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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.
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?”
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?