West Side Story director Steven Spielberg explains what makes the musicals harder to record than the beach landing in Saving Private Ryan.
Steven Spielberg explains what did West Side Story harder to make than Rescues Private Ryan. The legendary Hollywood director has a number of bonafide classics in his filmography, and his latest project is to recreate another, which took home 10 Oscars after its release in 1961 and is considered one of the greatest film musicals ever made. . Spielbergs West Side Story is scheduled to hit theaters on December 10th.
Although the prolific filmmaker has worked in a range of genres, from science fiction and adventure films to war and historical epics, his latest film marks his first attempt at a musical. Spielberg has said that this is not due to a lack of desire on his part and that the decision to resume West Side Story fulfilled a childhood wish, which was sown when he first listened to the album. Fans have been unsure of what to expect from the film based on its marketing, which many have noticed has so far strangely downplayed the fact that it is a musical, but the director was clearly motivated by that aspect of the project.
In an interview with Jake’s Takes, Spielberg shares an element of film musicals that he found particularly challenging, which could have contributed to him staying away from the genre for so long. When asked if his experience of directing action helped create the musical tracks, he says he wished there were more similarities between something like the Omaha Beach landing stage in Rescues Private Ryan and the dances in West Side Story. One factor, however, that sets them apart – their relationship to real-time. See Spielberg’s quote below:
I wish there was some similarity between like the storm of the beaches on Rescues Private Ryan and Omaha Beach, and such as the dance in the gym, but there is a remarkable difference between the two. I am not limited in an action sequence of time, of tempi, of the mathematics of music. On a musical sequence, we are all locked in the beat, to the beat, to the tempo – is it 2/4 time, is it 4/4 time – it has to end exactly where it ends, it only has to start where it can begin. So in a way, scientifically speaking, I have – instead of having so much latitude, I have so much room to get everything I want in such a short time, because then the music changes and forces me to change the angle.
Spielberg goes on to joke that he had never been particularly good at math, which put him at a disadvantage, but credits his talented cast and crew for making West Side Story a team effort. That Rescues Private Ryan Comparison is interesting as the beach landing is among the most acclaimed scenes in any of his films and in any war film overall, and it is praised for both its realism and the way it captures the sensory experience of shell-shock. That he would like the footage of the dance scenes in his new film to be more like that is a good indicator of the difficulty of West Side Story, as well as the ingenuity that would have been used to solve its creative challenges.
While Spielberg’s work in the 2010s is generally perceived as not being equal to the heights he reached in previous decades, his call for Rescues Private Ryan seems like an appropriate. After the premiere in New York earlier this week, early reactions to West Side Story has been overwhelmingly positive, and many claim that it competes with the original and is among the director’s best films. A late shot at the award ceremony can be expected, and it will not be long now before the audience can assess for themselves whether the musical lives up to its history.
Next: Why West Side Story’s trailer stores so many important elements
Source: Jake’s Takes
- West Side Story (2021)Release Date: December 10, 2021
Scarlett Johansson reflects on Black Widow Disney + lawsuit
About the author