Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY (2021)


Recommended Posts

The first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein musical WEST SIDE STORY was unveiled during this year's Oscars.  I'm very impressed by the  cinematography and over-all look of 1950s New York City that seems to be captured.

The release date is set for December 10, 2021.  I'm glad 20th Century waited to release this one in theaters, and I hope I am comfortable by December to see this in the theater!

The screenplay is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner (adapted from Arthur Laurents's stage play).

 

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Except that with the exception of the opening, Spielberg seems to be film-geek copying EVERY SINGLE SHOT from the 1960 film.

I know it's probably the choreography of the show, but the girls were even doing Rita Moreno's same dress-thrash in what I would assume to be the "America" number.  (And, an Old Rita cameo in the movie...)

I was hoping Steve would find something "unique" in a new version to stop this from being his own tribute to Gus Van Sant's "Psycho".

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

I'm very impressed by the  cinematography and over-all look of 1950s New York City that seems to be captured.

Agree. I like the idea that it keeps the flavor of the original. Is it supposed to be a period piece set in the 60's? I don't see NYC looking like that much anymore, nor the modest clothing. 

I'm not sure an update would be such a good thing for this movie-somehow I can't picture Maria twerking.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

 

somehow I can't picture Maria twerking.

Neither can I, but since you put that image in my head, I'm afraid it's going to be there for a looooooooooooong time!  (Dammit Sue!!!) 😉 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, EricJ said:

Except that with the exception of the opening, Spielberg seems to be film-geek copying EVERY SINGLE SHOT from the 1960 film.

I know it's probably the choreography of the show, but the girls were even doing Rita Moreno's same dress-thrash in what I would assume to be the "America" number.  (And, an Old Rita cameo in the movie...)

I was hoping Steve would find something "unique" in a new version to stop this from being his own tribute to Gus Van Sant's "Psycho".

I thought I read that this new film will be closer to the scene and song sequencing of the stage musical, rather than the film.  So it may not be a shot-for-shot copy.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The trailer of Speilberg's West Side Story is stunning.  Yes - beautiful cinematography in it.  I love the 50's set design/cars/clothes.  The graphic of the long shadows of the two gangs merging together is wonderful.  When I heard that Speilberg was remaking West Side Story, I was worried that there would be a new score but the incredible music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is in it.  Their music was irreplaceable.  I read that Speilberg's film is closer to the stage version of West Side Story and their will be a new screenplay.  I understand that to many it won't feel right that in many ways, Speilberg is copying a classic.  I look at it this way.  West Side Story is a work of art which will be reintroduced to a younger generation.  It's sad but most young people won't even look at older classic movies.  I was wondering if Maria is going to be played by a Latino girl?  I was always bothered that it in the older movie they wouldn't cast a Latino. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

People... if you like the original, be prepared for the possibility that the remake is better! I like what I saw in the preview.

One of the biggest flaws that I find with the original...

I absolutely hate the appearance of the Hispanic characterswestsidestory11-1600x900-c-default-700x394.jpg?x37853

They all appear to be slathered with the same make-up and have the same complexion.

As if all Puerto Ricans look the same. They don't. There are white Puerto Ricans, black Puerto Ricans. And every shade in between.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, I LIKE zombie-apocalypse movies, but Steve already went there in "Ready Player One", so remaking another one seems a little redundant:   😛

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2021 at 5:26 AM, TikiSoo said:

Agree. I like the idea that it keeps the flavor of the original. Is it supposed to be a period piece set in the 60's? I don't see NYC looking like that much anymore, nor the modest clothing. 

I'm not sure an update would be such a good thing for this movie-somehow I can't picture Maria twerking.

 Spielberg's movie is set in the 1950s , corresponding to the time when the original musical play was produced on Broadway.

Now the image of Maria twerking is burned into my brain!  :)

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

I hope that I am wrong but it looks f***ing awful.  Maybe as misguided as Rob Marshall's 8 1/2.

I hope you're right, Bogie56. if spielberg can't think of anything more to do but a west side story remake then he oughta consider retirement.

the man has grown lazy. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an excellent production of West Side Story on Broadway, which sadly had to close because of the pandemic. It was changed -- they cut "I Feel Pretty," for example -- but the whole thing thoroughly worked. Really beautiful and moving.  Directed by Ivo van Hove.

https://nypost.com/2020/02/20/west-side-story-broadway-review-radical-revival-is-a-triumph/

There were lots of projections which some people didn't like, but I thought they were great.

west-side-story-broadway.jpg?w=1000

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Swithin said:

There were lots of projections which some people didn't like, but I thought they were great.

