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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
NICK CAVE WATCHES 'SCARFACE' WITH HIS KIDS
IN SCENE FROM STAGED DOC '20,000 DAYS ON EARTH' - "SCARFACE IS SUCH AN OPERA"



Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's staged documentary of rock star Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth, follows Cave through his purported 20,000th day of life. According to Billboard's Joe Lynch, "While conversations emerge organically, each scene -- whether Cave is driving, working with the Bad Seeds on their latest album Push the Sky Away or thumbing through memorabilia in Melbourne's Nick Cave archives -- was meticulously constructed."

Lynch interviews Cave about the film, and at one point, asks him about a scene in which he watches Brian De Palma's Scarface with his twin boys:

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[Lynch] There's a scene in the film where Nick is sitting with his twin sons, eating pizza and watching Scarface. Why that film?

Cave: It was just a film that they'd been on at me to watch. "We want to watch Scarface!" Maybe I'd talked about it or something. And I said, "Well it's got some scenes in it that are pretty heavy, do you think you're all right to watch it?" They said, "Oh, we've already watched the chainsaw scene on YouTube." We wanted to find a film that they hadn't seen, and they have seen a lot of that super violent stuff with me anyway. [My twin sons and I] had a thing we'd do that we'd sit down and watch a film that we shouldn't be watching together. It was a bonding experience.

[Lynch] What other movies do you watch with them?

Cave: Just...violent films. So we all wanted something that could hold them, and Scarface is such an opera -- an exaggerated cartoon of the world. That scene is probably my favorite -- not because it's got kids in it, but it sets up an idea. It's the one moment of Nick Cave supposedly at home, doing an ordinary thing with his kids. But it's not. I'm sitting there, the camera is here, we're looking into the camera -- we're not looking at the TV at all. So there's this sense of being removed from the ordinary, or that the ordinary has been taken away from us and it's something we're not able to reclaim. And that's true.

[Lynch] It's also one of the few scenes where we see you laughing.

Cave: That's just how it ended up. I laugh a lot actually, but you don't laugh a lot when the camera is on. There's a lovely outtake of Kylie and I that says a lot. We're in the car; they haven't started shooting but they're filming. We're talking about something, it's very light, and then they say 'action' and both of us [pantomimes stone face]. It's not that we're trying to portray anything, it's just the effect that it has over you. The claustrophobic, unfunny aspect of being filmed.


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Posted by Geoff at 12:00 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 12:03 AM CDT
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Friday, September 26, 2014
'SCARFACE' PLAYING THIS WEEK IN SEATTLE
AND 'PEAKY BLINDERS' PRODUCTION DESIGNER INSPIRED BY 'GODFATHER', 'SCARFACE', MORE
Beginning tonight (Friday) at 9:30pm, and playing at that time every night through Tuesday, September 30th, Seattle's Central Cinema, which bills itself as "Seattle's most Fun Movie Theater," will be showing Brian De Palma's Scarface. Tickets are $9, but Tuesday night it's only 99 cents.

Meanwhile, Den Of Geek's Juliette Harrisson interviewed production designer Grant Montgomery on the set of the TV gangster drama Peaky Blinders, series 2. The show takes place in Birmingham, England, just after the First World War. Netflix will begin streaming series 1 September 30th, while the first episode of series 2 will air on BBC Two October 2nd.

As Montgomery tells Harrisson about what viewers can expect series 2 to look like, he refers to such films as Heaven's Gate (for the look of series 1), The Godfather, Inception, Drive, and Scarface. Here's an excerpt:

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Basically, Tommy’s empire has grown. You’ll see him moving to the metropolis of London and taking on the big gangsters that run London, so visually, you’re moving much more into bigger spaces, and you’re leaving behind a lot of the dark working-class world. Because they have money, and Tommy is beginning to use that money, he’s buying up houses in London. The world is opening up, it’s becoming much more expansive, and the spaces become bigger.

It becomes much more like a gangster world, the references become much more attuned to The Godfather rather than Heaven’s Gate. I was using Heaven’s Gate as a reference in season 1, [but] in season 2 the references are really to The Godfather. [Tommy’s] office is a total homage to The Godfather. There’s oranges on the table!

