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Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY (2021)


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On 9/15/2021 at 12:48 PM, txfilmfan said:

New trailer dropped this morning...

 

The girl playing Maria is luminous   and while is looks beautifully crafted is still seems familiar because is the same story.  Spielberg is the modern Robert Wise- a skillful studio director

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On 9/18/2021 at 12:17 PM, jaragon said:

The girl playing Maria is luminous   and while is looks beautifully crafted is still seems familiar because is the same story.  Spielberg is the modern Robert Wise- a skillful studio director

The real power of West Side Story is in the music and, judging from the preview, that seems to be well served. Plus my basic respect for Tony Kushner makes me believe he wouldn't lead us astray with revisions which don't make sense. I'm looking forward to the movie as much as I'm not looking forward to the return of the notorious wet blanket among us, for whom nothing about this will ever be good enough.  

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3 hours ago, DougieB said:

The real power of West Side Story is in the music and, judging from the preview, that seems to be well served. Plus my basic respect for Tony Kushner makes me believe he wouldn't lead us astray with revisions which don't make sense. I'm looking forward to the movie as much as I'm not looking forward to the return of the notorious wet blanket among us, for whom nothing about this will ever be good enough.  

The script will probably deal more realistically with the racial issue of the story- even though I do wish there had been some Latino co-scriptwriter ( and no not Lin Manuel Miranda)

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On 9/20/2021 at 12:38 PM, jaragon said:

The script will probably deal more realistically with the racial issue of the story- even though I do wish there had been some Latino co-scriptwriter ( and no not Lin Manuel Miranda)

I'm interested in seeing the fuller context of the brief clip of the Sharks uniformly stopping as the black couple crosses the street, with Riff offering a slight nod. I'm not sure whether he has a history of collaboration but I'd be surprised if Kushner wrote his script without taking any notes from people who would know more than he about pertinent cultural and racial issues.

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21 hours ago, DougieB said:

I'm interested in seeing the fuller context of the brief clip of the Sharks uniformly stopping as the black couple crosses the street, with Riff offering a slight nod. I'm not sure whether he has a history of collaboration but I'd be surprised if Kushner wrote his script without taking any notes from people who would know more than he about pertinent cultural and racial issues.

I'm sure he had some notes from Latinos- but of course notes is the same thing as living the experience

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The trailer looks awesome.

BTW in the trailer at 0:31, across the street from Gimbels on West 32nd St. you can see a vertical sign for Willoughby-Peerless Cameras. In the 1960's-70's, before the home video era, Willoughby-Peerless was the place to shop for 8mm and Super 8 Castle Films, Ken Films, Blackhawk Films, etc. I believe my dad bought me a 50', 4 minute reel of DEAD MEN WALK there. I am watching DEAD MEN WALK on TCM right now. Small world!

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On 9/23/2021 at 12:12 PM, Herman Bricks said:

The trailer looks awesome.

BTW in the trailer at 0:31, across the street from Gimbels on West 32nd St. you can see a vertical sign for Willoughby-Peerless Cameras. In the 1960's-70's, before the home video era, Willoughby-Peerless was the place to shop for 8mm and Super 8 Castle Films, Ken Films, Blackhawk Films, etc. I believe my dad bought me a 50', 4 minute reel of DEAD MEN WALK there. I am watching DEAD MEN WALK on TCM right now. Small world!

You have a good eye

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  • 4 months later...

I saw in on the BIG SCREEN yes I went back to theater after two years- Spielberg has crafted a good remake. This is more realistic than the Robert Wise film which was realistic for it's time.  I was not too crazy about some of the "woke" moments that the film really doesn't need. It is a timeless story about ideal love destroyed by senseless hate.  I did love that Tony and Maria do visit the Cloister a museum about Middle Age and Renaissance Art so they are visually linked to the source Romeo and Juliet. Yes it was great to see it on a BIG SCREEN and hear that glorious score- and yeah I almost shed a tear at the end.

 

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On 5/1/2021 at 6:42 AM, Bogie56 said:

But why would a person with Spielberg's talent and license to choose wish to remake anything?

That is a very, very good question, Bogie56!   It would've been far, far better if Spielberg had used his talent, license and creativity to make his own movie with a similar theory or even the same theory as the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story, rather than to reboot/remake a great golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic movie-musical  (i. e. the old original film version of WSS) that won ten well-deserved and well-earned Academy Awards, including Best Picture when it came out into the movie theatres in October 1961.

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  • 5 months later...
On 4/30/2021 at 5:29 PM, JamesJazGuitar said:

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. 

 

 

I'm aware of everything you've said here, JamesJazzGuitar, but I don't agree with the notion that Spielberg's film version of West Side Story was not a re-make of the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, because that's precisely what it is--a remake...period.  The 1961 film version is the original film version of West Side Story....period!

