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Soundtracking: Hustlers

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
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Entries in West Side Story (34)


The Wise Guy

A quick shout-out to the director Robert Wise, who was born 105 years ago this very day. He passed in 2005, by then a four-time Oscar winner for a couple little movies called The Sound of Music and West Side Story (he won for both directing and producing), although he was nominated a couple other times. I mean he edited Citizen Kane! Obviously he was nominated other times. 

I do love his nomination for directing Susan Hayward's 1958 melodrama I Want To Live!, a film which looks way overcooked to modern eyes (as does most of Hayward's output) but which I love all the same. But Wise should've had several more nominations, if you ask me -- in between his two musical masterpieces he only directed one of the greatest horror films of all time, The Haunting, still effective to this day. There didn't seem to be a genre he couldn't master. How many nominations would you have given Robert Wise?


"San Juan Hill"

Pictures taken directly outside my front door today. omg, WEST SIDE STORY ("san juan hill" surely isn't foolin' anybody) is filming on the street where I live. My friend, after talking to some neighbors, believes the main filming business is going to be happening about two blocks from us (something about gels over apartment windows) so we probably won't be able to see a dancer number outside the window but we can always dream.

UPDATE: more photos after the jump

Click to read more ...


Thoughts I Had... while staring at the first promotional image from West Side Story (2020)

by Nathaniel R

Click on the image to embiggen

Toto, we're definitely not in Kansas Oz anymore. We've gone from incredibly expressive color to desaturated earth tones. Whose idea was it to base the color palette on a Nancy Meyers interior rather than from the incredible cinematography and design of the 1961 classic...

We're not the only ones worried about this very drab color palette. Consider...

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West Side Story Casting Pt 2: "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way"

If you missed part 1, The Sharks, that's here

With the casting of Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story complete, and planning to shoot this very summer, let's meet the Jets. We've done the research to familiarize you with the new cast which is thankfully extremely heavy with very talented dancers and singers so we hope Steven Spielberg has a heretofore unknown gift for filming big dance heavy musical numbers! Links go to their instagram pages if we could find them...


Ansel Elgort (Tony)
The 25 year old movie star has been threatening to do a movie musical for awhile now (he was once attached to a Hans Christian Anderson biopic that seems to have been trapped in development hell) and is finally getting around to it with West Side Story. Major credits include leading roles in The Fault in Our Stars, Billionaire Boys Club, Baby Driver, and the forthcoming drama The Goldfinch.

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"West Side Story" Casting Pt 1: Meet the Sharks

by Nathaniel R

David Alvarez will be taking on George Chakiris's Oscar winning role of "Bernardo" in the remake of WEST SIDE STORY

We'll have to take the West Side Story casting, which is now complete with filming to begin this summer, in two parts. It's a LOT to process. Though we are skeptical of the project given that West Side Story (1961) is so perfect despite its imperfections (you know how art works), but the material itself is so brilliant that perhaps we'll get two classics for the price of one? 

With the casting complete, meet the Sharks... 
There's a lot of Broadway talent (especially from HamiltonOn Your Feet, Carousel), some people from the Miami ballet world, and even some who've done West Side Story before in other forms. Links go to their instagram pages if we could find them...

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Rita Moreno to return to movie musicals - for real this time!

by Nathaniel R

You may recall that we were briefly very excited about Rita Moreno's return to her home genre, the movie musical. News broke but then was quickly retracted that she had landed a wonderful part in the film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning debut In the Heights which ran on Broadway from 2008 through 2011. Now, the news is for real but with a different film. She'll play "Valentina" in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story. That's the "Doc" role, in a bit of racial and gender-flipped casting...

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