Borscht Film Festival

Pacino in Scarface

One of these days, Universal will finally get around to their latest incarnation of Scarface. That officially planned remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks gangster flick, which was previously redone in 1983 by Brian De Palma, is currently set up with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (No; Tony Manero), screenwriter Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) and a supposed plot involving a Mexican drug cartel and one man who rises in its ranks. In the meantime, another effort to reimagine the story is already moving forward and should be finished as early as this December. The wonderfully odd folks at The Borscht Corporation, who run Miami’s semi-annual Borscht Film Festival (see our write up on the 2012 event), are working on a project centered specifically on De Palma’s version of Scarface. The plan is to compile a scene-for-scene redo consisting of a collage of various styles. They’ve broken the movie up into 636 pieces, each one 15 seconds in length, and anyone can submit their own interpretation of one of these bits. Want to recreate the part where Tony (Al Pacino) yells “say hello to my little friend” but have the little friend be an actual little person? Well, that gag has already been done before, but if you have any other bright ideas, that particular scene is still available to claim. “For better or worse, Scarface had held Miami’s image in a vice grip since it came out,” states an email we received about the project, which is titled Scarface Redux. “As our mission is […]



Halfway through the 2012 Borscht Film Festival, a documentary screened titled Rising Tide: A Story of Miami Artists. In the film, which offers a basic guide to the growing art scene in the city, local paper sculptor Jen Stark acknowledges the way the digital world allows contemporary artists to flourish outside of major art centers. “Ever since the Internet came out,” she says, “ I never thought I had to be in New York or wherever.” It was a resonating quote to hear in the middle of an event so devoted to both regional communities and how they can come together as a broader, networked collective of filmmaking scenes. The central occasion for Borscht, which was held last weekend, is a screening of shorts either made by local filmmakers or commissioned by the Borscht Corporation and at least shot in Florida. Many of the films involve an overlapping of talent, and by the end you’ve seen 20 works that have given you a good sense of what’s happening with the underground “Miami New Wave.”



Many of us wish we could go back and see certain films again for the first time. Or, maybe we’d like to be hypnotized and made to see a favorite film as if we’d never seen it before. Yesterday, actress/filmmaker Amy Seimetz tried an experiment at Miami’s Borscht Film Festival where she was able to watch her new, Gotham Award-nominated feature Sun Don’t Shine from the perspective of her audience, specifically those of us seeing it for the first time. She cried the whole way through, apparently, and her primary reaction was that, as critics have stated, the beginning is pretty slow. Afterwards, she was unable to answer certain questions from the crowd due to her hypnosis interfering with the fact that she actually wrote and directed the movie. But it also allowed her to see how interviews and Q&As are such bullshit. While Seimetz got to experience her own film anew, I at least got to experience a film festival screening unlike any I’ve ever known. Sure, there was a gimmicky aspect to it, and I didn’t particularly enjoy Sun Don’t Shine on its own, but the whole package was fresh and fun and weird, which is on par with the very intimate and very strange Borscht experience overall — so far anyway. I’m here in Miami through the weekend, invited down by the festival, which is why FSR’s weekend content will be a tad light this week. I wanted to get one quick post on what’s going on, […]

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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