The Battle Over West Side Story


Manage episode 314857061 series 2623861
By Fausto Fernós, Hosted by Fausto Fernós, and Marc Felion. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
When West Side Story hit theaters in 1961, it was a commercial and critical success, with Rita Moreno becoming the first Puerto Rican actor to win an Oscar for her role as Anita.
This urban take on Romeo and Juliet created by four Jewish gay artists as a cautionary tale about the hate destroying forbidden love resonated with audiences worldwide. The musical is nowadays considered a classic, but it’s also been criticised for its portrayal of Puerto Ricans and for casting white actors in brown-face makeup instead of actual Latinx performers.
60 years later, West Side Story is back, this time directed by Stephen Speilberg with new lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a new book by Tony Kushner and Executive Produced by and starring Rita Moreno in a new role as the motherly Valentina.
The remake is being celebrated for its more positive portrayal of minorities, but some folks are still stung by the racist legacy of the original work and would rather see new films created for and by Puerto Rican people.
Today we take a look at Stephen Speilberg’s remake of West Side Story, what changes they made, why the box office numbers are low and why you will love it!
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Episode #3002

628 episodes