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A Few Words About A few words about...™ West Side Story -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Don't forget there is also a new Broadway revival of the stage version coming this December, a year ahead of the movie. From a NY Times article about the play revival:

    Mr. van Hove’s “West Side Story” promises to be unusual, given his strong stylistic hand and the presence of the avant-garde choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who is remaking the dances, diverging from the Jerome Robbins movement that has been front and center in the classic show.

    Several cast members in the Broadway production are also appearing in Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s “West Side Story” film, which is expected to premiere next year. Both versions will showcase ties to City Ballet, where Robbins spent much of his career. Besides Mr. Ramasar’s Broadway role, Justin Peck, a resident choreographer at City Ballet, will create dance for the film.

    The show made waves on Broadway in 1957 and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1961. The most recent Broadway revival, in 2009, drew attention for introducing Spanish lyrics, an experiment that did not live up to the director’s hopes, resulting in some of the songs being converted back to English.

    Mr. van Hove, who won a 2016 Tony Award for directing Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge,” is best known for his provocative interpretations of classic plays and stage adaptations of film scripts. But he has directed musicals before: “Rent” in Amsterdam in 2000, and the David Bowie-scored “Lazarus” at New York Theater Workshop and in London.






     
  2. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    West Side Story’ Wraps Production, Steven Spielberg Thanks Cast, Says Filming The Musical Was “A Journey Without Precedence”
    October 2, 2019 10:08am
    [​IMG]
    Amblin via Twitter
    The rumble between the Jets and the Sharks has come to a close as director Steven Spielberg wrapped production on his iteration of West Side Story. The official Amblin Twitter account posted pics from the set as well as a letter of gratitude from the Oscar-winning filmmaker noting that the production officially wrapped on September 28 in Brooklyn.

    “This has been a journey without precedence: a joyful, stunning, moving, endlessly surprising encounter with the story and score of one of the world’s greatest musicals,” Spielberg wrote in his letter. “My brilliantly talented, fiercely committed, generous and apparently inexhaustible cast and crew of hundreds have given our film everything they’ve got, and already I can say that the film we’ll be releasing on December 18,2020 owes everything to them as does its immensely grateful director.”


    Spielberg continues giving gratitude to being able to walk in the footsteps of the “four giants” before him: Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim.

    He continued, “We filmed West Side Story all over New York, Flatbush to Fort Tryon Park. The city lent us its beauty and its energy, and we drew deeply upon its grand multicultural, multifaceted spirit.”

    Amblin posted pics of Spielberg with the film’s core cast of Ansel Elgort stars as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria as well as Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarez as Bernardo. In another photo he is seen with Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for playing Anita the 1961 version of West Side Story. In the new version, Moreno plays Valentina, an iteration of corner store owner Doc from the original. There is also a photo of what seems to be the Jets and the Sharks looking a little grimey right after a rumble.
     
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  3. mark brown

    mark brown Stunt Coordinator

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    We just saw WSS in 70mm at Cinerama In Seattle on Sunday. Audience response, mostly young people, was with enthusiastic applause! What some see as "dated" others see as "classic"!
     
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  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Don't tell me you didn't cry when E.T. belted out that ballad about phoning home.
     
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  5. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    You mean “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going?”
     
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  6. Message #1066 of 1108 Nov 11, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Playbill posted information about the changes they are making to the new Broadway revival of West Side Story which starts performances December 10th.
    In addition to new choreography, they are performing it without an intermission. They are cutting the song, "I Feel Pretty " and the ballet of "Somewhere." They are using the movie version of "America" instead Broadway version which just featured the girls.

    Here are the two versions of "America."
    Broadway


    Movie

     
  7. Paul Rossen

    Paul Rossen Supporting Actor

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    Disappointed to read this about music cuts but this new WSS on Broadway will be interesting. That's for sure.
     
  8. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Cinematographer

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    Dropping 'I feel pretty'? Unbelievable.
     
