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?

SAMANTHA BONANNO PAPER ART

SAMANTHA BONANNO PAPER ART

I have already written how enchanting I find the creations of Samantha Bonanno, but now that we met and that she explained her world a little I must absolutely reiterate: do not miss them!

The books, the paper, the words, take shape and magically transmit emotions in a new dimension, absolutely coherent but at a sensorially three-dimensional level that tangibly reveals the soul enclosed in meanings so far only thought and imagined.

Metaphors, impressions, sensations and feelings expressed in a visual, evocative, and at the same time real and engaging sense.

In particular, the Art exhibited at the Scuderia of Castello Visconteo Sforzesco in Vigevano on the occasion of the exhibition Con la natura e con le mani represent the myth of Persephone in sequence.

GeodeA stone, but also Earth from the root of the name: Geo.
A return to the origin to understand where we started and what we can discover in depth. Waves of matter as a flow of time.

Kore. Childhood, youth. The spring that Persephone herself brings to earth in this existence of hers divided halfway between her mother Demeter who opposes the abduction carried out by Hades, and the role of queen of the underworld.
Κόρη, literally: the daughter; another name, of which numerous variants are known, first of all, Persephone [Περσεϕόνη];
In the double life of Kore the very reality of nature is foreshadowed by which everything that has life is born from the bowels of the earth and – after having completed a certain cycle – returns to the earth.
CORE: In common parlance, by core we mean the “core of the body”.

HekateSisterhood, transformation, dreams and magic. The cycle of life but also the center.
In ancient Greek: Ἑκάτη, Hekátē: she was the goddess of magic and crossroads and was the powerful mistress of darkness, she ruled over the demons, over the night, the moon.
She possessed in herself both the principles of generation, the masculine and the feminine. For this reason it is defined as the source of life and is attributed the vital power over all elements.
This work was made with pages of books in all languages.

And finally Ade. Created with a book not so good, but also in this case a balance: between good and evil.
Basically Persephone does not hate him, not everything is negative, just as from a less pleasant book Art can be born in such a sublime way.

Then maybe Samantha will correct me if I am wrong or leave something out, but in the meantime I advise you to deepen her works because even the sculptures are an unmissable experience for me: from falling in love.

And I would say that Samantha Bonanno in her works contains the essence of …
“To give human life a lofty and enchanting meaning.”
Hermann Hesse.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

“It is sometimes said that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world can cause a hurricane on the other side of the globe.”
This quote comes from the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect and is inspired by a theory taken up and debated in numerous areas.
Once again, as happened for the War of the Worlds: the inspiration comes from a science fiction novel, it is in fact Ray Bradbury who in his Sound of thunder attributes to the proper death of a butterfly during a journey through time, a variation of future events:

Eckels felt himself fall into a chair. He fumbled crazily at the thick slime on his boots. He held up a clod of dirt, trembling,
“No, it can’t be. Not a little thing like that. No!”
Embedded in the mud, glistening green and gold and black, was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead.

Another coincidence, also in this case the story was broadcast by the BBC in 2011: here if you want to find the podcast (butterfly from about 35 minutes but I would advise you to listen to it all if you have time).
The butterfly symbol was taken up by Edward Lorenz, mathematician and meteorologist professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in his 1963 paper for the New York Academy of Science and later in a 1979 lecture that went down in history.
In general, the butterfly effect belongs to quantum physics and more precisely to the basis of chaos theory.
Chaos is the most congenial aspect to me, but actually I didn’t want to talk about this … not this time, at least.
Antonietta Gatti is perhaps known to most as “the wife of” despite her respectable curriculum. Her skills add up over time, and I would list, almost a bit to summarize, this recognition: she has been awarded the title of Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering for her contribution to the progress of science. The various national societies of biomaterials and bioengineering have tens of thousands of members worldwide and the union of the various companies has elected Dr. Gatti to be part of the elite of scientists that consists of 32 members, and she was part of a parliamentary commission of inquiry as a responsible consultant. I know, difficult to read, but I found her report very interesting, perhaps because I live in a highly polluted area: here the mortality rate from tumors is terrible:
She deals with nanopathology or pathologies induced by micro and nano-sized particulate exposures, i.e. powders with dimensions less than 100nm (0.1 microns) but her research has become difficult due to the reduced availability of a suitable microscope.
Her flapping wings has not changed the world yet, but she has been able to reach the hearts of people who have made it possible to buy a new electron microscope with their donations.
Let us not stop at the fact that individually we cannot make a difference, let us not stop flying lightly on the difficulties, each of us can be the butterfly of change, let’s believe it, and do not let ourselves be crushed in the mud.

WHITE WOLF OR BLACK WOLF?

WHITE WOLF OR BLACK WOLF?

