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 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 1:47 AM   
 By:   Coco314   (Member)

It's seems I'm one of the few here who welcomes the idea of this new version of the musical. I'm also very pleased to see Newman doing this. He's incredibly solid, and has spent too long doing mostly crummy movies. Also, given what I have to assume will be almost all adaptation, I'm glad Williams is spending his time on other things at this point.


Since Filming is slated to start in the summer of 2019, and this would require the arranging, conducting , supervising job that is probably several months of works, it certainly is a matter of scheduling conflict with that small Star wars movie being done this year. So yeah, another Spielberg project missed, but the maestro will be working on "other things" :-) (just imagine the thread title: "Williams drops Episode IX so he could arrange West Side Story" )

As for the remake, I was skeptical that after all these years wanting to do a musical, Spielberg would focus on remaking such a classic, but this is an immortal story that you can perfectly put a modern update on it (more than, say, "Singing in The Rain").

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 1:50 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Looks like the Newman clan has become Spiel's go-to guys when JW is not available.

I think it's more that he's using the various composers of that generation (T. Newman, D. Newman, Silvestri) because he knows them, maybe back from the AMAZING STORIES days. But yes -- there's also that strong connection he has to the Newman family, in particular.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)


Bernstein wasn't averse to a different take on the music. He conducted a version for traditional opera singers (with Jose Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa) in 1984 (Deutsche Grammophon). I don't much like that version, but it was a big seller.


What does that have anything to do with remaking the movie? o.O

And that's not even a 'different take' per se. The music itself didn't change (the movie changed far more!).

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Looks like the Newman clan has become Spiel's go-to guys when JW is not available.


...or the fact he has shared the baton with David at the Hollywood Bowl, first in a separate adjacent show then on the same program, for many years now might be a factor in why Williams recommended him.

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Looks like the Newman clan has become Spiel's go-to guys when JW is not available.


...or the fact he has shared the baton with David at the Hollywood Bowl, first in a separate adjacent show then on the same program, for many years now might be a factor in why Williams recommended him.


When I saw David Newman, Steven Spielberg, and John Williams on stage together last summer at the Hollywood Bowl, after Newman had conducted a suite from "West Side Story," I wonder if Spielberg and Newman had already started discussing this, or whether it sparked this, or was just a happy accident.

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


Bernstein wasn't averse to a different take on the music. He conducted a version for traditional opera singers (with Jose Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa) in 1984 (Deutsche Grammophon). I don't much like that version, but it was a big seller.






What does that have anything to do with remaking the movie? o.O






Are you suggesting that this new presentation of the music won't be listened to away from the movie? It will probably sell a million copies in audio-only form. It will likely be the most hotly-reviewed recording of the century to date. Do you suppose the recording of this soundtrack will not be critically compared to the earlier, composer-conducted or approved version/s? I'd say that examples of flexibility (or not) on the part of the composer to variations in performance or adaptations or interpretations of his work are worth noting, whether for the full work or suites. I'm sure Newman will be studying every single one of Bernstein's recordings and sheet music for this work, as well as the performances of other conductors. Of course, if you think it's unnecessary for him to do so, by all means email him and let him know. I'm sure he'd like to save as much time as possible.
Go watch Bernstein's famous (infamous) TV documentary on the making of that Carreras recording. You might find it informative in terms of his interpretive demands (whether orchestral or vocal).

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 9:45 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

I never thought I'd say this but I'm with Schiffy on this, if for a different reason. I am not generally for a film redux but in some instances, it works. No one adores that 1961 classic more than I. My hope for this one is that younger people will view the new version, love it and will seek out the original. That will be my measure of success. I have seen this occur with films viewed by my kids and their friends.

Learning that David Newman is attached to the film is wonderful to hear. The Newman name is classic and I am anxious to hear what he creates.


With you on this too. It sounds better and better to me.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Why remake perfection??

I'm sure that the film will be fine musically. What I'm worried about is how the dancing will be handled. Jerome Robbins' choreography is an essential plot element in the show. I hope Spielberg doesn't go for the "music video" style where the "dancers" are mostly seen from the waist up and waving their arms around. I hated the film version of CHICAGO because the director chose stars who couldn't dance, and Bob Fosse's choreography had to be scrapped.


Gee i really liked CHICAGO.
One of the best musical films of the last twenty years!


Here's Fosse's original choreography:



Now look what happened in the film. Notice the slower tempo, dumbed down dance routine and resorting to fancy camera work to give the number some kinetic energy. They even had to resort to a machine gun gimmick.



I'm praying something like this doesn't happen to the new WEST SIDE STORY.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Why remake perfection??

