mirrorman

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While not my favourite musical, it still holds up well . So a remake of WSS does NOT seem like a good idea.

It just seems lazy to me.
 

cinemiracle

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While not my favourite musical, it still holds up well . So a remake of WSS does NOT seem like a good idea.

It just seems lazy to me.
Lazy? Doesn't make sense to me. And you never gave a reason for not wanting a remake. My only complaint is that the remake was not filmed in 70mm like the original. So what ir your favourite musical?
 

Jake Lipson

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So a remake of WSS does NOT seem like a good idea.
If you go back to read the beginning of this thread from all the way back in January 2018, you'll see that my original knee-jerk reaction to this project was similar to yours. But then, through the conversations we had here, my thinking began to change. The original film is great and no one is trying to change that, but it also included white people playing non-white roles in a story that is fundamentally about racial conflict. As mentioned previously, it's kind of problematic that the only Latina who Tony can fall in love with is actually a white girl made up to look Latina. This doesn't invalidate the work done in the 1961 film, but does present an opportunity to do it again with a perspective that is more in line with modern attitudes about inclusion.

It just seems lazy to me.
I think it's a little bit early to make that judgment since we haven't seen the film yet. Spielberg is a master of his craft, and he obviously knows that the original film is great. Casting Rita Moreno in this film and making her an executive producer demonstrates his level of respect for the previous film. He is one of a very small handful of directors who can get anything he wants to make made, and I don't think he would spend the time doing this if he didn't think he has a worthwhile new take. Why would he choose it otherwise? Tony Kuscher has received a Tony Award, an Oscar nomination (for a movie he did with Spielberg), the National Medal of Freedom and a little thing called the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The guy knows how to write and I believe in his ability to craft a new adaptation.

If the movie is lazy or bad, I'll admit it in December when it comes out. I'll jump all over it if it sucks. But for the time being, I think they deserve the benefit of the doubt until we see it.

My only complaint is that the remake was not filmed in 70mm like the original. So what ir your favourite musical?
Shouldn't Spielberg choose how to film his movie? Maybe he didn't use 70mm because the previous movie already did that and he wants to give this one a different feel. I don't really care how he films it as long as it looks good in the end.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Shouldn't Spielberg choose how to film his movie? Maybe he didn't use 70mm because the previous movie already did that and he wants to give this one a different feel. I don't really care how he films it as long as it looks good in the end.
Spielberg only shoots on film, and shooting on 70mm imposes limitations that don't exist with 35mm. Perhaps even more limitations than existed when Robert Wise shot the original, because there's a lot less 70mm equipment out there.

The obvious choice, if Spielberg weren't so committed to shooting on film, would have been to use the old 70mm lenses on the much lighter Alexa 65 digital cameras, the way Rogue One did.

All of that being said: The production stills released to date look beautiful.
 

Jake Lipson

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On a related note, there's a new book coming out this summer about the making of the original film. According to the images posted on Amazon, it will also include a chapter called "A New Way: The 2020 Version."

Amazon product
 
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Jake Lipson

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This is slightly off topic because it doesn't have to do with the film, but very much has to do with West Side Story. So I thought I would post it anyway in case anyone is interested in watching.

Chita Rivera, who of course originated the role of Anita on Broadway in 1957, will be appearing tonight on Stars in the House, an interview series being conducted remotely from home in support of The Actors Fund during this crazy pandemic. It's completely free to watch but will feature requests for donation. It will be live tonight at 8pm EST and archived afterwards if you can't watch live. She'll presumably be discussing her extensive Broadway career.

 

Garysb

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On a related note, there's a new book coming out this summer about the making of the original film. According to the images posted on Amazon, it will also include a chapter called "A New Way: The 2020 Version."

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076246948X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

View attachment 71411
The first line on Amazon's description is incorrect. "A major hit on Broadway" . It wasn't . It ran 732 performances and ran less than 2 years. It ran OK but not a major hit. "The Music Man" was the big hit that season , ran 1,375 performances, and won Best Musical Tony Award. It wasn't until the movie was released that it became very successful and its music popular.
 

Jake Lipson

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The first line on Amazon's description is incorrect.
Well, that is from the publisher. I wouldn't expect the publisher to claim in jacket copy of a book they're trying to sell that it wasn't a hit.
 

