Watched Journal: November 2023

Set in Chicago during Prohibition, the original 'Scarface' is a whirlwind, with violence nearly as shocking as Brian De Palma's remake. 
The 1932 film is based upon the 1929 novel by the mysterious pulp writer Armitage Trial, who was inspired by notorious bootlegger Al Capone, when he lived in Oak Park, Illinois. Trail sold the novel to Howard Hughes, who would go onto to produce the film with director Howard Hawks. Trail would then spend his time Hollywood, living the high life, only to die at age 38 before the 'Scarface' adaptation was released. 
While Tony Montana is probably Pacino's most iconic role, Paul Muni portrays Antonio 'Tony' Camonte with towering menace, showcasing why he was truly one of the first movie stars. The last time I had watched the original was 20 years ago when it was included as a bonus DVD with the special edition cigar box version of the 1983 film. Heavily censored at the time of its release some 90 years ago, Hawks' 'Scarface' caused outage due to its supposed glorification of organized crime. Yet watching the film today, it's clear that 'Scarface' is a critique of not only gangsters, but the burgeoning capitalist system that gives rise to grotesque violence and excess. As Scarface lays dying, riddled with bullet holes, the neon 'The World is Yours' sign shines above, with the promise of capturing the American Dream for those willing to strive. 
What I watched in November:
11-2: Scarface (1932, Howard Hawks) [Criterion]
11-4: Quiz Lady [Hulu], New Rose Hotel [Criterion]
11-5: Suge Knight: Last Man Standing [Tubi]
11-6: Three Days of the Condor [Kino 4K UHD]
11-11: Creed III , Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Tar [Korean Air]
11-28: Russian Roulette [TCM] 
11-30: Past Lives, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, Aftersun, The Whale [Korean Air]


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