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Posts Tagged ‘Semantics’

Constructing Tony Montana, Scarface

In Arts & Letters, Communication, Film, Information Design, Legal Education & Pedagogy, Scarface, Semiotics on August 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Brian de Palma’s Scarface (1983) adopts and adapts several conventions of the gangster genre that feature prominently as icons on posters and in trailers for the film.

These conventions constitute and perpetuate the narrative image of “gangster” that audiences have come to expect from gangster films.  Big guns, flashy jewels, impeccable suits, sexy women—these are the signifiers de Palma employs as semantics of the gangster genre.  They summon forth ideas of “the gangster” before audiences ever see the film.

Scarface is a remake of another gangster film.  Viewers who are unaware of this fact will nevertheless recognize the gangster signs and symbols used to market it.  Tony Montana’s image remains popular today, some twenty-seven years after the film’s production.  Scarface has become a lasting contribution to our national culture.       Read the rest of this entry »

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