There are a lot of [other] references as well. For example, there’s a huge club called The Eden, which is a big metropolitan club, and again I like to reference things, so there’s a lot of little nods, winks – there’s a scorpion design that’s basically from Ryan Gosling’s jacket in Drive. I wanted to turn it into a really big nod to Inception, there’s a lot of gold. There’s a lot of gold within the whole series, actually, and that echoes season 1.

You’ll see loads of [references] that are just peppered through the whole of the look, and I think that’s playful. That was in the first season, ‘cause it was all from a lot of Westerns, Rio Bravo, Deadwood and all the rest.

[Harrisson] How much freedom do you have to do that, mixing in so many different references? Do you just not tell anyone?

I just do it, because it’s there! Steven [Knight]’s writing is so detailed, but allows you still to bring images and references to the party. So I’ve never felt constricted by what we’re doing, because it’s a mythology, it’s not strictly historically – it’s not a historical recreation, it’s very much a mythology.

Also, I’ve always brought a kind of Americana feel, like for example Tommy’s office, there’s a lot of references to Los Angeles there, the shape of certain curves etc. I’ve always tried to bring an Americana kind of sheen to a British gangster story. I think that’s legitimate because it is a myth.

The Garrison pub has been transformed, because [Tommy’s] gone to see London and he’s brought back an idea and done basically a Scarface on it. He’s done a 1980s Brian De Palma Al Pacino Scarface on his own pub, and it’s turned into this huge golden Las Vegas kind of mecca to his ambition, so it’s completely transformed.

[Harrisson] Is that your imprint, or is that implied in the script?

No, it’s implied in the script. He comes back and says, ‘right I’m gonna give Birmingham what I’ve seen in London. I’m gonna give the masses what they want’, which is this glamour. And he’s quite a glamourous individual. And I think also every location and every set is starting to change because he’s got money, so he buys a house from Polly in suburbia, and he’s buying racehorses, and he’s buying fast cars. You see him with this huge amount of money, and where’s that money going to take him? And I’ve always used gold as a symbol [for] his desire and ambition for money and wealth.


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Posted by Geoff at 5:54 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 29, 2014 3:42 AM CDT
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Sunday, September 7, 2014
'SCARFACE' ON BIG SCREEN SUNDAY & WEDNESDAY
DIGITAL PRESENTATION IN CINEMARK THEATERS ACROSS THE U.S.
Brian De Palma's Scarface will be shown in Cinemark theaters across the U.S. today (Sunday) at 2pm, and Wednesday (September 10th) at 2pm and 7pm. The screenings are part of Cinemark's "Classic Series," which features six films, including Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, and (from Scarface to Scarlett), Gone With The Wind. You can search for theaters showing the series here.

Posted by Geoff at 11:22 AM CDT
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Venice Film Fest review of Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes


"What makes this so thrilling as drama isn’t simply the fact of Dennis’s corruption but the speed with which it happens. In a deeply plausible, surprisingly un-filmic way, he only gets around to wrestling with his conscience when it’s too late for the result to make any odds.

"Perhaps Bahrani is invoking Brian De Palma’s Scarface in the Florida setting: certainly, Carver’s nihilistic state-of-the-nation rants recall Tony Montana in his self-actualising pomp, and [Michael] Shannon delivers them with Tyrannosaur charisma. He and [Andrew] Garfield are an ideal double-act, and the possibility of a late Damascene conversion for either man seems unlikely, but never out of the question."


Posted by Geoff at 11:56 PM CDT
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Friday, July 18, 2014
MORODER: JAY Z WANTED 'SCARFACE' SOUNDTRACK
RAPPER WANTED TO REWORK SOME OF THE SONGS, BUT DE PALMA SAID NO
In preparation for his set as a DJ tonight at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Giorgio Moroder was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune's Allison Stewart. "There was a time when Jay Z wanted to (remake) some of the songs from [Scarface]," Moroder tells Stewart, "but it didn't work out because Brian De Palma didn't want to do it. But I talked to several (rappers) like Jay Z, and they loved the movie. Some of them had seen the movie like twenty, thirty, forty times, and people remember the dialogue. It's one of those cult movies."

Back in 2003, as the film was turning 20, the Los Angeles Times' Elaine Dutka reported that the chairman of Island Def Jam, Lyor Cohen, had met with De Palma to suggest that the artists on his label compose a new soundtrack for Scarface, "with or without Moroder." Dutka added, "Though [Martin] Bregman and even [Al] Pacino made the case for the proposal, the director was aghast."