Maybe better in person, but I'm not enamored with the look in the above photograph.

Set design is important to me, it's an art all it's own. I think a physical set gives the performers more opportunity to act & create. I even liked the hyper modern abstract set for Wagner's latest RING opera done at the Met:

The hybrid of digital projection onto a moving backdrop  gave it an "otherworldly" feel. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Maybe better in person, but I'm not enamored with the look in the above photograph.

Set design is important to me, it's an art all it's own. I think a physical set gives the performers more opportunity to act & create. I even liked the hyper modern abstract set for Wagner's latest RING opera done at the Met:

The hybrid of digital projection onto a moving backdrop  gave it an "otherworldly" feel. 

I'm thinking a complete resetting might work. Make it a period piece from a few hundred years ago. Give it an other-worldy feel. Make it about feuding families instead of rival gangs to take the racial edge off. That would be something really fresh. 

 

 

 

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LuckyDan said:

I'm thinking a complete resetting might work. Make it a period piece from a few hundred years ago. Give it an other-worldy feel. Make it about feuding families instead of rival gangs to take the racial edge off. That would be something really fresh. 

 

 

 

Not a bad idea.  Maybe set it in Verona in the late 1500's.  Very fresh.

  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Maybe better in person, but I'm not enamored with the look in the above photograph.

Set design is important to me, it's an art all it's own. I think a physical set gives the performers more opportunity to act & create. I even liked the hyper modern abstract set for Wagner's latest RING opera done at the Met:

The hybrid of digital projection onto a moving backdrop  gave it an "otherworldly" feel. 

Watched this on PBS a couple of years ago.  It's interesting how many ways you can repurpose a series of monoliths.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Swithin said:

There was an excellent production of West Side Story on Broadway, which sadly had to close because of the pandemic. It was changed -- they cut "I Feel Pretty," for example -- but the whole thing thoroughly worked. Really beautiful and moving.  Directed by Ivo van Hove.

https://nypost.com/2020/02/20/west-side-story-broadway-review-radical-revival-is-a-triumph/

There were lots of projections which some people didn't like, but I thought they were great.

west-side-story-broadway.jpg?w=1000

Did you like the more modern setting, as opposed to keeping it in the 1950s?  The problem is that the music and the book are very much tied to the 50s.

What about the use of live video in the production?  Some critics complained that if the actors were "projecting" to the balcony, on a video screen it reveals the stage artifice, but if they "dialed it down" for video, they would disappear from the stage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Did you like the more modern setting, as opposed to keeping it in the 1950s?  The problem is that the music and the book are very much tied to the 50s.

What about the use of live video in the production?  Some critics complained that if the actors were "projecting" to the balcony, on a video screen it reveals the stage artifice, but if they "dialed it down" for video, they would disappear from the stage.

I actually loved the production and thought it worked. I'd never seen WSS on stage, though I actually produced some programs related to it.  

My doctor, who loves musical theater and is a bit of a purist, was scheduled to see the new production. It was known that "I Feel Pretty" had been cut, and my doctor said that, when that point in the show arrives, he was going to stand up and boo.  After he saw the show, I asked him how it went. He said he and his wife loved it with all the changes, that it totally worked, pared down and modernized.

I was in the orchestra, but I think the video would have actually enhanced the experience for the balcony, since some of the projections were not canned footage, but consisted of showing the live stage, on which a camera was trained, thereby giving the balcony customers a clearer view of the actors and sets, which they would not have had with a traditional staging.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first heard of this movie being remade, I feared an "updating" with all kind of clumsy looking "Stomp The Yard" breaking to Hip-Hop.   If it's a verbatim redux of the original, I might take a bit of interest.  Can't say now for sure.

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not particularly attached to the original film.  I mean it's fine.  I even enjoy watching it, I even own it.   But, I've always hated Marni Nixon's dubbing of Natalie Wood's singing voice and Wood's affected Puerto Rican accent.  The dancing and music though and the overall aesthetic is fantastic and I hope that Spielberg keeps that intact.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2021 at 11:19 PM, HoldenIsHere said:

The first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein musical WEST SIDE STORY was unveiled during this year's Oscars.  I'm very impressed by the  cinematography and over-all look of 1950s New York City that seems to be captured.

