Scarface | Special Events | Indy Week
This is a past event.

Scarface 

When: Wed., Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $12.50

North Hills Stadium 14, Brier Creek Stadium 14"Say hello to my li'l frien'!" Brian De Palma's flick that launched a thousand rap careers returns to theaters for one night only, to promote its release on Blu-Ray. Why has a film that was critically reviled and a box-office flop on its initial release become such a touchstone? Well, relentless violence and swearing might have had something to do with it (there's something like 300 F-bombs in Oliver Stone's screenplay). Or it might be the camp value of its relentless excess, limited not just to the aforementioned violence and swearing, but to the excessive fashions, melodrama and big damn pile of cocaine that Al Pacino's Tony Montana sticks his face into like a pig in a trough.

But the biggest and perhaps most unsettling reason for Scarface's enduring popularity might be the aspirational overtones of the story. What is Tony Montana but the ultimate American success story, the poor boy from nothing who made good? If the point of the story is that Tony's material wealth and addiction to power—not to mention blow—is empty and leads to his downfall, that point's been missed by those who merely see his badassery, giant mansion and cool pet tiger. In fairness, a pet tiger would be pretty awesome. You could call him "Hobbes."

But even though the message of Scarface is ultimately "Drugs and violence will land you in a hail of gunfire," Montana is still seen as a hero by legions of fans who've bought DVDs, rap-album homages, video games, action figures, comic books and of course the movie poster. Hell, I had one in college ...um, to be ironic. The screening includes a featurette of "interviews with popular filmmakers and talent on how this cult classic has influenced society and filmmaking through the years," which should prove interesting. —Zack Smith

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