First the question:

Does Steven Spielberg's daring make sense to reconfigure the pieces of a work that is still intact

(

indeed

, it seems that it grows with each passing second)?

The short answer is yes.

Has it

. If you look at it with a certain perspective, the whole creed of the director's filmography of ... (put in the ellipsis the first one that comes to mind) becomes strong in the idea of ​​cinema as the last global faith of the tribe. From all of her, from all of us. His work largely lives by replicating in a conscious and consciously spectacular way each of the four stories that according to Borges form, shape and even deform us. That of the besieged city (Troy), that of the return (Ulysses), that of the search (Jason) and that of the sacrificed god (Christ on the cross). It would take a while to adjust each of his films in each category, but with patience and a little imagination it is achieved (think in order of

Jaws

,

ET

,

Raiders of the Lost Ark

and

Lincoln

). "During the time that we have left we will continue narrating them, transformed", maintains the Argentine and the American agrees.

Retelling

West Side Story

(released in theaters on December 22) is, in turn, the greatest of the daring and the most obvious of the consequences.

Without moving from the Borges universe, his film has much of the enormous work of Pierre Menard, author of Don Quixote, determined to rewrite the work of Cervantes word for word from his most thorough understanding of each word.

His idea is not so much to recompose Robert Wise's film from 1960.

Nor is it about adapting it as modern operas do, which substitute neon lights for classical draperies and place the de rigueur tenor disguised as an astronaut in the middle of a scenic wasteland illuminated with natural disaster slides (this has happened). No.

It's about bringing it intact. As it is. Without moving a comma.

And there, in its correct understanding, return it to the viewer's eyes as if they were contemplating it for the first time. Although they have seen it in a thousand musicals in English, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian; although each one of the songs that Natalie Wood never sang is known; even if they dare to hum

America

whenever they feel compelled to comment on the contradictions of capitalism.

Despite all the 'althoughs',

Spielberg's

West Side Story

is simply a masterpiece of repetition, of Borgesian repetition, of course.

In the ideology of the promotion of the film ugly words like "update", "version 2.0" or, even, and when the lack of ideas is already scandalous, "updating" slip. None of that is true.

If one takes the slightest bit of memory work to rewatch the original tape, one will quickly realize that not one of its atoms has aged for a second.

The idea of ​​the wise Robert Wise to reduce the distance between the realism of his way of understanding cinema -always hard, effective and dirty- and the illusory reverie towards which the classical musical genre always aims and in which it delights is still valid.

Rewatch

West Side Story

It is to recover intact the sensation of perplexity and joy that a cinema gives off convinced that life is even more important than the truth.

Spielberg not only believes in this same precept, but also venerates it, which is like believing, but with blind and even mute faith.

Amen.

It takes again the music of Leonard Berstein, the lyrics of the songs of the recently deceased Stephen Sondheim and even the air of the choreography of Jerome Robbins that Justin Peck now reworkes to deliver an enthusiastic celebration of what the film was and what our I remember intact is.

It is a film built by and for the myth.

It is the same and completely different at the same time because the idea is simply to retell it, aware of the time that has passed through it.

Retell it, Borges said, but transformed.

Steven Spielberg repeats Robert Wise's 1960 film point by point, achieving an identical and completely different work at the same time. And so, see the same old thing to see everything for the first time

Of course, if you go down to detail and have time to lose it, you can play the game of seven differences. Tony Kushner's script, based on what Arthur Laurents wrote for the stage, differs from that written in the 1960s by Ernest Lehman.

And yes, it is admitted that the accent now rests even more explicitly on the accidents of racism, xenophobia and hatred. That is, in this society that has touched us, what are we going to do?

The underlining, if you like, is not greater, but less elusive, more combative, more of dancing on the grave of ... fascism (or whatever, then the offended ones of the 'alt-right' arrive) and on the same grave of time. And of course, there are numbers that change. Those who remember

Cool

like that magical piece and never sufficiently valued with a fourth wall break included, now they will come face to face with an open-air choreography with a gun in between and with the protagonists changed.

The most surprising thing of all is the different place that the emblematic number of

America

occupies,

which changes the original rooftop for a spectacular display at street level that simply cuts the hiccups, any of them and in any circumstance.

If to this is added the change-bar-tribute of the character played by Rita Moreno, it can already be said that after seeing Spielberg's film there are conversation topics (such as: I liked it better before / I didn't / Well, you have no idea / and so on) for two long centuries. Until the next version.

There are more contrasts, of course.

The very modern, lyrical, serious and imaginative staging of Wise

with those backlit alleys, that tragedy of colors, that clash of montage and oppressive sensation

is reread by Spielberg, admitting everything and adding to the bet dynamism, continuity between the numbers musical and dramatic, and his signature hand in hand with a bombastic choreography from the most insignificant gesture to the most immeasurable panorama.

Spielberg

in action

. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet are still there. The same story, the same: the love story in which Borges's four cycles are cited: the city besieged by the rules, the lover's return to the cause of love, the unbridled search for happiness perhaps impossible and, therefore, of course, the sacrifice of god. And we don't count the ending because they know it.

As we said, Spielberg recovers from Wise the certainty that life is much more important than the truth.

And that is so, because there is a direct relationship between the affirmation of the body (of the body that dances, shakes and convulses) and the most dedicated celebration of life. And not only the two directors say it, but also the philosopher affirms it. The philosopher maintains that art has even more value than the truth, always aware of its "illusory" mechanisms of verification, utility and technical mastery of nature. The truth, the philosopher tells us, denies life. The artist, on the other hand, works with his body, with the inevitability of his emotions, with the most intimate certainty of himself to, in effect, celebrate the here and now of existence; pure desire. The philosopher is Nietzsche.

It took Wise 27 movies to dare with a musical.

It has taken Spielberg more than 50. When Wise turned 90 on September 10, 2004, Spielberg wrote him a beautiful letter in which he clearly congratulated him and told him that not only his talent had led him to be who he is, but also "his interest in human beings".

And there, indeed, we all fit.

We all fit in

West Side Story

, in any of the two films in any of the infinite musicals, in the eternal myth.

And I will dance on the grave of time.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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