Monday, 19 December 2016

Scarface (5 Stars)

The poster above is a pleasant piece of art, but why did the artist find it necessary to increase the breast size of the two leading ladies, Michelle Pfeiffer and Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio? Both of them are flat-chested in real life, but the artist has blown them up to D cups for the poster. I believe that the technical term for his changes is artistic license.

This is a remake of a 1932 film with the same name. The original is about an Italian immigrant called Tony Camonte in Chicago in the 1920's. The remake is about a Cuban immigrant called Tony Montana in Florida in the 1980's. It begins with the refugee crisis of 1980. Refugees were fleeing from Cuba by boat to the USA. Rather than try to stop them, Fidel Castro loaded criminals onto the boats with them in an attempt to destabilise America. Not much has changed since then. Almost 30% of the one million so-called refugees who have arrived in Germany in the last two years have committed crimes since arriving. They pretend to be fleeing from conflict zones, but in truth they want to move to a country where crime isn't punished as harshly as where they come from.

Tony works his way up from the bottom. He begins with murder and progresses to selling drugs, primarily cocaine. His downfall comes from taking drugs himself. "Never get high on your own supply".

I didn't see "Scarface" when it was first released in 1983, but I bought the soundtrack. The music is by Giorgio Moroder, who used to be one of my favourite musicians. His 1976 album, "Knights in White Satin", was one of the most revolutionary albums of the disco era, inspiring much of what came after it. Equally ground-breaking were the two albums that Giorgio wrote and produced for Donna Summer, "Love to Love You, Baby" (1975) and "A Love Trilogy" (1976). (He produced other albums for Donna Summer, but these two are the ones regarded as classics).

I finally got round to watching the film 20 years later, because it was one of my wife's favourite films. Introducing me to "Scarface" was one of the few good things she did for me. Watching it again today, for the first time in years, made something clear to me. There have been a few good gangster films in the last 30 years, such as "Goodfellas" and "Casino", but no film influenced "The Sopranos" as much as "Scarface". Despite the different ethnic origins the two Tonys, Montana and Soprano, have many traits in common.

A newspaper is shown with a front page article about Tony's arrest. You can click the above picture to enlarge it, but it might still be difficult to read, so here is a transcript of the first three paragraphs:

Drug King Posts Record $5,000,000 Bond

Cuba-born Tony Montana charged the Drug Enforcement Agency today with infringing on his Fourth Amendment rights in a press conference held after he posted a record $5,000,000 bond.

The facts regarding the situation remain the same, state the authorities. Details concerning the action have been given a preliminary investigation, but it is felt that only by a more detailed study will the true facts become known.

Many persons feel at this stage that some legal action is forthcoming. but it now becomes common knowledge that there is pressure from the inside which will materially change the aspects of the case.

That all sounds like a good newspaper report, but if you look at the fourth paragraph it begins with the words, "The facts regarding the situation remain the same, state the authorities". That means the second paragraph is being repeated. Sloppy.

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