Matt Hough

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The first line on Amazon's description is incorrect. "A major hit on Broadway" . It wasn't . It ran 732 performances and ran less than 2 years. It ran OK but not a major hit. "The Music Man" was the big hit that season , ran 1,375 performances, and won Best Musical Tony Award. It wasn't until the movie was released that it became very successful and its music popular.
While that is very true, the company went on a national tour when it closed on Broadway, and then came back to New York and ran for an additional six months, so I'm thinking it closed originally while still doing good (but not sellout) business, just like My Fair Lady which most experts claimed could have easily run another year when the producers closed it after 6 1/2 years..
 

Garysb

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Surprisingly its orginal run in London ran longer than in New York. In London it ran 1,039 performances from December 1958 to June 1961.
 

Matt Hough

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Surprisingly its orginal run in London ran longer than in New York. In London it ran 1,039 performances from December 1958 to June 1961.
That's not all that rare: The Sound of Music on stage likewise ran far longer in London than in New York, and it ran 3 1/2 years in New York.
 

Jake Lipson

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Chita Rivera (who of course originated the role of Anita in the original Broadway production) is live right now on streaming series Stars in the House again to talk about West Side Story.

This is not strictly related to the new film, but I thought I would post it anyway because I think the majority of people who are involved with this thread might be interested in it.


On another note, I would really love it if Disney just surprise dropped a trailer for the new movie. They have no actual reason to do that now, but they probably would have started marketing this summer if the summer movie season were happening. I don't expect them to do it anytime soon, but I would really enjoy seeing some footage.
 

Jake Lipson

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Back in April, in post #606, I posted about a forthcoming making-of book for the original film which will also feature a chapter on the remake.

I wanted to post again because I noticed that Amazon dropped the price to $18.69 for the hardcover. Previously, it was showing at the retail price of $28, so this is 33% off. In case anyone is tempted by the new price, here's the preorder link. Release date is June 30.

Amazon product
 

cinemiracle

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Back in April, in post #606, I posted about a forthcoming making-of book for the original film which will also feature a chapter on the remake.

I wanted to post again because I noticed that Amazon dropped the price to $18.69 for the hardcover. Previously, it was showing at the retail price of $28, so this is 33% off. In case anyone is tempted by the new price, here's the preorder link. Release date is June 30.

Amazon product
Good if you live in the USA but Amazon won't post the book overseas .
 
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Jake Lipson

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Amazon won't post the book overseas.
I'm not an expert on Amazon's international shipping policies, but I would guess that that has something to do with the coronavirus, as is the case with most everything these days. I think that the majority of us around this board are from the USA so wanted to share the price drop. If you're not, I'm sorry you can't get it from them right now, but hopefully that might change in the future. I know Amazon UK temporarily paused shipments to the USA a while back due to the pandemic, and I think they have now resumed normal delivery again. Hopefully the reverse also becomes true at an appropriate time. It is also possible that the book might be getting published in your country at a different time and/or that you could find another source to ship it to you. Good luck.

At this point, West Side Story is the single film for the rest of the year that I am most hoping will be able to keep its release date in December. Part of that is because I really want to see it, but also because if it's not relatively safe to go to a movie by December, then the implications of that are that the virus situation would be worsening, not improving. We will see what happens.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Amazon just sent me a delivery estimate of July 6 for the book. They've also increased the price to $20.99 for new orders, so I'm glad I locked mine in at the earlier $18.69 price. It's still sticking with a June 30 publication date, so it could potentially come earlier. A lot of my recent pre-orders have had delayed delivery estimates due to the pandemic and then shown up on their release dates anyway.

Obviously I'm very excited for the behind-the-scenes information on the original as well, but I'm really curious to see what the chapter says about the new film. At this point, I'm hoping it might be safe to go to a theater again for it in December, maybe.
 

Jake Lipson

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Two things today Amazon sent over a new delivery date of July 2 for the book. I'll share a summary of what it says about the remake when I get it.

And also, a potentially huge public image problem for the movie: Ansel Elgort, who plays Tony, has just been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year old. Obviously, if this accusation is true, it is morally and legally wrong and I don't want to minimize that at all. Obviously, those issues are more important than any movie.

But the reason I bring it up in this thread is because he is playing Tony and he was obviously intended to be the face of this film in terms of its publicity. The only other established star in it, really, is Rita Moreno, so I have to assume they were going to lean on Elgort a lot when it comes time to promote the film, and the accusation will be a distraction from the film itself.

But the film is basically in the can -- they shot it all last summer -- and Tony is too significant of a role to reshoot and take him out like All the Money in the World did with Kevin Spacey/Christopher Plummer.

It will be interesting to see if this will impact how the release of the film is handled.
 
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