Mar 24 2013

West Side Story–Another Round:

(9 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Hi, everybody:

Sorry for my prolonged absence from The Stars Hollow Gazette.  I’ve been preoccupied with other stuff lately, including starting that menorah for my sister.

Last night, sort of like a naughty girl, I took the evening off from my TKD classes and decided to take in a screening of my all time favorite movie, West Side Story.  Yup, you all read right–West Side Story.  Moreover, I still plan on going to the Tanglewood Boston Symphony Orchestra/West Side Story concert on July 13th of this year.  I’m excited.  

A number of the cinemark theatres, which had bought out the Rave theatres in various parts of the United States, including the only one here in the central northwestern part of the Bay State, have been doing classic films and even independent films once a week.  Last night’s classic at the cinemark cinema, out in Hadley, MA, which is kind of near Amherst was West Side Story.  I had hung back for awhile, because I had my doubts about driving out to that part of the Bay State in mid-March, when the weather can be so unpredictable.  Since the weather was nice overall, I decided to go.  I went to Fandango, purchased myself a ticket, printed up the confirmation number, obtained directions through mapquest.com, and, after a couple of small errands and a walk in the sunshine, I drove the two hours out to Hadley, MA., to see West Side Story.  It was all worthwhile.  The film, which has been digitally restored and re-mastered, was pristine and like new, and the screen was quite big.  I’d sure love to see West Side Story on Cinema xD one day (the xD theatre(s) are twice as big, and the screen is from wall to wall and from the floor to the ceiling.  That, imho, sounds cool for something like West Side Story or any other classic of that kind, imho.  It took me just a little over two hours to get to the theatre, and, although the showing for West Side Story didn’t sell out, we had a good crowd;  the theatre was at least half filled.  

Of course, there was a two-o’clock showing of West Side Story, but I didn’t really want to spend a sun-shiny afternoon in the movies, so I went later, but left Boston early enough so that I didn’t get caught in really severe west-bound rush-hour traffic leaving Boston after an afternoon of work to go back to the suburbs.    

West Side Story is a wonderful film, and it’s equally wonderful to watch a great old classic film like that, which isn’t overfilled with “blue” language, over the top violence and shoot-outs, a mediocre cast, an overused, mediocre plot and overdone Boston accents, and explicit sex scenes, such as Ben Affleck’s The Town had.

One could successfully argue, that, although West Side Story and The Town are totally different venues when it comes to movies, there are some similarities;  they’re both filmed in rough, rundown, impoverished urban areas, the protagonist falls for somebody from the “wrong side of the tracks”,  and their love life is brief, due to circumstances beyond their control, plus the protagonists both go about expressing their love for their romantic interests in totally the wrong way.

There are important differences as well, however.  

Unlike the Jets, the  Sharks and their girls, and Tony & Maria in West Side Story, who’re either in their teens or early 20′,   The Town’s Doug & Claire, as well as Doug’s possee of bank robbers and thugs are all adults who’re well into their 30’s and therefore way old enough to know better.  

More to the point,  unlike The Town’s Doug MacRay and his posse of thugs/bandits, West Side Story’s Tony and Maria aren’t out robbing banks and armored cars, covering up evidence by bleaching up and/or setting fire to the crime scene(s) to destroy evidence and trying to throw the FBI and other law enforcement officials off of their trails, putting other people’s lives and limb at risk just for money that they’ve got no right to, or taking people hostages or terrorizing and robbing them at gunpoint.  Nor are they shooting their way through innocent bank employees, police officers or security guards, either.  

Most important of all, both West Side Story and The Town send out completely different messages:

Unlike The Town, which sends the message that anything goes, as long as people can get away with it,  that it’s okay to put people’s very lives and safety at risk by robbing them at gunpoint of money that they’ve got no right to, severely  beating an assistant manager, taking people as hostages, becoming accessories to crimes and making total dupes of Feds, SWAT Teams and other law enforcement officials who’re trying to do the hard job of bringing down well-known, hardened felons, and enabling a dangerous armed felon to really become a fugitive of the law, thus escaping punishment, as well as accepting and spending stolen bloody loot money on the renovation of an ice-hockey rink as a means of doing good is also okay, West Side Story portrays a whole different message;  the drastically horrific consequences of racial/ethnic prejudice, and the ensuing violence, gang violence and violent behaviour that often result are not the way to go.  Yet, at the end of West Side Story, there’s also a hint of reconciliation between the Jets and Sharks as several from each gang come together to carry off Tony’s body after he’s been shot to death by Chino for killing his best friend, Bernardo.  While reconciliation between people can be and often are difficult, it’s not impossible, either.  

The Town, unlike West Side Story, also provides the message that revenge beatings and killings are perfectly legitimate.  West Side Story, however, provides the opposite message;  the consequences of racism and violent behavior.

Please note:  This thread is cross-posted on firefly-dreaming.com and on docudharma.com.

1 comment

  1. mplo

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