Thursday, March 17, 2011

West Side Story Assignment

Watch the following three clips from the film “West Side Story” and answer the accompanying questions. Your answers should be 3 to 4 sentences in length, in grammatically correct Spanish. Remember to use details from the film. Do not limit yourself to the lyrics of the song—pay attention to the costumes and settings and include them in your answer, too.

Each question is constructed so you will think about the values and viewpoints of the people who are depicted in the film. If your answer does not include how the film reflects the values and viewpoints of the people in the film, please review it!

Please feel free to attach photos and links to other YouTube videos we have watched in class as examples in your answer.

  1. In the dance number where Tony and Maria meet for the first time, there is a combination of modern dance and mambo. The mambo is used not only because it was popular in the United States during the 50’s. Why would this scene be dedicated to mambo, and what does it tell us about the Puerto Rican relationship with the Caucasians?
  2. Focus on the costumes in this scene. What do they reveal about the characters, especially Maria and the other women in the scene? Where do these images come from?

  1. What is the relationship between the women in the song “America” and the United States? How is it different then the relationship the men have with the United States?.

  1. What kind of social commentary or criticism does “Officer Krupke” offer? Even though it is sung by the Jets, how does it apply to the Sharks?