Watched this in a tiny, fully packed theater a few hundred meters from where it was shot. A wonderful experience.
Watched on the train to Vienna, which felt right. Think the beautiful visuals struck me most this time - it goes a long way in keeping a feature that’s rooted in two twenty-somethings just talking as engaging as it is. The insert shots of other couples chatting away also stood out: we’re all going through these exact experiences (sometimes more mundanely than others) the entire time in some way or another. Also, those shots of the empty locations in the last sequence get me every time.
Technically dazzling with heaps of flair! And a large helping of blinding lens flare, too. West Side Story is perfectly suited material for Steven Spielberg’s idealism, romanticism, and melodrama that make his sentimental films feel like the Old Hollywood greats that inspired them.
I especially appreciated the very active camera movement (what an opening!) and flawless framing of dance sequences that distinguish it from the stage musical, where the actors’ expressions often remain at an obscured distance. (Or maybe I’m…
There’s a scene early in the film where the French Foreign Legion is performing a rehearsal for an attack in a ruined building. There is no enemy surrounding them or being chased, apart from the imagined one. We cut to a group of local Djibouti women and it seems like they are witnessing this exercise, giggling. But the reverse shot (if it is even one) reveals that the probable object of their fascination is a brave (local) man standing on…