La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

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mfunk9786
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#101 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:21 pm

dda1996a wrote:Can't take that article seriously when he keeps bringing up how great he thinks Chicago is. LL Land is far from the perfect film the awards will lead you to believe it is, but it's ten times the film Chicago wishes it can be
Chicago is a [much?] better film than La La Land.

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domino harvey
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#102 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:26 pm

Agreed. Article is still stupid and it's actually a terrible comparison in that they have little in common other than their genre and their Oscar hopes

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#103 Post by knives » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:07 pm

Third all of the above.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#104 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:27 am

And we all just did exactly what the article did. Point proven. I'm fine with people discussing how they find it overrated but it felt pointless for me to add his opinion. And I still think Chicago is a bad film.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#105 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:27 am

I think Chicago's visual direction is a little drab but the story and music are phenomenal.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#106 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:52 am

To be precise, I dislike Rob Marshall's Chicago. I wish I could have seen the Fosse stage musical

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rohmerin
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#107 Post by rohmerin » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:58 am

Amazing video a film student Spaniard made with the classic "Homenajes"

http://verne.elpais.com/verne/2017/01/2 ... omentarios" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Edit: Ryan Gosling danced with my friend Claudia Llosa when she was nominated for the Oscar, after the Foreign directors lunch. Did Haneke dance too? I asked, but I don't remember what she replied.

The film is good but not great. Has Agnes Varda and Demy's son see it?

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domino harvey
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#108 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:11 am

Varda actually participated in a screening with the cast and Chazelle last month

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#109 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:53 pm

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on La La Land: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/k ... azz-975786" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A thoughtful comment, reflecting mixed feelings.

Still haven't _seen_ this film, but have _heard_ the soundtrack -- which didn't impress me (even a little).

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Brian C
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#110 Post by Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:11 pm

I wonder, am I alone in not seeing John Legend's character as a sellout? By all indications, he's making music he believes in, and while it's implied that he has a history as a jazz musician, there's no reason to think that his dreams are or ever were as single-mindedly devoted to jazz traditionalism as Sebastian's. And I think his chiding of Sebastian - that he can't be a visionary while also being such a dogged purist, or words to that extent - rings true.

I've seen the criticism that Legend's character is a manifestation of black stereotype so often now that I can't help but see it as conventional wisdom. But I think it's unfair, because frankly, I think Legend's character is more nuanced than he's given credit for, and besides, why would we automatically presume that the only proper example to follow is Sebastian's in the first place?

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#111 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:22 pm

I agree with you, Brian C - it was another soft spot of the screenwriting for Legend's character to be framed through the barely concealed contempt that Gosling's has for him, and some of the moments like the photo shoot or the hilariously tonedeaf "whoa, this concert is cool... but it's also too big and scary!" sequence with Stone in the audience of their first performance are easily the worst in the film. The degree of resistance that this film has toward success at times (usually through the perspective of Gosling, but the finale with Stone isn't exactly an endorsement for it either) seems totally counter to the way it frames itself as being about how wonderful it is to follow your dreams. The late 2nd/early 3rd act of this film seems to be in conflict with the rest of it in a way that has not aged well in my memory, especially because it's so successful in other areas.

CUT TO: "And the award for Best Original Screenplay goes to..."

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#112 Post by knives » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:24 pm

Wait, we weren't supposed to think that Legend is 100% correct and Gosling is an idiot?

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#113 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:33 pm

I came away feeling like both Gosling and Stone made their lives (together and apart, but mostly together) far more complicated and difficult than they needed to be, but I wouldn't go as far as describing either as idiots (though "here's to the fools who dream" is certainly an interesting lyric, considering). Legend's character dreamed too, and is achieving success without majorly compromising his creativity. And he could afford to open 10 jazz clubs in his off time to boot.

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Brian C
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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#114 Post by Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:45 pm

I guess that, the way I see it, two things can be simultaneously true:

1) Sebastian is a sellout for joining Keith's band. I think "sellout" is a little harsh, but it's made abundantly clear that he's only doing it for money and success and not any kind of creative fulfillment.
2) Keith is not a sellout, because he's making the music he wants to make.

So the narrative conflict that arises from #1 is completely legitimate, as far as it goes. But it seems like far too many critics are using that to transfer the same moral judgment over to Keith, but that's a fallacy. And it's especially odd that this is made out to be an example of racism (or at least stereotyping), when what's really happening is that the people making this accusation are doing so primarily, it seems, based on what the white character in the movie thinks without even considering the black character's point of view.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#115 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:30 pm

Brian C wrote:And it's especially odd that this is made out to be an example of racism (or at least stereotyping), when what's really happening is that the people making this accusation are doing so primarily, it seems, based on what the white character in the movie thinks without even considering the black character's point of view.
That could go both ways [yessss, I got to use that colloquialism in a discussion about race! First time anyone's ever done it] though, because the film centers a lot of those Legend sequences around what Stone/Gosling think without even considering the black character's point of view.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#116 Post by Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:43 pm

Does it, though? Like knives, I thought there was obvious wisdom in what Keith was saying. Indeed, it's false to say that his point of view isn't considered when he gets a chance to tell Sebastian exactly how he feels about it.