Dutka quoted De Palma: "They said it would help promotion, presenting the film in a different way. But Giorgio's music was true to the period, I argued -- and no one changes the scores on movies by Marty Scorsese, John Ford, David Lean. If this is the 'masterpiece' you say, leave it alone. I fought them tooth and nail and was the odd man out, not an unusual place for me. I have final cut, so that stopped them dead."

Dutka's article then continues:

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Universal's [Craig] Kornblau hasn't given up on the thought of creating a "reinvigorated and more relevant soundtrack," however. Nor has Kevin Liles, president of Def Jam/Def Soul Records. "Hip-hop, as Chuck D says, is the 'CNN of the ghetto,' " Liles points out. "Incorporating it into a classic like this would convey the current reality. The message, unfortunately, is as relevant today as when the movie emerged. I'll be the first up to bat to rescore the film, which touched such a nerve in the 'hood. Though Montana is Latino, all those kids identify with his job in the burger shop, idolizing guys with the big Benz and flashy women. Music is the soul of any movie, and a new soundtrack would increase its power."
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Within a year after Dutka's article was written, Cohen and Liles had left Def Jam, and Jay Z had been appointed president of the record label.

Posted by Geoff at 12:30 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014 12:34 AM CDT
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Friday, July 11, 2014
LEND A HAND TO 'SCARFACE REDUX'
MIAMI GROUP'S GLOBAL COLLAB EFFORT TO REMAKE DE PALMA'S 'SCARFACE'


The Borscht Corp., an open-source collaborative dedicated to telling Miami stories, according to its web site, has started a project called Scarface Redux. The project is described as "a global collaborative effort to remake Brian De Palma’s Scarface." The web site (pictured above) lays out three steps: "First, Brian De Palma's Scarface is cut up into 15-second chunks"; "Then, you pick a scene, shoot and remake it however you like"; "Finally, we put it all together into a completely new version of Scarface."

You can see all the 15-second clips (636 of them) on the site, as well as the few scenes that have already been submitted for the project. In an e-mail about the project sent to Film School Rejects, the group states, "For better or worse, Scarface had held Miami’s image in a vice grip since it came out... As our mission is to redefine cinema in Miami (and vice-versa) we thought it was about time to get literal and take back our image! Or something."


Posted by Geoff at 6:38 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 10, 2014
ANTHONY GOLDSCHMIDT HAS DIED
DESIGNED POSTERS FOR 'SCARFACE', 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE', 'E.T.', MANY MORE
This news is a few weeks late, but graphic designer Anthony Goldschmidt died June 17, according to the Swan Archives. He was 71. After founding Intralink Film Graphic Design in 1979, Goldschmidt, often with longtime collaborator, the art director John Alvin, designed iconic posters for Scarface (for which Alvin was said to have worked on uncredited), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Princess Bride, and many more. Prior to Intralink, Goldschmidt and Alvin created the poster for Phantom Of The Paradise (the version that also graced the cover of that film's soundtrack album), as well as posters for several Mel Brooks films, including Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.


Posted by Geoff at 1:22 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:24 AM CDT
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014
MORODER TRIBUTE OPENED WITH 'TONY'S THEME'
BRITAIN'S HERITAGE ORCHESTRA AT VIVID FESTIVAL IN SYDNEY


The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Stacey interviewed Giorgio Moroder last week. In the introductory paragraphs to his interview article, Stacey notes that Moroder "recently traveled to Sydney for the Vivid Festival, where a series of events paid tribute to his career. The highlight: a symphonic survey of his music by Britain's Heritage Orchestra, a world premiere that featured live performers on Moog synths; strings and horns; a choir and a rock drummer; and young British singers Anna Calvi, Liela Moss and Shingai Shoniwa.

"The orchestra opened with Tony's Theme' from Brian De Palma's Scarface, and ended with an audience singalong to new-wave chart topper 'Together in Electric Dreams,' a 1984 collaboration with the Human League's Philip Oakey. Mr. Moroder joined the orchestra for a rendition of 'Giorgio by Moroder,' the song from Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories that last year brought him a new generation of fans. Afterward, the high-energy septuagenarian played a 1½-hour DJ set to an adoring audience in the depths of the Sydney Opera House."


