hamburger Krankheit aka The Hamburg Syndrome), and especially Herbert Achternbusch (Das letzte Loch aka The Last Hole, Heilt Hitler!) that portrayed Bavarians as goat-fucking and beer-chugging redneck retards, albeit all the more hopelessly hateful yet paradoxically goofy at the same time. Based on van Warmerdam’s own three-person 1996 chamber play of the same name, Little Tony is quintessential Dutch ‘anti-comedy’ as a work that is so dark, depraved, and dehumanized in its less than hospitable yet highly addictive humor that only the Dutch and people just as fucked up as them will be able to understand it. Indeed, van Warmerdam’s fourth feature tells the truly timeless tale of a borderline morbidly obese and infertile middle-aged farm beastess who is tired of reading movie subtitles for her illiterate hick of a hubby, so she hires a somewhat hotter and much slimmer middle-aged blonde of the obnoxiously anally retentive sort to teach him to read, only to later plot to have her superlatively stupid spouse start a romantic relationship with the teacher because she desperately wants a baby and hopes the two will produce one for her. Set in a misleadingly paradisiacal pastoral land that is despoiled by its insanely inane and insipid inhabitants that are dumber and/or fatter than cows and more stubborn than horses, Little Tony is the almost maddeningly malicious and certainly mirthfully misanthropic story of a moronic ménage à trios that ultimately erupts in tastefully distasteful tragicomedic murder, mayhem, madness, and callous rejection, among other things. Undoubtedly, van Warmerdam's film also happens to be what is probably the most fiercely farcical farm-based flick since Tom O'Horgan's Rochelle Owens adaptation Futz (1969), albeit infinitely more enthralling. 





 Brand (Alex van Warmerdam) is a goddamned moron hick from Holland who is so ludicrously lowclass that he proudly admits that he managed to get the money to buy his wife’s favorite dress by killing a goat. Unfortunately, Brand’s wife Kate (Annet Malherbe) is now so obscenely overweight that she is now at least three times as wide as the dress, so her hubby no longer wants to hump her. Indeed, Kate is so desperate for Brand’s cock in her cunt that she is willing to give him a rimjob while he is defecating if he agrees to do the unthinkable by committing coitus with her, but of course the Dutch peasant may enjoy hanging around goat shit and all but he is certainly no scat fiend. Although Brand is a rugged redneck man, he is also a committed cuckold, even though he has nil sexual interest in his wife, who seems to have carefully whipped her hubby into shape over the past two decades or so that they have been married. Tired of spending her mornings reading subtitles to her husband (since when do rednecks watch foreign films?), Kate comes back to the house one day with a marginally attractive middle-aged blonde chick named Lena (Ariane Schluter) who Brand is clearly immediately attracted to but pretends to dislike so as not to offend his corpulent cock-starved wife. Lena has been hired to teach Brand to read, but after their first session, he flips out like a hyperactive toddler, chops off the head of a lawn gnome, and complains to his wife, “A kid like that, teaching me. Homework. I’m 45, damn it!,” to which Kate replies, “You’re doing it for me,” thus reaffirming her cuckoldry over her husband. Meanwhile, Kate is obsessed with having a baby as demonstrated by the fact she asks to hold a random stranger’s baby while at a grocery store and then, to the chagrin of the child’s mother, soon disappears with it while roaming around the building and pretending that it is her kid. Since Kate is infertile, she has decided to make Lena her babymaker, but first she must convince her moron of a husband that it is ok for him to lay some pipe in his teacher's seemingly tight twat. 