The release date is set for December 10, 2021.  I'm glad 20th Century waited to release this one in theaters, and I hope I am comfortable by December to see this in the theater!

The screenplay is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner (adapted from Arthur Laurents's stage play).

 

A Dissenter Here:

Hi:  

 

As a devout fan of the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, I saw the new trailer of the upcoming new film version of West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, out of mere curiosity,  and I do not plan on seeing this film  when it hits the movie theatres this December, for the following reasons:

A)  Given the intensely brilliant Leonard Bernstein Musical Score, the very story behind West Side Story, the great cinematography by the late Daniel Fapp, and the seamlessly and creatively combined on-location scenes with sound stage scenes, the cast of the 1961 film v version, and the fact that the  original 1961 film version of  West Side Story won 10 well-deserved and well-earned Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the new film version of  West Side Story  feels all wrong to me.

The new film version of  West Side Story feels totally unnatural, forced, and way too contemporary for my tastes.  It seems way overdone, too bombastic, too intense, too out of control, and too heavy for me, plus everything seems to be happening in a non-stop manner.  A musical is also supposed to have some lightness to it as well, and the new film version seems to not have that.   To be honest,  Spielberg's new film version just does not feel like West Side Story to me.

The Jets, the Sharks, and their girls in the new film version of  West Side Story  look far more like wealthy suburban prep school kids who are dressed to the nines for partying around town than two street gangs who are at war with each other, and the dancing seems far too hyped up.

Also, given Ansel Elgort's record of being rather assaultive, especially to underage girls, and the fact that he posted a nude picture of himself in the shower to some cause (which escapes me at the moment) he was involved in, Ansel Elgort sounds like a dangerous, disgusting and gross human being.  

There are some people calling for Elgort's replacement, but that's impossible, given that the filming was done almost 2 years ago.  Elgort doesn't have that great a voice, nor does he have the looks of an ex-gangster, either.  

Having said all of the above, I prefer the original 1961 film version of West Side Story over the new film version.

Edited by miki
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/28/2021 at 9:13 AM, Bogie56 said:

Not a bad idea.  Maybe set it in Verona in the late 1500's.  Very fresh.

Better still,  I think that Spielberg would've done better to create and direct a film of his own making/doing, with a similar theme to West Side Story,  instead of doing a reboot/remake of the original 1961 film version, which won 10 well-deserved and well-earned Academy Awards, including Best Picture, when it hit the movie theatres in October of 1961.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2021 at 5:39 PM, Herman Bricks said:

People... if you like the original, be prepared for the possibility that the remake is better! I like what I saw in the preview.

One of the biggest flaws that I find with the original...

I absolutely hate the appearance of the Hispanic characterswestsidestory11-1600x900-c-default-700x394.jpg?x37853

They all appear to be slathered with the same make-up and have the same complexion.

As if all Puerto Ricans look the same. They don't. There are white Puerto Ricans, black Puerto Ricans. And every shade in between.

 

One of the purposes, I think, of having the Sharks in brown face, and keeping the Jets white is to display something that occurs on a regular, ongoing basis here in the United States:  That people who are non-white are the victims of the most overt, regular ongoing prejudice, on a regular everyday, ongoing basis, in real life.  

I saw the new trailer of Steven Spielberg's upcoming reboot/remake of the film version of West Side Story, did not like what I saw, and I plan on voting my pocketbook and not going to see it when it hits the movie theatres this December.

Edited by miki
to add something else.
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, miki said:

Better still,  I think that Spielberg would've done better to create and direct a film of his own making/doing, with a similar theme to West Side Story,  instead of doing a reboot/remake of the original 1961 film version, which won 10 well-deserved and well-earned Academy Awards, including Best Picture, when it hit the movie theatres in October of 1961.

Spielberg was NOT making a reboot/remake of the movie,  but instead a movie version of the original play.    

The original 1957 Broadway production, conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince,

Therefore in that regard the 1961 film version is no more "original" than the Spielberg film version. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2021 at 10:37 AM, txfilmfan said:

So it may not be a shot-for-shot copy.

We can hope!  It doesn't look it.  To my own surprise, I am interested to see this new WEST SIDE STORY.  As great as it is, there are parts of the original film that are... wobbly. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...