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8 hours ago, miki said:

I'm aware of everything you've said here, JamesJazzGuitar, but I don't agree with the notion that Spielberg's film version of West Side Story was not a re-make of the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, because that's precisely what it is--a remake...period.  The 1961 film version is the original film version of West Side Story....period!

I don't agree with the term "remake" for most films.   Instead I use the term new adaptation.    I feel that remake is  a sloppy term used by people that really don't understand all the effort that goes into taking original source material and making a movie out of it.         To me it is  an insult to all the creators of a new adaptation,  especially,  the screenwriter(s) and director,  to imply they are just "remaking" another version of a film that was made before.

Note I apply this concept to ALL so called "remakes",  and not just West Side Story.

So yea,  the 1961 version is the original film version.    The Spielberg film version is a new adaptation of the play  (original source material).

(the exception would be the remake of Hitchcock's Psycho,  where Gus Van Sant made a nearly shot-for-shot remake (in color) starring Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, and Anne Heche.). 

 

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On 8/8/2022 at 9:13 PM, JamesJazGuitar said:

I don't agree with the term "remake" for most films.   Instead I use the term new adaptation.    I feel that remake is  a sloppy term used by people that really don't understand all the effort that goes into taking original source material and making a movie out of it.         To me it is  an insult to all the creators of a new adaptation,  especially,  the screenwriter(s) and director,  to imply they are just "remaking" another version of a film that was made before.

Note I apply this concept to ALL so called "remakes",  and not just West Side Story.

So yea,  the 1961 version is the original film version.    The Spielberg film version is a new adaptation of the play  (original source material).

(the exception would be the remake of Hitchcock's Psycho,  where Gus Van Sant made a nearly shot-for-shot remake (in color) starring Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, and Anne Heche.). 

 

Nice try, james, but it's always going to be a case of he said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said.........And she never seems to get tired of it. Remarkable. Cue the response: That's right; I never get tired of this great golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic movie musical. It's so boilerplate.

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Whatever you want to call it, I loved the new West Side Story. It's actually quite different from the original movie. The tragedy of the Jets comes through to a greater extent. And it's much more moored in the neighborhood -- my neighborhood. 

If you want to get into the semantics of what is a remake, I guess the Kay Francis film Confession (1938) would quality, since it's pretty much a scene for scene remake of Mazurka (1935), although Mazurka was in German.

But I think it's ok to call some films remakes, even if they're not shot-for-shot.

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Whatever you want to call it, I loved the new West Side Story. It's actually quite different from the original movie. The tragedy of the Jets comes through to a greater extent. And it's much more moored in the neighborhood -- my neighborhood. 

If you want to get into the semantics of what is a remake, I guess the Kay Francis film Confession (1938) would quality, since it's pretty much a scene for scene remake of Mazurka (1935), although Mazurka was in German.

But I think it's ok to call some films remakes, even if they're not shot-for-shot.

 

I don't think I'm using semantics at all in how I define what is remake and what is new adaptation.    A remake is where the original source  material is a prior film.

A new adaptation is where the original source material is a novel,  short story,  or play,   and there has been a prior film version based on the same original source  material.

While there is only one film version of Sunset Boulevard,  if there was another one I would label that a remake;   The reason being that the plot and screenplay (co-written by director Billy Wilder),  was original.   Written for this film.    I.e.  the film version IS the original source material.     Thus one could say that the Webber play is a remake of the 1950 film.     (which is very odd and rare).

Confession is a great example of a remake.     The original source material for the film was the German film Mazurka.     

Again,  the reason I stress these differences is the creative process involved and because I'm a jazz musician.    E.g.  I play McCartney's And I Love Her from the sheet music,  with a bossa  nova beat,  as an instrumental.      I would be insulted if someone said I was doing a cover (the musical term for remake) of Paul's song.

    

  

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15 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I don't think I'm using semantics at all in how I define what is remake and what is new adaptation.    A remake is where the original source  material is a prior film.

A new adaptation is where the original source material is a novel,  short story,  or play,   and there has been a prior film version based on the same original source  material.

While there is only one film version of Sunset Boulevard,  if there was another one I would label that a remake;   The reason being that the plot and screenplay (co-written by director Billy Wilder),  was original.   Written for this film.    I.e.  the film version IS the original source material.     Thus one could say that the Webber play is a remake of the 1950 film.     (which is very odd and rare).

Confession is a great example of a remake.     The original source material for the film was the German film Mazurka.     

Again,  the reason I stress these differences is the creative process involved and because I'm a jazz musician.    E.g.  I play McCartney's And I Love Her from the sheet music,  with a bossa  nova beat,  as an instrumental.      I would be insulted if someone said I was doing a cover (the musical term for remake) of Paul's song.

     

In my opinion, some remakes may be very similar to the previous versions; some may be quite different. The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is a remake of the 1934 version, but the later version is somewhat different. Sometimes films are remade because the age of talkies came in; or colour; or for a contemporary audience using superstar actors and a more modern approach to the subject; etc.

