pseudopodium
. . . West Side Story

. . .

Dr. Justine Larbalestier reminisces fondly:

Have you seen the movie West Side Story recently? I was obsessed with it and the music as a kid and made the mistake of rewatching it recently. When I think of it in memory it's shot on location in NYC - the camera moves around; it's full of dynamic dance sequences that use the natural environment - i.e. the street of NYC. It's a vibrant, alive, great and sexy anti-racism musical. Nope. It stinks. There's the one opening scene with the overhead shot of Manhattan and then the opening dance sequence and then it's all sound stages and a camera that's so static you wonder if it's got icicles all over it. (Well it would have it were here in NYC at the moment - is there a point to having such cold winters? I don't get it.) Worse still there's no ambient noise. The film is visually and aurally dead and since it didn't use scratch'n'sniff technology and no-one's going to lick the screen that means it's completely dead. Then there's the presence and, er, acting - with the exception of Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn - it's unspeakably bad. Especially the two cardboard leads who can't sing or dance or act. Brilliant casting there people!
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with that song but tended to remember it as "Somewhere a place for us / In outer space for us...." Clearly, I still do.

 

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