Posted by Geoff at 1:55 AM CDT
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Sunday, March 30, 2014
PITBULL: 'SCARFACE' IS THE TRUTH
SERIOUS MESSAGE SUNK IN: HE'D RATHER BE SOSA THAN TONY MONTANA
In Shirley Halperin's cover story for this week's Hollywood Reporter, rapper Pitbull discusses how Scarface influenced him in his teenage years. The message he took away from the film seems unique in the hip-hop milieu. Here's an excerpt from the article:
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The Pitbull epic began when his mother, Alysha Acosta, arrived in Florida from Cuba during the early 1960s as part of Operation Pedro Pan (or Peter Pan), Miami's Catholic Welfare Bureau's two-year effort to get youth out of communist Cuba. His father also came over seeking asylum, settling in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Their son Armando was born in 1981, a year in which drug-ravaged Miami recorded 621 homicides and was eulogized in a Time cover story, "Paradise Lost." This was the cocaine cowboy era captured in movies like Scarface.

Pit's father and namesake, known in the neighborhood as a charismatic street hustler, often would take his son to the local bars, where the boy would first perform for an audience, reciting Cuban poetry from a bar stool as his father looked on proudly. Pit's parents divorced in 1985.

Bring up the Brian De Palma classic -- not universally beloved in Miami for the cultural stereotypes it spawned -- and Pitbull takes no umbrage. "We all have Scarfaces in our family," he says matter-of-factly. "[The movie] is the truth. It wasn't exaggerated. Scorsese, Oliver Stone, De Palma -- those guys were right on the money." Pitbull says he's seen it too many times to count and that a serious message sunk in: that he didn't want to end up like the protagonist Tony Montana. Rather, says Pit: "I wanted to be Sosa -- educated, good-looking, a good dresser, and he's the one who was running it. And notice, he never got his hands dirty. He sipped his tea. He was nice, not aggressive. And at the end of it all, he was the one that stayed. So I realized around 18 that Tony's the wrong guy to be looking up to."

What Pitbull learned from his immediate surroundings, besides how to sell drugs, which he did for a while, was the skill of connecting with people. That's his most powerful gift -- winning loyalty of everyone he encounters, from strangers on the street to dealmakers in a boardroom. He does this, in part, with a relentlessly upbeat attitude. Pitbull explains his six-year rise to the top in the exuberant idiom of a motivational speaker: "2009 is freedom; 2010, invasion; 2011, build empire; 2012, grow wealth; 2013, put the puzzle together; 2014, buckle up; 2015, make history." It's a mantra he shares with manager Charles Chavez, who says his goal is for Pitbull to become a billion-dollar enterprise. "We have a plan -- with the music, TV projects [Pit boasts a development deal with Endemol, producer of Big Brother], films [he's teamed up with Ryan Seacrest for a TV miniseries on the Bacardi family], his businesses, the brands that we get involved with," says Chavez. "You never know, but it's the plan."

Pitbull is more confident, even willing to time-stamp the future threshold. "Do I think it's realistic to be a billion-dollar company by [age] 35? Absolutely."

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Posted by Geoff at 6:52 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014 6:57 PM CDT
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
RICK ROSS' 'MASTERMIND' REVIEWS
"PLAYS LIKE THE FIRST ROSS ALBUM THAT'S ACTUALLY SEEN THE LAST ACT OF 'SCARFACE'"
Rick Ross, whose love for Brian De Palma's Scarface is well known, released his latest album, Mastermind, earlier this month. Here are a couple of review clips:

Christopher R. Weingarten, Rolling Stone
"Reflective, a little nervous, full of references to feds intervening, Mastermind plays like the first Ross album that's actually seen the last act of Scarface.

Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times
"Perhaps Rick Ross simply took his drug-lord act as far as it could go with 2012's God Forgives, I Don't, in which the portly Miami rapper somehow made a seizure he'd suffered on a private jet sound like the mark of a true player. But for the first time in a career that's gotten only more interesting since his background as a corrections officer was revealed, Ross has run out of imaginative ways to describe his power on his latest.

"'Before the crib you gotta clear the guard's gate,' he brags of his home in 'Rich Is Gangsta,' 'Elevators like Frank's on Scarface.' Snooze."


Posted by Geoff at 11:55 PM CDT
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