WEST SIDE STORY

WEST SIDE STORY

West Side Story is history, let me play on words.

History of cinema even for those who are not fond of musicals.

Do you like musicals?

They are perhaps the most controversial kind of movies: either you hate it, or you love it.

I love it.

In case you have any doubts, I suggest you to read this post on the blog Come cerchi sull’acqua

West Side Story was born as a play on Broadway and Jack Gottlieb tells us how it was conceived by drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and how Jerome Robbins had initially imagined Juliet as a Jewish girl and Romeo as an Italian Catholic. The action, set during the Easter / Passover season, was supposed to take place on the Lower East Side of New York City. So the title could have been EAST Side Story or Gangway.

I find it totally understandable that Steven Spielberg said it was the toughest film of his career. 

I started looking at it together with all the positive assumptions, and with all the curiosity to find out how the arduous challenge had been solved.

The beginning shows the imminent demolition of the neighborhood and, personally, I interpreted it as the metaphor of a breaking wrecking ball but not about the past.

Time is to be demolished.

Because despite all the years that have passed, studded with dramatic events, it is as if history had been written today.

And Rita Moreno becomes like a fulcrum of human suffering, around which the repeated cyclically recurring pain manifests itself despite the passage of time.

In this video she receives the Oscar for the interpretation of the character of Anita in 1962

 

And following is the post with which she congratulates Ariana DeBose for the recent victory for having played the role of Anita, differently and yet with equal effectiveness.

For Rita Moreno in Spielberg’s film the role of Valentina was created: Doc’s widow, who helps and supports Tony after his misadventures with justice, but in various interviews she has been defined as the “mother” of West Side Story for how she advised, assisted, supervised tirelessly.

And obviously all of this entered my heart.

Not to mention her iconic joke for me: Tony asks her to translate “forever” because she wants to declare herself to Maria in Spanish and she, frightened by that tragically unreal idea of absolute, replies something like “why don’t I just say I’d like to have a coffee with you?”

Eh!

Undoubtedly, it is still an important statement, right!?

And while drinking your coffee, I once again recommend you the detailed and professional analysis of Matavitatau

Is there a particular song you prefer from the West Side Story soundtrack?

They are all songs destined to stay in your mind once you listen to them, but, just to name three sensationally super famous, are you more for Tonight, Maria, or America?

LA PASSIONE DI FRIDA – FRIDA’S PASSION

LA PASSIONE DI FRIDA – FRIDA’S PASSION

Frida’s passion published by tre60 is also the passion of Caroline Bernard pseudonym of Tanie Schlie who for her twenty-seventh birthday receives the biography of Frida Kahlo written by Hayden Herrera and begins a journey of immersion in everything that revolves around the artist.

On her website in the foreground the sentence: “And then I sit in Paris at the Café de Flore and I order my inspiration” … same Café de Flore in which Frida also sits on page 270.

The book also talks about a small café called La risa: laughter, but above all it talks about the PASSION mentioned in the title.

A passion so strong and visceral as to be unique and unrepeatable, a real bond made of earth, painting and blood that Frida Kahlo reports not only on her works but also in every single moment of her life.

A painful life, a life without discounts, never.

I particularly received inspiration in terms of living with pain, but it was other types of suffering that raged on Frida that came to me with the same intensity of her determination.

That hole in her heart remains indelible.

But superior is the strength with which her example arrives of how the will transcends the physical, managing to touch the impossible.

As much as fate is cruel.

At her death, her personal items were collected and banned from the public for a period of fifteen years at the behest of her husband Diego Rivera, but in reality the years passed before they were exhibited are fifty.

Among the photographs available thanks to The Guardian I was struck by the boots. Observe them well

And I tried to imagine the perfumes of Casa Azul 

Mexicanidad.
In a sentence in the book, her sister Cristina, who bears the same name as the friend I thank for the book, tells Frida that she is Mexico.

But she is also pain, tangible, inexorable, irreducible.

Thanks to the book, it is possible to witness the birth of some of his paintings following a thread of emotions, as if they could not be thought otherwise.

Do you have a favorite?

You can see them on the Foundation’s website, or here you will find a selection combined with quotes.

I conclude with a news, reported by Fantastic Nonna: the Municipality of Milan has dedicated a square to Tina Modotti who plays an important role in the book.

I fell in love with this photograph.

Do you have one in which your smile explodes radiating joy

IL TRAGHETTATORE

IL TRAGHETTATORE

“Il traghettatore” which is not proper to translate simply with the ferryman, initially made me think of something else, I don’t really mean Charon, even if in fact my mind inevitably associates the idea, but I would not have guessed who or what would be the object of the transfer despite the clue suggested to me from Monica: once again this reading is thanks to her.

Annalisa Menin, branding and communication expert, moved to New York realizing a dream common to many.

But life teaches each of us that if on the one hand it gives, on the other it takes away… sometimes in a ruthless and cruel way.
The appointment with Annalisa’s destiny is for the day after her thirtieth birthday: the day her husband Marco dies.

Among the pains to be faced, there is also a decision to make: stay in New York or return to Italy?

A real survey was born, which evolved into a blog: My last year in New York

And the blog became a book but also a charity initiative in favor of young Italian students eager to live the same American dream: Remembering Marco

Then?
And then five years passed and the need to tell stories, not to forget, became the need to be reborn.
The transition had to take place.

 

Heart in transit.

And Il traghettatore was born.

Very often Monica and I discuss how to face mourning, how to live as survivors.

Everyone has their own story, but those who have known the pain of loss can see the shell hyding the suffering of those who have experienced similar pain, which is not the same for anyone.

But with this book Monica also gave me another trip: I often repeat that if I had a time machine I would like to go to New York in the 80s

And although this reading did not teleport me into the past, I still had the opportunity to “see” through the words of the author places, roads, details, I could “feel tastes,” imagine “perfumes” and I breathed the air of New York.

Curious coincidence on page 405: even my grandmother said exactly the same words to me: the beautiful silence was never written. And this is a quote that will remain with me forever.

I conclude with another sentence from the book which I feel as absolutely “mine:”
The sense of guilt is that gift that you never stop receiving.

This time I strongly hope that it is not the same for you.

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