I would not consider That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) a remake of The Devil Is a Woman (1935), because for the later film, Bunuel went back to the novel, The Woman and the Puppet. I would consider West Side Story a remake.

We have to be careful or someone will bring up the subject of "What is a sequel!"

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14 hours ago, Swithin said:

In my opinion, some remakes may be very similar to the previous versions; some may be quite different. The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is a remake of the 1934 version, but the later version is somewhat different. Sometimes films are remade because the age of talkies came in; or colour; or for a contemporary audience using superstar actors and a more modern approach to the subject; etc.

I would not consider That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) a remake of The Devil Is a Woman (1935), because for the later film, Bunuel went back to the novel, The Woman and the Puppet. I would consider West Side Story a remake.

We have to be careful or someone will bring up the subject of "What is a sequel!"

DUH,  The Man Who Knew Too Much is a remake since both films were Hitchcock films.   

The fact that films versions may be similar falls under OF COURSE!     When the same source material is being used there will be similarities; e.g.  many of the same characters.   Same scenes,  similar dialog (especially when the dialog is taken from the original source material).    How similar doesn't make a film a "remake" UNLESS something is in the later film version that was NOT in the original source material and ONLY in the original film version.

So I don't see where you have any opinions in your post but instead just DUH type facts.

You mention one film you would NOT consider a remake since they "went back to the novel";   Uh,,,,  in the vast majority of cases the new creative team goes back to the original source material.     I'm mean, come-on,   you really believe that in most cases,   the new creative teams just reviews the prior film's screenplay and watches the prior movie and creates their own screenplay from there?    (e.g.  the screenwriting team does NOT read the novel,  short story,   or play (e.g. Shakespeare) and create their screenplay from that,  but instead just watches the prior film).

Sorry,  for the passion but I really don't see where you have made any points that have much substance.  

 

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55 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

DUH,  The Man Who Knew Too Much is a remake since both films were Hitchcock films.   

The fact that films versions may be similar falls under OF COURSE!     When the same source material is being used there will be similarities; e.g.  many of the same characters.   Same scenes,  similar dialog (especially when the dialog is taken from the original source material).    How similar doesn't make a film a "remake" UNLESS something is in the later film version that was NOT in the original source material and ONLY in the original film version.

So I don't see where you have any opinions in your post but instead just DUH type facts.

You mention one film you would NOT consider a remake since they "went back to the novel";   Uh,,,,  in the vast majority of cases the new creative team goes back to the original source material.     I'm mean, come-on,   you really believe that in most cases,   the new creative teams just reviews the prior film's screenplay and watches the prior movie and creates their own screenplay from there?    (e.g.  the screenwriting team does NOT read the novel,  short story,   or play (e.g. Shakespeare) and create their screenplay from that,  but instead just watches the prior film).

Sorry,  for the passion but I really don't see where you have made any points that have much substance.  

 

I think sometimes -- as in Bunuel's case -- he totally went back to the novel, then adapted it to his style and need. But in many cases, a director/writer will go back to both a prior version of the film and the source material for that film, keeping in mind that nothing is purely original.

The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is actually quite different in tone  to the later film. The 1934 criminals are associated with a sun-worshipping cult; in the later, better version, the religious angle is evangelical religion, with which the criminals (i.e. Bernard Miles) are associated.

A lot goes into the creation of a remake, with material drawn from all sources. 

 

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2 hours ago, Swithin said:

A lot goes into the creation of a remake, with material drawn from all sources. 

Ok,  this sentence is making me move on;     If a lot goes into the creation of what you are saying is a  "remake" it isn't a  "remake",  as I define it.

 

 

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On 8/10/2022 at 6:39 PM, Swithin said:

In my opinion, some remakes may be very similar to the previous versions; some may be quite different. The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is a remake of the 1934 version, but the later version is somewhat different. Sometimes films are remade because the age of talkies came in; or colour; or for a contemporary audience using superstar actors and a more modern approach to the subject; etc.

Sometimes films are remade because the studio or independent production company owns the source material and it's cheaper to reuse this material that already proved a hit with audiences instead of having to buy something new and taking a chance on untested material.

Warner Brothers remade many of its previous hits in the 1940s for this very reason. ESCAPE IN THE DESERT (1945) was a remake of THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936). And THE UNFAITHFUL (1947) was a remake of THE LETTER (1940).

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17 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Sometimes films are remade because the studio or independent production company owns the source material and it's cheaper to reuse this material that already proved a hit with audiences instead of having to buy something new and taking a chance on untested material.

Warner Brothers remade many of its previous hits in the 1940s for this very reason. ESCAPE IN THE DESERT (1945) was a remake of THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936). And THE UNFAITHFUL (1947) was a remake of THE LETTER (1940).

And The Letter was a remake too.  It was first filmed in 1929.  And there were TV versions of it in 1956 (with Michael Rennie, John Mills, and Anna May Wong) and 1982 (starring Lee Remick)

We'll probably get another A Star is Born in 20 or 30 years or so...

 

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