Scarface, As Time Goes By

Nearly 29 years late, I have seen an excellent copy of Scarface by Brian De Palma. A film that I heard whispered about, a film I imagined being so very, very anti-Castro that it remained dormant in the vaults of the ICAIC (Cuban FIlm Institute), or the School of San Antonio de los Banos without being released in cinemas.

But I found something else. A movie where Cuba and Castro are just starting references, a movie that must sit very badly in Miami with the survivals of Montana as drug czar. But in Cuba, why didn’t they show it? Creole prudishness? Perhaps the famous speech we do not want, we do not need? Why the images of Mariel? All mixed up?

With regards to Pacino, I found it super-duper-overacting. The script also seemed very organic. I reconciled with a blind man who danced such a tango in Scent of a Woman, I reconciled with De Palma’s Einsensteinian stroller in The Untouchables. Scarface fell short, aged, failed, a curiosity. But in Cuba, why didn’t they show it?

February 16 2012

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