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  9. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Ok. So what we now have is:

    A. Ethnically-correct casting??
    1. The new movie will feature Puerto Rican actors. The Puerto Rican demographic is 60-70 European, so it will be interesting to see if this fact is observed in the casting, or if they will all be dark-skinned.
    2. The role of Tony is being played by Ansel Elgort, whose background is Russian Jewish and English. In the play and film, Tony is explicitly said to be Polish Catholic. No ethnically-correct casting here.

    B. New character
    A new character, Valentina, has been added to allow Rita Moreno a part. She replaces Doc. Doc was an important character because of his presumed ethnic heritage as a Jewish-American. He could thus stand outside of the rivalry. It will be interesting to see how the Doc role is rewritten to carry the same weight as Valentina. [This looks like stunt casting to me, sorry.]

    C. New dancing
    Apparently the new Broadway version will feature new dancing instead of the iconic Jerome Robbins dancing. Will the movie also have new dancing?

    D. Book/Screenplay
    We know that Arthur Laurents and Ernest Lehman's original work has been replaced for the movie. What about the new Broadway version?

    E. The new Broadway version will drop I Feel Pretty and the Somewhere ballet. The ballet is one of the most important parts to me.

    How long will it be before we return to the original play and movie?? Or will there be more revisions and versions in the future? Perhaps a new version can use The Taming of the Shrew as its origin?
     
  10. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    So the only reason I can think for the new version is that it might trigger a proper 4k version of the Wise classic.
    If that happens, hooray for the new version.
    PS I don't know about Taming of the Shrew- more like Macbeth
     
  11. usrunnr

    usrunnr Writer

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    I'd be happy with a proper bluray of the classic.
     
  12. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    WEST SIDE STORY is now available in 4K UHD on VUDU.
     
  13. Message #1073 of 1108 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Sondheim is not happy with his lyrics for "I Feel Pretty". He has been quoted several times on this. Here is one from an ABC News interview from about 10 years ago.

    There is one bad song in particular that stands out for Sondheim, one that Jack Nicholson turned into a hilarious parody in the film, "Anger Management," as many others have done.
    "I'm fond of quoting 'I Feel Pretty,'" Sondheim said. "The street girl is singing, 'It's alarming how charming I feel.' ... I just put my head under my wing and pretend I'm not there."

    I doubt his dislike has anything to do with it being cut from the latest revival. I am sure the cuts were done to make it a tighter show.

     
  14. Message #1074 of 1108 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    IMO, Ivo van Hove is using Sondheim's dislike of the song's simplicity as a bulwark against criticism and a convenient justification for removing it.

    I don't personally care what he does with the revival, I don't have to see it and, if it's lousy, then it'll close and retreat into memory.

    What kills me, though, is the smug self-aggrandizement on display by the new team. In a recent VOGUE interview, he's quoted as saying (like he's the first person ever to think of it):

    No shit, Ivo.

    Even more galling, this will be the FIRST production NOT to use the original Jerome Robbins choreography and new choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has this to say:

    There may be a way, Anne, but a "need"?? Talk about a solution in search of a problem, lol.

    On the bright side, Isaac Cole Powell, recently of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, will make a very dishy Tony.
     
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  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    If it has the fade-out that not even Magnetic Video was stupid enough to add, no dice even once I do get 4k. Do it right or don't do it at all.
     
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  16. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    As for the change in choreography, it could only be done with the permission of the Jerome Robbins estate.
     
  17. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    I noticed that.....the quality is also inferior to the HD version.
     
  18. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    You're kidding, right? A 4k transfer that's actually worse than an already problematic Blu-ray? I can't believe that. Did they at least fix the pre-title fade to black?
     
  19. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    No not fixed. Notsure what kind of master VUDU is using.
     
  20. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Anything can be 4K - do you not understand that? They clearly used their old master and upped it to 4K. Crap going in, crap going out - of course it looks like crap. You can also do crap in 8K 12K or 500K and it will always be crap. 4K is not some magic number and initial.
     

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