Topic 2
West Side Story (2021) *required
West Side Story (1961) *required
One additional film review *required

Develop a comparative analysis based on the latest adaptation of West Side Story (2021) directed by Steven Spielberg. Compare this film to the 1961 version of the same title directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, starring Natalie Wood. Comparison, for this assignment, is a rhetorical strategy to be used to help convince the University Committee and other readers that the latest version of this film is successful enough to make the list. The focus of this assignment is to develop an argument that persuades committee members that the 2021 film should be included on its list. Your essay should convince the committee, as well as others who have viewed the films, that your judgment is well-reasoned and worth serious consideration.

Explicitly state your thesis about the films success in the introduction of your paper, and establish clear elements that will be compared/contrasted, i.e., character(s), actors, music, costumes, and so on. Dont be too ambitious. Choose 2-3 elements to discuss thoroughly. Keep in mind that while this essay will, by necessity, discuss plot elements of the film, at no point should your piece be just summary. You must move beyond merely retelling the film story to addressing elements of the film that you determine contribute to its success. Remember that the success of an adaptation is not in its similarity (or difference from) the original, but in its ability to convey the theme and tone.

A successful paper must draw upon at least one film review (and optional other secondary sources about the film or film artists). Use New York Times Film Reviews or for authoritative sources. Be sure to list all sources, including the film, on a Works Cited page.