 When Brand tries to give his wife’s favorite dress to Lena, it becomes fairly obvious that he wants to get in her assumed granny panties. Rather curiously, Kate ends up giving the same dress to Lena literally minutes after Brand offers it to her, as she knows that piece of clothing gives her hubby a hard-on. Although he does not go to church (indeed, van Warmerdam breaks with the Hebraic Hollywood comedy convention of portraying all rednecks as being hopelessly superstitious Christian true believers), Brand wants Lena to meet him at the church wearing the dress, but when Sunday arrives, the sex-starved blonde spinster is depressed to find her ‘student’ is a no show. While Lena calls Brand a “peasant” in an overtly hateful fashion after he kindly requests to see one of her breasts, deep down inside she wants to devour his Dutch dong. Although Lena is passably attractive, especially for her age, she clearly has some control issues and can only bring herself to give herself to Brand when he treats her like a worthless piece of shit that is only worthy of ridicule. In fact, Kate absurdly coaches her hubby in regard to how to seduce Lena as she proclaims to “knows her type” and that “She wants to be impregnated…By authority.” Indeed, when a set of stairs in his barn collapses while he is walking up them and he is left hanging from a ledge that is about two stories tall, Lena refuses to help him even though he could break his neck because she has no respect for weak or vulnerable men. Ironically, it is only through Kate's authority over him that Brand is able to develop enough of an authoritarian personality to cause Lena to wet her panties. Naturally, when Brand spitefully states to Lena, “You’re like my father…He took me to the fair but never opened his wallet. Little Brand could just ogle,” and adds, “To me you’re just a twit like all the others,” the shrewd sadomasochistic blonde gets all hot and bothered and whips her tender titties out. Ultimately, Kate comes up with the dubious scheme to tell Lena that she and Brand are actually brother and sister even though they look nothing alike and that they were lying about being married so that the Dutch instructor feels more comfortable about letting herself be defiled by the middle-aged farmboy. Of course, Lena wants to believe the lie, so it does not take long for her to begin making out with Brand in front of Kate, which she seems to do just to rub it in the morbidly obese woman's face. 





 In seemingly no time, Lena begins demanding that Kate not only move into the spare bedroom, but also eat horsemeat (!), which she is repulsed by as revealed her remark, “My father called horsemeat unhappy meat,” even though she regularly eats an absolutely grotesque offal stew that resembles boiled diarrhea, hence her obesity. Of course, since she desperately wants a baby, Kate swallows her pride and meekly submits to Lena’s mostly petty demands. Unquestionably, when Lena finally reveals that she is pregnant the discernibly deleterious threesome reaches its peak in terms of social stability, but after eponymous baby boy ‘Little Tony’ is born, all hell breaks loose and coldblooded murder begins to look like a very attractive idea to Kate, who wants both the brood and her hubby all to herself. As can be expected from a delusional woman who believes she is the rightful mother of a baby that she did not even give birth to, Kate becomes irate when Lena walks in on her breastfeeding little Tony and brutally berates her by stating that she disapproves of, “Letting little Tony suck on an empty breast. The empty breast of a strange woman.” Ultimately, Kate decides to use the classic female method of murder by slowly poisoning Lena with tainted food, which nitwit Brand somehow eventually figures out, though he cowardishly neglects to warn the mother of his child as he is too afraid to disobey his wifey. Indeed, when Kate begins acting even more domineering than she did before Lena came into their lives, Brand is more or less instantaneously cuckolded by his wife again, even though he has nil sexual interest in her and is totally sexually obsessed with his baby boy’s frisky mother. In the end, Brand has to make a quick choice between his lard ass wife and his baby-mama after Kate begins attempting to drown Lena in a large puddle after the latter realizes she is being poisoned and reacts accordingly. Unfortunately, Brand ultimately seems to make the wrong choice in the end as he not only loses both of his lady friends, but also his sole son. 