In the period in which we are living, among the numerous aspects that have taken the place of what was our daily life before, we also observe forms of behavior that are not exactly social, not to say friendly at all.
The idea that the true self of some people comes out only in emergencies or forcing, has always been latent. We come into contact with it through sayings or legends, just like that of the white wolf who is joy, love of peace, hope of serenity, humility, well-being, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith; or the black wolf who is anger, envy, jealousy, displeasure, regret, self-pity, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The official origin is lost over time: the source has been handed down orally, but I found this Tale of the two wolves.
Each individual has within him both wolves and who will win is the one he decides to feed.
Therefore free will.
Concept as broad as it is debated.
Among the countless discussions that are lost in history, between nature and culture, between philosophy and science, one example comes out: the Stanford experiment.
In 1971 a young psychology professor from Stanford University: Philip Zimbardo recreated a prison in the basement of the university and selected 24 students from 70 candidates who had offered themselves, doing various tests that ascertained, for example, the absence of diseases, of addictions, and criminal records. These students were divided equally and randomly into two groups: prisoners and guards.
The aim was to demonstrate the impact of situational variables on human behavior.
The Lucifer effect, this is the definition given to the result of the experiment, interrupted after only 6 of the 14 days scheduled, due to harassing and violent incidents by the guards against prisoners.
This effect was also induced by de-individualization: the guards in the institutional role, behind uniform and mirrored glasses, which gave a sort of individual anonymity precisely, showed to let emerge their worst side.
Zimbardo himself said that he had taken the role of prison director and the accusation of having induced and piloted some dynamics, brought copious criticisms and tended to refute the validity of the experiment.
So now, seeing various types of outlets not only virtual, perhaps we can consider the fact that some people feel “prisoners” and others assume the role of “guards”.
What we can do is try to stay ourselves and not feed the bad wolf … and not even the Lucifer effect.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

WAR OF THE WORLDS

What time is the end of the world?
No, let’s start from the beginning: The War of the Worlds is a novel written by H. G. Wells, one of the forerunners of the science fiction genre, originally published in installments in 1897 on the Pearson’s Magazine in London.
First curious anecdote: HG Wells took in part inspiration from Giovanni Schiaparelli’s theories about Mars (and if you always read me remember our save the date 🙂 )
The astronomer and director of the Brera Astronomical Observatory in Milan observed some lines on the surface of the red planet, and hypothesized that they could be natural channels for the transport of water as they changed from one observation to another.
At this point there is another beautiful smile because what is one of the painful keys for all of us Italians? Knowledge of English!
Why do I say this? Because its natural channels were translated with the wrong term that distorted the theory by transforming them into artificial canals. Hence the assumption that they had been excavated by … Martians, precisely.
These famous “Martians” who populated the fantasies of many, embodying the most varied forms and descriptions, before being replaced by the most universal aliens.
These famous “Martians” who inspired Wells first and then Welles, Orson Welles.
Curious also this coincidence, one e above all and a patented invention separates them, another curious fact, always in 1897, always in London, and always by an Italian: Guglielmo Marconi.
Why do I switch to radio? Because in the meantime we arrive in 1938, and the radio is still the fledgling mass media and, exactly as it works today for the internet, it is seen as a form of potentially dangerous communication. It is seen as a vehicle of social mutation, for the rapid diffusion to the easy reach of a large number of people, and above all harmful to the publishing giants, worried about losing their income.
And precisely at CBS Orson Welles conducts The Mercury Theater on the Air: a program consisting of the narration of the great classics of literature, for the truth poorly paid and not much followed.
But Orson, at that time a Shakespearean actor, expresses his genius by using the program also to deal a blow to the system, deciding to cut the news in real time, and in view of the imminent Halloween, structures the Martian invasion described in the book like a real-time radio commentary.
It is in fact on October 30, 1938 when the reading of the opening words of The War of the Worlds is on air, interspersed with musical broadcasts, as usual, until an announcement interrupts the music and transposes the text setting it in the United States. With the help of screenwriter Howard Koch, completed with mock interviews with experts, imitations of press releases from the authorities, and sound effects to which Orson Welles pays special attention.
At the beginning and during the transmission it is clearly stated that it is the transposition of the novel, but many tune in at different times and the illusion effect created artfully succeeds perfectly.
It is said that a man called the New York Times to ask “what time is the end of the world?” to which the famous song written by Michael stipe of R.E.M. is inspired.
There is a chorus that supports the exaggeration of the estimates that count people running in the street, panic scenes, or hysteria, and I honestly don’t intend to dwell on the numbers, since, especially in this period, we everyday hear tragic counts.
In fact, in Grover’s Mills, New Jersey, there is a commemorative plaque with the following inscription:
On the evening of October 30, 1938 Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre presented a dramatization of H.G. Wells The war of the worlds as adapted by Howard Koch. This was to become a landmark in broadcast history, provoking continuing thought about media responsibility, social psychology and civil defense. For a brief time as many as one million people throughout the country believed that Martians had invaded the earth, beginning with Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.
The important thing that Orson Welles has more or less voluntarily shown us is that people are led to believe rather unconditionally what is communicated to them by the mainstream mass media.
How many times have we heard “TV said it?”
How many care to check the news?
This time I went beyond coffee time, but today we can also indulge in chocolate, what do you say?
Now I conclude with the last strange coincidence: in The War of the Worlds the Martians are defeated by a virus.

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