Ever since I was about 11 or so, my favorite movie has been "West Side Story". My Dad had the album on vinyl that we would listen to from the time I was about 8 or so growing up and I fell in love with the emotion, anguish and passion on the record. It wasn't until I was about 11 or 12 that I actually saw the movie.
We were going to be going out to my Dad's for the weekend, I think actually it was Thanksgiving if memory serves. I informed him when he came to pick us up that the movie was going to be on television the same day as our family dinner. He knew of my passion for my music from the film and wanted to share and extend that into the film just as he had loved it.
He instructed everyone I was watching the movie and therefore exempt (this one time) from helping set up for dinner. My cousins (who do NOT enjoy musicals...although they like music) were none too pleased that they got stuck setting up while I sat watching tv.
If you've never seen "West Side Story" its essentially Romeo and Juliet set in 1960(something) New York City. It is a turf war between the Sharks (Recently immigrated people from Puerto Rico - and not looked kindly on) and the Jets (born and raised American's). One of the Jets (or former Jet) Tony becomes re-immersed into the gang due to issues between the two cultures. Tony wants to settle things peacefully insisting the two can work things out by compromise and by being adults. at a dance Tony sees and falls in love with Maria (and she him). She is young, naive and innocent. She doesn't see Tony as anyone but someone she shares an instant connection with. Her brother informs her that Tony is an American and not a Puerto Rican - therefore he is forbidden. But it's too late, she's already in love with Tony and he is with her.
The story is brilliantly acted and the music is truly a moving experience to me. I can watch the movie from start to finish or just 5 minutes from the end and always...always am distraught and in tears by the end. And yet...I love it.
West Side Story is about truth, faith, devotion and love can conquer all...if.we.let.it. People are their own worst enemy in this world. Some people hate, fight, and cause war for reasons I don't even know if they know WHY they're fighting because the fighting and hatred has been going on for so many generations that people don't even remember why any more. It's truly preposterous or maybe it's the romantic in me hoping love can conquer all.
Of course I'm not saying that there aren't people in this world who are just bad to the core and even deserve their fate or sticky end. However, I think there or there would be a lot more people getting along if some people weren't as subservient as they are. But, money can buy power in some places...
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton
It's funny how this started out being a piece about my favorite movie and yet I've ended up here. Although truthfully if we analyze it, sadly they're not too far gone from each other in the reality of the situation. With the exception of course West Side Story was brilliantly scored by Sondheim and Bernstein and the other...not so much.
One Last Glimpse,