Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

West Side Story ~ Steven Spielberg .. 'red genia' ~ Satyagouri Mahal

His first professional TV job came when he was hired to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery, written by Rod Serling and starring Joan Crawford. Crawford, however, was "speechless, and then horrified" at the thought of a twenty-one-year-old newcomer directing her, one of Hollywood's leading stars. "Why was this happening to me?" she asked the producer. !!  - more than changing the attitude, the man made little child ‘Oliwia Dabrowska’ – turn a legend some 25 years ago !!  ~ and this post has something on Cocanada (Circar area) cinema road theatre ‘Satyagouri’ [Sachhyagowri !] ~ the typewriter naturally attracted this typist !

The Sugarland Express, in 1974 crime drama film was  co-written and directed by Steven Spielberg in his theatrical feature directorial debut. It was  about a husband and wife trying to outrun the law and was based on a real-life incident. The event partially took place, the story is partially set, and the movie was partially filmed in Sugar Land, Texas.
The famous man - Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI  is a legendary  filmmaker. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era and one of the most popular directors and producers in film history.  After gaining traction in Hollywood with directing television and several minor theatrical releases, Spielberg became a household name as the director of Jaws (1975), which was critically and commercially successful, and is considered the first summer blockbuster.  His subsequent releases focused typically on science fiction and adventure films, with Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the Indiana Jones series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and the Jurassic Park series seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood escapist film making.  Spielberg co-founded Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Studios, where he has also served as a producer for several successful films, including the Back to the Future, Men in Black, and Transformers series. Some of his movies are also among the highest-grossing movies of all-time, while his total work, unadjusted for ticket-price inflation, makes him the highest-grossing film director in history.

The three-time Academy Award winner scored his best box office tally in two decades with 'Ready Player One,' a sci-fi romp that grossed $582 million.  Today, a slice of the cash from every ticket at Universal theme parks goes directly into Spielberg's pocket thanks to blockbuster hits like 'E.T.'  The man is in news – for his  upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story—the classic musical about rival street gangs in 1950s New York City—has found its male lead, Ansel Elgort, and is on track for a summer production start. Still, the Oscar winner isn’t quite ready to discuss the remake publicly.

“I don’t like to talk about things when I’m in the process. I’m still discovering things as I am working on the film. But I think it’s going to be special,” said Spielberg at the Arthur Miller Foundation Honors in New York, where he turned out to support West Side Story screenwriter Tony Kushner—recipient of the foundation’s humanitarian award. But unlike his collaborator, Kushner had plenty to say about the forthcoming movie. The playwright said that the new adaptation will not be an exact retelling of Robert Wise’s iconic 1961 film, instead, Spielberg’s version will turn back to the original 1957 Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  Some critics are against the idea of remaking West Side Story, arguing that the beloved original film—which won 10 Oscars, including best picture—should be left alone. Kushner, of course, disagrees. “Our version is not meant to wipe out the original film, which is a masterpiece. It’s just meant to be a new interpretation,” he said.

In good olden days of 1970s, people would stand in the line in long queues, before the film was released for buying a Rs.2.90 ticket at Devi Paradise !  Of the many Cinema halls in Cinema Road in Kakinada in East Godavari district, Satyagowri (written as Satyagouri mahal on its façade)  was perhaps unique.  In 1990s it used to screen only English movies – the specialty was they would issue only one ticket to the person standing in the queue, all had to stand in the queue and those who stood within the marked line, were sure of getting a ticket ! – it had good music system inside – understand that this theatre stands renovated in 2008, has increased  capacity and now screens Telegu movies as well – understand that this theatre after renovation  in 2008, it has  capacity of 696 and now screens Telegu movies as well.  I remember seeing this movie there – on day 1 – there were not many and more than half moved out fast in a few minutes as they could see more of a typewriter and letter only as someone leaving the hall remarked that after 20 minutes, the film is yet to begin !!

Oliwia Dabrowska, the polish actress who played Red Genia — otherwise known as the little girl in the red coat — became an instant celebrity.    Perhaps the most moving image in Steven Spielberg's epic Schindler's List is the little girl in the red coat, one of only four color images in the three-hour black and white film. Our attention is drawn to the little blonde tot, overlooked by the Nazi troops, who wanders alone amid the horror and panic. She is wearing a red coat which draws the viewer to her even when she is but one of a hundred people in a wide shot.

The movie  ‘Schindler’s List’ was  based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist,  released in 1993 -  directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian.  It was a film based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It starred Liam Neeson as Schindler.  Reportedly, Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden (Schindler Jews), made it his life's mission to tell the story of Schindler. Spielberg became interested in the story when executive Sid Sheinberg sent him a book review of Schindler's Ark. 

Schindler’s List perhaps  was a turning point for Steven Spielberg. As the movie turns 25 this year, some hold that the World started looking at Spielberg with more awe and regard.  The Academy Awards has often had a love/hate relationship with Steven Spielberg. On one hand, he made a lot of money for the industry. Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. were all nominated for Best Picture. However, a combination of jealousy and snobbery meant that several members of the Academy dismissed his early work as too sentimental, too crowd-pleasing to be important art.

Interesting !  ~  perhaps now (this juncture in life) is more suited to see and understand that masterpiece of Spielberg – ‘the Schindler’s list’.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Oct 2018.

1 comment:

  1. You are a mind blowing personality with so much knowledge in various fields. Great Sampath Ji.