I'm sure that the film will be fine musically. What I'm worried about is how the dancing will be handled. Jerome Robbins' choreography is an essential plot element in the show. I hope Spielberg doesn't go for the "music video" style where the "dancers" are mostly seen from the waist up and waving their arms around. I hated the film version of CHICAGO because the director chose stars who couldn't dance, and Bob Fosse's choreography had to be scrapped.


Gee i really liked CHICAGO.
One of the best musical films of the last twenty years!


Here's Fosse's original choreography:



Now look what happened in the film. Notice the slower tempo, dumbed down dance routine and resorting to fancy camera work to give the number some kinetic energy. They even had to resort to a machine gun gimmick.



I'm praying something like this doesn't happen to the new WEST SIDE STORY.



Okay I don't get this at all. Fosse would break up his own dances in his films with kinetic editing. You compared a mash-up (it looks like for the Tony awards) with just the end sequence to CHICAGO. The opening totally works for me:




On the other hand Spielberg's sensibility with stylized sequences in 1941, HOOK, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and READY PLAYER ONE does not look he has what it takes to make a musical. Somehow when I saw GAILY GAILY I could see Norman Jewison succeeding with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.


 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 6:01 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)




Are you suggesting that this new presentation of the music won't be listened to away from the movie? It will probably sell a million copies in audio-only form. It will likely be the most hotly-reviewed recording of the century to date. Do you suppose the recording of this soundtrack will not be critically compared to the earlier, composer-conducted or approved version/s? I'd say that examples of flexibility (or not) on the part of the composer to variations in performance or adaptations or interpretations of his work are worth noting, whether for the full work or suites. I'm sure Newman will be studying every single one of Bernstein's recordings and sheet music for this work, as well as the performances of other conductors. Of course, if you think it's unnecessary for him to do so, by all means email him and let him know. I'm sure he'd like to save as much time as possible.


Ok let's break down your questions, for the funsies.
-I certainly never once suggested or implied the music won't be listened to away from the movie
-Nor is it at all relevant to my post how well it will likely sell
-Of course it will be compared to previous versions of the work (not soundtrack), and I never implied other wise. Certainly I for one will be doing so.
-Newman studying previous versions is also completely irrelevant to my post
-Nor did I ever suggest he not do it (and I do agree he likely will)

The actual point, which I'll try to state again, is that the fact Bernstein happened to make a recording with opera singers has no real bearing on the fact they are making a movie. It makes zero sense to bring it up in the context of "Bernstein was ok with other takes on the music" because....well that's pretty bog standard for both musicals as well as classical music (of which WSS treads the line). Sure, this version might influence things (be it in a 'that's a good idea' or 'that's NOT a good idea' way) but I just don't understand the reason one would bring it up in the first place in the context you are.


 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 7:00 PM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

I would be surprised if Stephen Sondheim wasn't consulted on music/ lyrics....

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2019 - 7:07 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


The actual point, which I'll try to state again...







Very good. Thanks for that. Very interesting.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2019 - 7:24 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

Is this the version that Disney proposed to Arthur Laurents? The animated one, with cats?

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2019 - 7:57 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Anything that keeps Spielberg from making another cgi/motion capture atrocity is fine by me!

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2019 - 7:58 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Still hoping for a Silver Age vs. Golden Agers version.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2019 - 8:28 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I don't doubt that Spiely has the talent, respect for cinema history and general chutzpah to pull this off, not to mention awareness that it will take an awful lot to win over folks like me, but if this production is aimed at the millennial audience...then folks like me won't matter.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2019 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   fleming   (Member)

An interesting fact: the “latin” music featured in the stage and film versions of West Side Story has nothing to do with Puerto Rico. It’s Cuban and Mexican. I wonder if the new version will deal with this in some way, considering Puerto Rico has its own rich musical traditions.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2019 - 1:25 PM   
 By:   odelayy   (Member)

Does anyone know when the plot of the new film is supposed to take place? In the early 60s like the Wise version or nowadays? If it's the latter I hope we're not in for some bad surprises...

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2019 - 7:46 PM   
 By:   Joe Brausam   (Member)

An interesting fact: the “latin” music featured in the stage and film versions of West Side Story has nothing to do with Puerto Rico. It’s Cuban and Mexican. I wonder if the new version will deal with this in some way, considering Puerto Rico has its own rich musical traditions.

I really don't think they're going to be changing Bernstein's music other than adapting it for film. The music IS West Side Story.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2019 - 7:47 PM   
 By:   Joe Brausam   (Member)

Does anyone know when the plot of the new film is supposed to take place? In the early 60s like the Wise version or nowadays? If it's the latter I hope we're not in for some bad surprises...

It's supposed to take place at the same time as the original production, based on casting calls I've seen.

 
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