Tag Archives: Leonard Bernstein

WEST SIDE STORY (2021) – AFI Movie Club Pick of the Day


Posted by Larry Gleeson

American Film Institute (AFI) Trustee and AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Steven Spielberg brings an electrifying new vision to the classic tale created by maestros Steven Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, and originally envisioned for the screen by AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Robert Wise, with West Side Story (2021), today’s AFI Movie Club pick of the day!



This vibrant and cinematic new rendering of WEST SIDE STORY included a number of AFI Alumni – including cinematographer Janusz Kamiński (Class of 1987), editor Sarah Broshar (Class of 2005), and assistant payroll accountant Cindy Li (Class of 2013).

Interestingly, Ariana Debose’s shoes melted during the filming of the “America” dance. Partly due to the hot weather and partly due to Debose’s hot dancing style choreographed by Justin Peck!

Check out Ariana Debose on The Power of Music from the recent 2021 AFI AWARDS luncheon.



“WEST SIDE STORY leaps into American film history a complete original – while standing tall upon stories foundational to the human experience. Steven Spielberg leads with love and forges his position as our greatest modern master, seeking out and soaring above new challenges and assembling a creative ensemble that speaks to the genius of both past and present – from Tony Kushner and Rita Moreno to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. For all who wish to embrace art in modern-day, this film is a rapturous celebration of America’s vast and varied voices, and at the same moment, a stinging question of what it will take to become ‘one hand, one heart.’” -The American Film Institute, AFI AWARDS 2021

Rita Morena, who earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1961 version of West Side Story, returned on the 2021 version adding a living bridge between the two versions. Moreno is also credited as an Executive Producer and in a newly envisioned role.

West Side Story (2021) is available to stream on HBO, HBO Max, and Disney among others.



About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.

AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

(Source: AFI News Release)