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La La Land: An Extinct Genre Come to Life

A True Homage to the Classic Movie Musicals

When you hear of musicals, you usually have this idea that the characters would burst out singing or dance on the streets. And it is still quite true with La La Land. The beginning presents a setting wherein everything is vivid and vibrant. The singing and the dancing begins at the very start of the movie and in a way it was refreshing to see something like it. People suddenly getting out of their car and dancing atop them give you a whole new experience. It is hard to imagine a modern movie actually making something like a musical work, but it did in this movie and the casting and the musical scores and the cinematography plays a huge role in it.

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One of the Best Films of 2016

The film actually won in all categories that it was nominated for at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. It also was nominated for fourteen Oscars and was considered one of the best films in 2016. Director Damien Chazelle actually had to wait five years before he was able to truly film the movie, which was written in 2010. Luckily, his success in Whiplash allowed him a chance to be noticed and the project was picked up by Summit Entertainment. There are a few interesting facts about the filming of the movie and here are a few of them.

  • The film’s opening credits say “Presented in Cinemascope” which serves as a tribute to widescreen musicals.
  • The initial setting of the movie was Boston, but Chazelle chose LA years later and commented that “there is something very poetic about the city I think, about a city that is built by people with these unrealistic dreams and people who kind of just put it all on the line for that.”
  • Production Designer, Wasco, created various fake vintage film posters which Chazelle created names for.
  • The Prius scene, which was six minutes long, had to be completed within a brief moment during “magic hour” at sunset.
  • Getting the tone of the movie took nearly a year to accomplish and was the main focus for everyone who worked on the film.

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Essentially, the movie was able to narrate a story about how two passionate people come to terms with the harsh realities of trying to reach your dreams while still keeping your feet firmly on the ground. All the elements, the narrative, the soundtrack and the cinematography has contributed to its overall eminence. It became a widely acclaimed movie that reminds people of how classical movies had been.

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It just goes to show that with the right combination, something wonderful can be accomplished that will allow people to be affected in a truly deep way.