I have seen a great number of films, both old and new, some of which I've enjoyed enough to see more than once. Most of the good films I've seen, regardless how old (or how new) they are, even the ones I've liked enough to see more than once, regardless of their content and/or subject matter, however, are films that I can take or leave. That being said, there's only one film that has an incredible sticking power for me: That film is West Side Story....
There are people, some of whom I've come to know reasonably well during the course of my lifetime, however, who claim that the film West Side Story didn't really make it. This is something that I tend to strongly and wholeheartedly disagree with. How can a film that won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of the Year (albeit in 1961) be considered a film that did not make it? Beats me!
West Side Story, due to the very story behind it, and the fact that the beautifully-choreographed dancing by the late Jerome Robbins, as well as the intensely brilliant musical score by the late Leonard Bernstein, the richly-colored costumes and cinematography, as well as the excellent cast, as well as the seamlessly combined on-location filming and sound-stage sets, all mesh together into one dynamic little package to tell a powerfully dynamic story and turn it into something unusual. West Side Story, as a film, is a feast for the ears, eyes, mind and heart.
No other movie has a story behind it that has combined urban gang warfare, racial & ethnic tensions and prejudices, exuberance, arrogance and hubris, sadness, the immigrant experience, the competition for a small piece of turf, conflict with the law, love, romance, violence, death, and possible reconciliation between groups that have been enemies.
West Side Story is different, in a very positive way. It's a very driving film, due to the interestingly intense, brilliant Bernstein musical score, the beautifully choreographed dancing, the cinematography, and the very story behind it. Although the message that West Side Story conveys is a double-edged sword, which condemns gang warfare and violence, as well as racial/ethnic hatred and constant fighting over turf, it also conveys a message that reconciliation between groups that have been at loggerheads for quite some time, is also possible, despite how difficult reconciliation can be and often enough is.
All of the above-mentioned things about West Side Story are what give this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a Classic movie-musical its sticking power for me, and beckon me to go and see it, if it happens to be playing at one of the three independent movie theatres in my general area, at the opposite end or center of the Bay State, or even to a neighboring state, although the latter two places do depend a great deal on the time of year, and the weather, if one gets the drift.
All of the above having been said, the Boston Symphony Orchestra/West Side Story (1961 film) concert will be coming to Tanglewood in late July of 2018. I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully, it'll also come back to Boston's Symphony Hall, as well. Although I've seen this particular Boston Symphony Orchestra concert twice, I look forward to seeing it again. I even booked my hotel reservation for that particular day, which was good, because most of the hotels in that general area were already sold out for the days that I wanted.
Anyway, this is all I have to say for now. Happy New Year, everybody! Be back again soon.