Spielberg brings a lifelong fandom to the rethought “West Side Story”

File Photo: Director Steven Spielberg will speak at Apple’s special event on March 25, 2019 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., USA.Reuters / Steve Rum

December 6, 2021

Jill Sergeant

Los Angeles (Reuters) – Steven Spielberg has been recreating the classic musical “West Side Story” in his head for decades, but he will eventually take on it in his 50-year career. Says it was the most dangerous challenge.

Half a century after the musical by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim won 10 Oscars, Spielberg was set up among rival street gangsters in the awe of true fans. I reconsidered the story.

“The lyrics have been part of my life for 65 years,” he said. “All my kids remember the album and have a home video of the kids playing the” West Side Story “in the living room. “

Sondheim, who wrote the lyrics for the musical, died at the age of 91 three days before the world premiere of the new movie.

Musical director Spielberg’s first shot, West Side Story, will be shown in cinemas around the world this week, directly recreating all the Latin characters played by Latin actors and groundbreaking originals. Nods lovingly without any effort.

“No one who plays sharks is a Latin or Latin descendant … we didn’t have to supplement someone’s face to convince the audience that they were Puerto Rico,” Spielberg said. Told.

Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the new film focuses more on the issues of race, immigration, poverty and alienation that dominate life in New York’s slums of the 1950s.

“We still screened the film in 1957, but it was very important for this generation to express today’s way of speaking and interacting in words,” Spielberg said.

“We needed to renew our play to embrace the complexity that people have with each other in today’s society, from school campuses to political and ideological divisions.”

Spielberg said it was a horrible job, but he didn’t have to worry. The film, in which Puerto Rican star Rita Moreno (now 89) takes on another role and connects generations, has been acclaimed.

The British Daily Telegraph called it “Spielberg’s best movie in 20 years,” and the Los Angeles Times described it as “both a glorious throwback and a gentle correction.”

Rookie Rachel Zegler, 20, plays Maria with unusual courage.

“I think she’s usually portrayed as a very black-and-white virgin Ingénue. This isn’t your mom Maria,” Zegler said. “She is very different and there are very subtle differences.”

Moreno, who became the first Latina to win an Oscar for her role as a fiery Anita in 1962, said she had mixed feelings about returning to the story she started her career. rice field.

“I’m not saying I wasn’t jealous. Obviously, I wish I were so young again and could start over. But that never happened, and I took this beautifully written part. I got it, “she said.

(Report by Jill Serjeant, edited by Diane Craft)

Spielberg brings a lifelong fandom to the rethought “West Side Story”

Source link Spielberg brings a lifelong fandom to the rethought “West Side Story”

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