 Out all of auteur Alex van Warmerdam's cinematic works, Little Tony is certainly the one that most resembles a sort of collection of grotesque cinematic postcards of the Dutch hinterland, which indubitably largely has to do with the fact that the film is mostly comprised of static yet carefully framed still shots. Indeed, as a man that is also a painter who worked in that artistic medium before he ever got involved with theater and eventually film, Warmerdam’s shots and camera angles are naturally largely inspired by the style of landscape paintings, thus strangely following in an old Dutch artistic tradition that goes all the way back to at least Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Interestingly, despite the highly stylized and carefully constructed aesthetic of the film, van Warmerdam originally had no intention of adapting his play into a film as he felt it was far too theatrical, but luckily he eventually changed his mind after various people recommended that he do it. Aside from possibly his latest feature Borgman (2013), Little Tony is indubitably van Warmerdam’s most brazenly brutal, delectably distasteful, and sardonically sinister work as a perniciously playfully tragicomedic anti-romance that completely obliterates both males and females in terms of its devastating depiction of a total war between the sexes. Of course, the film is all the more potent and provocative due to the fact that writer/director van Warmerdam plays the lead in a work where his real-life wife plays alongside him as his character’s murderously manipulative and sexually neglected spouse. Indeed, after watching Little Tony, I find it almost unfathomable that van Warmerdam is still married to Annet Malherbe, as very few men could get away with making a film where they depict their wife as innately sexually undesirable via a character who is ugly on both the inside and outside, not to mention the fact that she is brutally slaughtered in the end like a big fat pig. Judging solely by the content of his films alone, it would probably not be too hard to make the case that van Warmerdam is a swine, but somehow it is impossible to hate him because he does it all in good humor and that is surely his genius as both a playwright and filmmaker. As a work set in bumfuck Holland that depicts the power dynamics between the sexes in a uniquely unflattering fashion that seems like it could have been inspired by the writings of everyone from German-American sage wordsmith H.L. Mencken to Argentinean-German-Jewish anti-feminist writer Esther Vilar, Little Tony may very well be the ultimate anti-romantic-comedy, which is certainly no small accomplishment on van Warmerdam’s part as a man who has more or less turned what one might describe as ‘theatrical trolling’ into a distinct celluloid artform. 



-Ty E

11 comments:

Tony Brubaker said...

That stew looks more like intestines than diarrhea.

Tony Brubaker said...

Ty E, you`re right, that blonde slag is quite tasty for a 40 year-old bird, sort of like what Heather might`ve looked like as a middle-aged bird had she lived, although Heather would`ve been even prettier of course.

Tony Brubaker said...

I like the picture where hes lifting the blonde bird out of the water and her bathing costume has risen up to show more of her bum. Her legs look quite tasty on that see-saw as well. The birds tits are not bad either (though hardly the 17 year-old Pauline Hickeys obviously ! ! !). Like i said, all-in-all, quite a little darlin` for a middle-aged slag.

Tony Brubaker said...

The picture on the poster of the hand squeezing the small defenceless doll makes it look like a metaphor for the film being about a geezer who likes touching the bums of Heather O`Rourke and JonBenet Ramsey look-a-likes, what a disappoint-girl-t it was to find out that he liked adult birds instead.

Tony Brubaker said...

Speaking of older birds: I want to bugger Vera Farmiga, i know the slag is 41 but i`d still love to poke my willy up that birds bum.

Tony Brubaker said...

I like Melissa McCarthy, i just do, i`d love to shove my willy balls deep up her sweet big fat scrumtious arse-hole and get a big load of her shit all over my helmet, its just such a shame that her latest film "SPY" has been polluted with so much British garbage.

Tony Brubaker said...

Ty E, would you say that Robert Schwentke is a turncoat for leaving Deutschland and going to make blockbuster crap in America ?. By the way, i`m assuming hes heterosexual but if hes a woofter he should be burned-at-the-stake (like all fairys obviously).

Tony Brubaker said...

I want to bugger Angela Merkel (as the bird was in 1972 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously). She was a right little darlin` when she was a young bird.

Tony Brubaker said...

I like that picture where hes got her up against the car and pulling her dress up and groping her legs, i feel so jealous of the geezer when i look at that image, the lucky bastard.

Tony Brubaker said...

Ty E, about half-way through principal photography on "Terminator 2: Judge-girl-t Day" on February 1st 1991 it was already 3 years to the very day since Heather snuffed it, 3 years without the angel already, its unbelievable when you think about it.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, the Poltergeist remake is at hand, but how can you have a Poltergeist movie without Heather O`Rourke ! ?, the very idea is totally absurd ! ! !.