Scarface ★★★★

still don't really feel the writing/characters in this one or get much out of stone's obvious attempts at melodrama which is unfortunate because de palma can be great at it (see: Blow Out) and as far as de palma in over-stylized trash mode goes this has very little on the pure perverse grotesquerie of his voyeuristic autocritiques (see: Body Double), but where i do have to give this movie credit and what makes it endlessly rewatchable for me is the intoxicating vision of 1930s gangster picture as cartoon excess: a sweaty, saturated, synth opera of drugs and violence for the garish, coked out neon 80s. genius idea. what kael in her review at the time called a "new-style... hot and raw, like a spaghetti western" gangster movie. that first hour is just a perfect, pulsating piece of directing (the cranes and zooms and dollys in the chainsaw scene!!!!!), and even as it gets intentionally monotonous and empty with its stylistic flourishes and the writing rushes its way to the story beats it has to i still have a blast with it. sometimes i just watch this to listen to the beautiful electronic new wave score by giorgio moroder.

full discussion on episode 129 of my podcast SLEAZOIDS.

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