And I don't think the film ever makes it look like Keith is creatively unfulfilled the way Sebastian is, so I guess I don't get what you're saying. The film is obviously centered on Sebastian and Mia, and so their point of view is given an extended airing, but that doesn't mean that the film itself takes their point of view.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#117 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:55 pm

You're right that Legend has his moment to explain his perspective on it, but I still think that within the structure of the plot, that period of Gosling's arc (and Stone's reaction to it) is framed as a betrayal of Gosling's purity more than a breakthrough/beginning of an upward trend for him. He's admonished by Stone for even entertaining the notion of going along with this, and that's followed by his missing her play because of his newfound responsibility, which I took as the film punishing him for even suggesting to Stone that she liked him better when he was unsuccessful - no, it's because we're supposed to see his decision to begin touring with the band as a huge mistake, as if people can't possibly balance a successful career and a fruitful personal relationship. Even Stone, late in the film, seems at least somewhat unhappy with her relationship, but is going through the motions because she chose her career over a stimulating personal life. It's a very strange fiction that the film creates that's at odds with much of its optimistic "follow your dreams and your life will have meaning" narrative, in my view.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#118 Post by knives » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:17 pm

But like Brian said earlier just because that is true of the perceived reality of our two leads doesn't make that an absolute truth within the view the camera allows us to see. Stone and Gosling seem to perceive by the end of the film that Legend's way is wrong, but the film is open just enough for them to come across as at least pig headed if not exactly wrong with the addition that Legend seems to earnestly believe he is doing artistic good and certainly the film gives him a very strong argument. I don't particularly like this movie, but any accusation of racism seems to be audience imposed rather than easily derived from the text of the film.

I think your final points are dead accurate and part of what makes me not like the film, but that seems to speak more about Chazelle's preferred view of success than any direct reality of the characters. Or to phrase another way the film along with Gosling seem to morally disagree with Legend while at the same time allowing for his path to be valid at least for him.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#119 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:39 pm

This film isn't entirely innocent of racial cluelessness at times, but it's a pretty huge stretch to call it racist. Of a similar mind here as Hacksaw Ridge in that department.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#120 Post by knives » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:57 pm

That's fair (though I can't think of anything to improve upon the film's cluelessness that wouldn't be arbitrary).

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#121 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:59 pm

Same with Hacksaw Ridge, strangely enough, which circles back nicely to the idea that maybe shoehorning in corrective measures to shield art from these sorts of accusations would reduce its overall quality - unless that art is made with bad intentions, of course

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#122 Post by Shrew » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:41 am

I agree with Brian's points, though I will add that Sebastian's "sellout" moment doesn't really come until the concert and later the argument. I think the film sees his joining the band as a necessary and even responsible step. His problem, as Mia points out in the argument, is that he later resigns himself to just touring with this band and earning money, forgetting about his club dream. That last step is a flaw in the script--we understand the social pressure that pushed Sebastian to take the gig, but that pressure was never enough that the band would logically become his new end goal.

The confusion over how to view Legend's character also seems directly related to how people think we're supposed to receive the one song we hear the band play. If the song's bad, then Legend's a hack and a sellout. If you think the song's decent, then Sebastian's just following down a valid path that's not right for him (in that he's playing a piano part not much more complicated than "Run"--which is also a perfectly fine song that's just not musically complex to make Sebastian happy). This is compounded by the way the sequence is filmed, which I agree with mfunk is probably one of the film's worst parts. It's meant to convey Mia's personal shock at seeing Sebastian settle for playing music he once derided, but the shots of her getting swallowed by the crowd play more like fear/disgust at the song. I think Chazelle actually meant the raucous crowd shots to actually prop up the song as legitimately good music, but it ends up looking more like now true believer Mia can't get into the plebeian music. The film ends up muddling her reaction to Sebastian's performance with her reaction to the song and by proxy Legend.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#123 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:15 pm

There are a lot of muddled philosophies at play in the film, which feels like a natural, unfortunate growth from Chazelle's suggestion that the relationship in Whiplash was actually good.

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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#124 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:15 pm


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Re: La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

#125 Post by Salamanca » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:19 pm

Honestly, I couldn't stop looking at them looking at their feet. Thought Emma Stone was the strongest element of the picture. True star quality. Have a certain antipathy toward Gosling performances, though his hangdog face certainly suits the pathetic nature of his character. I really felt he was greatly miscast. Could have used an actor with far more skill in expressing defeat sensitively.

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