Last Thursday afternoon, I made the scenic drive up from Somerville, MA to Portsmouth, NH, for yet another viewing of the film West Side Story, at the Cinemagic Stadium 10 Theatre, where they showed this particular film as this month’s part of their Cult Classic events. Leaving Somerville at around 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, I …
May 12 2011
Hey, folks: Here’s hoping that you can bear with me while I write yet another essay on a couple of movies that I’ve been thinking about lately, involving their differences (of which there are many) and their similarities.
Please note: This thread is cross-posted in firefly-dreaming.com, and part of this post (about West Side Story) is posted on the new leonardbernstein.com blog, in the West Side Story section. This, too, is my very own writing, and nobody else’s.
Hey, all…can you stand more on West Side Story?
I’ve got that on my mind as well. Here goes:
Pretty much everybody knows that West Side Story is my alltime favorite movie, hands down, and that I’m a devout fan of this great classic film who always feels like I’m seeing West Side Story for the first time. Inotherwords, it’s still fresh, imho. Although West Side Story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, this particular musical is still relevant, imho, because, although it’s fiction, it’s closer to reality in many respects; people from “opposite sides of the track” falling in love amid conflict on both sides, dating and even marrying, racial, ethnic and religious tensions, urban gang warfare, all of which still frequently gets played out in real life. People can and do even fall in love at first sight in real life, although in real life, even that takes time to grow and develop into something where mutual trust and love enable the love to mushroom into something really substantial, if one gets the drift.
Yet, I’m aware of the fact that in real life, gangs don’t go dancing through the streets, nor do they dance their way through street fights and all-out rumbles, which have now evolved into dangerous drive-by shootings and shootings on street corners in many neighborhoods, and gangs today are even more vicious than they were in times gone past. It used to be that gangs would stake out and protect their territory, in real life, but racial/ ethnic tensions and hostilities lent that protection of turf an even more vicious edge.
Since I’ve also seen several very good stage productions of West Side Story, I kind of have to say that West Side Story is my favorite stage musical, as well. In addition to the two screenings of the film version of WSS that I will be going to see; one at the Emerson College-owned Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston this coming Saturday night, and the other at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, in mid-November (I’ve already got tickets for both of those screenings), I will be taking my youngest nephew and my niece to a matinee show of the latest Broadway stage revival of West Side Story here in Boston. I’ve read a number of reviews on this latest WSS Broadway revival; some good, some not so good. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to see this particular production of the stage version of West Side Story, but some other people’s suggestion, I went down to the Colonial Theatre here on Boston’s Boylston Street, and purchased some rather expensive mezzanine tickets. It’s well that I did, since they’re going fast, and there weren’t many mezzanine tickets left, and I didn’t want the balcony, because that would’ve been too far away.
Feb 14 2009
I was quite young when I had my first sexual experience. It began at 9:45 am and ended rather abruptly, but relatively successfully at 9:49 am. Central Standard Time. On the morning of December 25, 1969. The bringer of that brief but memorable Christmas morning gift was a covertly adventurous “older woman” of 18 who lived next door, and was admired by mothers in the neighborhood as a “nice girl” who had no interest in “that hippie music” so many of their daughters listened to when they weren’t busy “sassing their parents”.
Unlike many first timers back then, who discovered paradise by the dashboard lights, I discovered paradise by the Christmas tree lights. I was concerned that my parents would come home earlier than expected from exchanging gifts at my aunt and uncle’s and catch us, but the version of paradise I was experiencing would at least have enabled me to wag my finger at them and say “I did not have sex with that woman.”
I wasn’t concerned about my parents returning early for very long though, my attention focused rather quickly on the gifts being exchanged where I was, not where they were. Since that Christmas morning in 1969, I’ve found love and lost it, found it again and lost it again, but losing love the first time is so heartbreaking. Breathing the fire of rejection is no fun at all, but we get used to it. We have no choice. This world is filled with dark and lonely backstreets, where no one cares, where people just use each other, where love is all too often filled with defeat. But love is always worth seeking. It’s worth seeking no matter how elusive it is, no matter how many years have come and gone, no matter how many times you’ve had to overcome defeat . . .
May 05 2008
This post contains mild spoilers for the film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.
There is a scene in the (very entertaining) film Forgetting Sarah Marshall where the protagonist, played by Jason Segel, is dismayed to learn that his ex-girlfriend, played by Kristen Bell with whom he is on the verge of reconciling with, did not merely leave him for another man but had been carrying on a secret affair with him for a year. This obviously puts their reconciliation on hold.
This reminded me of something I find to be an interesting question. In all aspects of human affairs, the question of truth versus reconciliation often presents itself. Nearly all people, all groups, and all nations are guilty of numerous transgressions both in history and in the present. And many, if not most, of those transgressions are unknown; like Sarah Marshall, people, groups and nations will attempt to conceal the bad things they have done.
The problem is this: the truth about these things generally makes reconciliation more difficult. In the movie, this is presented as a good thing: Bell is supposed to be not only someone who wronged Segel, but an inferior mate for him than Mila Kunis’ character, a hotel hospitality worker.