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Because the 1961 film version of West Side Story is in such a special class by itself, it's hard for me to imagine anybody re-making it, and having it work out very well, despite the fact that it's still very relevant today, socially and otherwise....

Due to the fact that it is so special, West Side Story would have to be done by an extremely carefully chosen, top-notch cast, orchestra, scenery, and real pros regarding cinematography, as well as well-designed costumes, and the use of color.

Sure, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner are doing the planned re-make of the 1961 film version of West Side Story, but, there are some other things that I'd like to add:

A) Steve Spielberg has done a number of terrific films, but no matter who re-makes it, I couldn't see it working out at all, especially because it would be too contemporary regarding the scenery, the language, the photography, the place where it was set, and the music, which would undoubtedly be either a hip-hop or a rap version of the movie's musical score. In both the original Broadway stage play and the original 1961 stage version of West Side Story, the people who wrote the original script for both the original stage productions and the movie did not choose sides, despite the pointing out of the racism on the part of the Jets towards the Sharks.

B) In reality, there are no good guys or bad guys in the original 1961 film version, or the original Broadway stage version. The people who created both of the original versions of West Side Story pointed out that the feuds, the violence, the racial/ethnic hostilities and the hatred on both sides (i. e. the European-American Jets and the newly-arrived Puerto Rican Sharks alike), were leading nowhere for both sides, except for conflict with the law, constant feuding, and death by violence on both sides.

C) The idea of choosing sides, which would invariably happen, due to the changing atmosphere and the changing demographics here in the United States, I believe, would help destroy all that's really great about the original West Side Story. Both Steve Spielberg and Tony Kushner may have also done some good work, but, imo, Tony Kushner has too parsimonious ( "I'm holier than thou") an attitude for my liking, and Steve Spielberg's too eager to recreate this winner of 10 well-earned Academy Awards, including the Best Picture on the year that it came out, for his own agenda, like most movie moguls are.

D) As a devout fan of the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, the thing that's also worrisome to me is the possibility that when the re-make of this classic movie-musical does come out, that it will result in either the complete throwing the original 1961 film version of West Side Story into the dustbin of history, to be available on only DVD, Blu-Ray, or occasional TV showings, and not shown at all, even in any revival movie theatres, or the possibility of the total suppression of the 1961 film version of West Side Story altogether, in order to presumably have a West Side Story that's more accessible to younger viewers.

That being said, the best way to introduce the film West Side Story to today's younger generations is through periodic re-releases in selected movie theatres, nation-wide, the way they did this past June, for two nights. If it played a little more often in the revival movie theatres throughout the United States, that would be great, too.

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wss crazy cool by dallowayward
westsidestory
West Side Story

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