Sony releases the soundtrack to FAT TONY & CO on the 14th of March.
FAT TONY & CO premieres on the Nine Network on Sunday the 23rd of February.
First Watch: Graeme Blundell, The Australian
"ONE could hardly call Nine’s Fat Tony & Co restrained, understated or unassuming. This nine-hour series, overlapping with the original Underbelly, tells the real-life story of Australia’s most successful drug dealer, Tony Mokbel. Like Underbelly, it is a corrosive fable of avarice, hubris and violence tracing the rise and fall of a vicious, lethally charming gangster. Its powerful evocation of the sordid world of drug merchants, armed robbers and murderers, while electric to watch, makes Melbourne seem like the most primitive of Darwinian jungles. As one of the pursuing cops said in last week’s feature length opener, “There are no mates in Tony Mokbel’s world.”
As it was with the first Underbelly — still the most effective storytelling of that chronicle — it is still hard to believe that such clear boundaries between criminality and respectability actually existed, and that the transgressive energies of life at the margins were so segregated from mainstream Melbourne. How did these dumb suburban criminals of such medieval ferocity get away with it for so long? In its urgent way, the series does what the best crime fiction does — describes the limits of democracy, the crisis of the judicial system, and the shadowy borders between those who police us and those in the underworld.
The action in the setup episode last week, written by Peter Gawler, who also produces, was skilfully mounted by director Peter Andrikidis and photographed by his long-time collaborator Joe Pickering. It was gracefully choreographed, vividly edited and the burnished photography full of mean-streets visuals worthy of Scorsese’s Goodfellas, vividly setting the style for the series. Fat Tony & Co is mesmerising, not only for the almost brutish displays of Italian and Greek machismo but also the complexity of its convergent style.
Andrikidis’s aesthetic reminded me of Stefano Sollima’s Romanzo Criminale, (on Foxtel’s Showcase), which aesthetically exploits film noir, prison movies, true crime and melodrama; pays homage to The Sopranos; and imaginatively ses the stylistic tropes of the subgenre of early 1970s “tough guy” Italian crime and action movies known as poliziottesco.
As in Goodfellas and Romanzo Criminale the violence is gross, shocking and animalistic but never arbitrary, simply reflecting the corrosive nihilism that infects these characters.
Burkhard Dallwitz’s musical score, eerily echoing Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti westerns for Sergio Leone, works virtually as a Greek chorus. And Gawler again uses the convention of narrator, which will irritate those critics of the Underbellystyle of storytelling who disdain its use — here it’s Stephen Curry’s young cop Jim Coghlan who is integral to the investigation — suggesting it’s a fallback trick for lesser writers, a device to trot out when other more classically visual narrative devices fail.
The narration may be called the informed voiceover: it offers a first-hand view to the inner workings of Mokbel’s psychology, fleshing out his behaviour. It’s cleverly worked here by Curry, his vocal inflections suggesting conversation rather than a written monologue.
I’m locked into the black humour and thrilling visual style of the show. If Gawler and co can be accused of glamorising such despoiled and sociopathic characters, better this than trying to understand them."
RED OBSESSION wins the AACTA award for BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Receive 2 nominations for the 2013 Screen Music Awards:
Best Music for a Television Series for UNDERBELLY BADNESS
Best Music for a Documentary for RED OBSESSION
Receive an AACTA nomination for RED OBSESSION (best sound for a documentary)
Compose the score for the new 9 part TV drama series FAT TONY & CO. Recording and mixing the score will be Chris Scallan @ THE SOFT CENTRE in Melbourne. Musicians will include Achilles Yiangoulli on Bouzouki and Tzoura and Dave Herzog on electric and acoustic guitars.
July 2013 – August 2013
Compose and record the new Title Theme for FAT TONY & CO.
Sony releases the soundtrack for UNDERBELLY SQUIZZY on JULY 5th.
UNDERBELLY SQUIZZY premiers on the Nine Network on July 28th
Sign on to compose the score to the new 9 part TV drama series FAT TONY & CO for Screentime and the Nine Network.
"From Screentime, the producers of the top rating Underbelly franchise, the nine-part drama Fat Tony & Co will uncover the true story of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals, Tony Mokbel.
On March 19, 2006, Mokbel, said to be Australia’s richest gangster, became Australia’s most wanted man. What followed was an intense manhunt that lasted 18 months and dismantled a drug empire.
A miraculous tip-off to the Australian police revealed that Mokbel was living in Athens, Greece under a false name and documents. But how do you find one man in a population of four million? Fat Tony & Co follows Mokbel from his early beginnings in Melbourne’s underworld to his eventual discovery and arrest in a cafe in Athens.
Other original members of the Underbelly cast set to reprise their roles in the new series include Vince Colosimo as Alphonse Gangitano, Gyton Grantley as Carl Williams, Les Hill as Jason Moran, Madeleine West as Danielle McGuire, Simon Westaway as Mick Gatto, Gerard Kennedy as Graham Kinniburgh, and Kevin Harrington as Lewis Moran.
Fat Tony & Co will also feature Shane Jacobson, Stephen Curry, Debra Byrne, Steve Bastoni, Richard Cawthorne, Simone Kessell, Nicholas Bishop and Hollie Andrew.
Screentime’s Executive Chairman, Des Monaghan, and Head of Drama, Greg Haddrick, will be Executive Producers along with Channel Nine’s joint Heads of Drama, Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan, with Peter Gawler and Elisa Argenzio producing the series. Peter Andrikidis, Andrew Prowse and Karl Zwicky will direct the nine episodes, which will be written by Peter Gawler, Adam Todd, Jeff Truman and Michaeley O’Brien."