NHK Airing West Side Story in 8K


NHK is premiering a remastered 8K version of West Side Story on its 8K satellite channel, BS8K.

The 1961 feature film is based on a stage musical with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents, and inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Set in downtown New York City, it depicts a forbidden romance between Tony and Maria, who are caught up in the rivalry between two street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks.

NHK had the film studio make an 8K scan of the original 65mm negative of West Side Story and remaster it for broadcast. The remastered movie will air on December 12 at 7 p.m., December 20 at 4 p.m., and December 27 at 10 a.m. (JST) on NHK’s BS8K.

Hakuno Takahiko, NHK’s 8K channel controller, said: “The remastered 8K version of West Side Story beautifully recaptures the clarity and vivid colors of this beloved masterpiece of musical film. People may have seen the movie many times and believe they know it well, but they’ll now be delighted to make new discoveries in it. Especially given that the coronavirus pandemic is keeping people away from movie theaters, I hope people watching TV at home will enjoy rediscovering a movie that amazed the world 60 years ago.”