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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:10 pm 
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Cronenfly wrote:
Definitely came to mind during my viewing, if that film were directed by Demy instead of a coked-out Scorsese and with Gosling as (eventually) a markedly less unrepentant asshole than De Niro in that film.

Honestly I think that Scorsese is a more similar voice than Demy with this.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:38 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:


The subtitle of that article should be "How to get Web clicks by tying your lame financial advice to a new film." Jazz musician," "actress," and career advice should not be contained in the same article!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:03 am 
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Chazelle had me hook, line and sinker with this film. I was smitten with Emma Stone and had a man crush on Gosling. I thought their chemistry was terrific, helped by smart dialogue. I enjoyed the musical numbers and dance sequences, which were beautifully shot and choreographed. Kudos to Linus Sandgren. It was just a fun movie even though the characters suffered through personal failures, but hey, that's life. I was just so emotionally into it, and then wham, clubbed over the head by the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
"5 years later" and what it represented. Mia's marriage to some dude and a kid in tow
which just drained all the emotion out of me. I didn't want to have to fill in all the blanks of what happened in that span. Chazelle leaves out a big chunk of life...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why did Mia not know Sebastian opened a club? Did they totally stop talking? Wasn't his selfless trip to Boulder City, Nevada just to tell her about the casting call that led to her success worth at least a continued friendship.
...which bugged me and disappointed me. I'm not a sentimentalist by any stretch and wasn't really rooting for them to live happily ever after.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
But the coldness of their final encounter left me cold, even with the final look back smile that seemed forced.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:36 am 
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FrauBlucher wrote:
Chazelle had me hook, line and sinker with this film. I was smitten with Emma Stone and had a man crush on Gosling. I thought their chemistry was terrific, helped by smart dialogue. I enjoyed the musical numbers and dance sequences, which were beautifully shot and choreographed. Kudos to Linus Sandgren. It was just a fun movie even though the characters suffered through personal failures, but hey, that's life. I was just so emotionally into it, and then wham, clubbed over the head by the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
"5 years later" and what it represented. Mia's marriage to some dude and a kid in tow

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure that was the boyfriend who she ditched earlier.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:12 am 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
The boyfriend's name was Greg (Finn Witrock) and the husband was David (Tom Everett Scott).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:48 am 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
Well then. I guess she has a physically indistinguishable type.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Chazelle will be the TCM guest programmer on January 18, where he will introduce It's Always Fair Weather, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Meet Me in St. Louis and City Lights (and presumably will also plug La La Land). It might be interesting to hear his thoughts on the musicals, particularly the Demy, which according to the linked piece he considers "the greatest movie ever made."


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:07 am 
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The strings don't quite swell like they used to (blame it on the Hollywood that calls Hooper's Les Miserables a musical) and the computer-assisted camera moves get too cartoonish for my taste, but Chazelle and Sandgren know how to use a 'Scope frame, composing for horizontal juxtaposition and parity, and though less precise, the balance between romantic musical numbers and naturalistic drama, as well as the manic and the depressive, as Jonathan Rosenbaum writes, are no less impressive. Aside from the obvious, maybe the best steal from Demy, and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort in particular, are the just-missed (asynchronous looks back after their first date) or almost missed ("I got coffee") connections between the couple, and the introduction of musical elements to dramatic scenes (Stone singing "Hey, it's me"). Along with the "desperate euphoria" of the musical numbers, they give La La Land some of the nervous energy that made Whiplash so exciting, though it's clearly something different. Stone's performance is really great and proves once again that she's an honest-to-God movie star. Gosling isn't, but for me, it's charming enough that he thinks he is.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:10 am 
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Loved this film. I particularly liked that Chazelle clearly understands the role dancing plays in many great musicals, and that he frames and stages and edits the dances to allow us to really see the dances develop. I also appreciated that there's only just enough musical numbers, rather than wall to wall singing of an opera like les mis or last five years, and that sometimes a number is just dancing, no song required, so to speak.

I also loved the attention to detail on the production design and costuming (oh the demy style costuming was stunning) to write in bold musical strokes. For instance, the scene where they drive out of the alley, and he turns the wrong way down a one way street, the recycle/trash bins in the alley? They are purple, they are not the normal colors of LA trash/recycle bins, the film is filled with subtle LA touches like that where they took the real and gave it a little twist to underline the film's reality.

And I really love that someone made a film that seems to see LA how I see it. Of course, I don't mean a magical place of singing and dancing, but a truly wonderful and vibrant city that constantly surprises me in a good way and that always has felt like home from the first moment I landed here. I am sick to death of all the snotty (almost always east coasters) folk complaining about how much they hate LA. those of us that love this city, always seem to be apologizing for it to someone, so it's wonderful to see something that just is straightforwardly positive while still gently mocking all the ridiculousness of the city.

And I really liked the wonderfully subtle touch that when they are exploring the warner lot and they look into a stage, you see beautifully painted expressionistic backgrounds, they are obviously wildly out of place in modern hollywood soundstage, but when we go into the Donen/Demy 'what if, in the mind' dance finale, those are the backgrounds that they dance through, the ones glimpsed in the far away background when she was only dreaming about success.

Finally, this is a film that fundamentally gets how relationships come together and fall apart here when life is filled with awkward schedules and far away dreams. a knockdown drag-out over scheduling and success (and lack there of) is not an uncommon refrain, and is especially true amongst the young.

and I love that they went for the Demy ending rather than the Disney ending. Just because it's magical realism doesn't mean it has to be happily ever after. and in not having a 'first loves' wind up together they wind up telling a more truthful and realist story amidst all the expressionist means. it's a fusion that works beautifully, and without that phenomenal ending, I don't think that the film would really work. it'd be cute and kitschy and really not all that different from Across the Universe. But it builds, develops and earns it's emotions and really is heir to a tradition of musicals like White Christmas or Umbrellas of Cherbourg that became rather unpopular as roadshow requirements changes in the late fifties bloated the genre to excess and then modernist realist fetishists popped the over-inflated bubble and gleefully eviscerated and imprisoned the genre for half a century.

It's wonderful to have this kind of film reappear


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:45 pm 
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I liked this, although nowhere near as much as its greatest admirers. Though I found it a forgettable experience, despite the rather nice taste it left. The songs, outside of Legend's, I couldn't recall five minutes after walking out of the theater, possibly because of how bland Gosling is as a singer. The cliched romance wore too much on me for it to leave any impact, and the breaking point of the relationship felt forced and elicited only an eye roll from me. But the visual polish won me over, and this was a delight to watch on the big screen. I can't imagine I'll have much desire to watch it again, but it was a nice way to spend New Year's Eve.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:59 pm 
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FrauBlucher wrote:
I was just so emotionally into it, and then wham, clubbed over the head by the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
"5 years later" and what it represented. Mia's marriage to some dude and a kid in tow
which just drained all the emotion out of me. I didn't want to have to fill in all the blanks of what happened in that span. Chazelle leaves out a big chunk of life...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why did Mia not know Sebastian opened a club? Did they totally stop talking? Wasn't his selfless trip to Boulder City, Nevada just to tell her about the casting call that led to her success worth at least a continued friendship.
...which bugged me and disappointed me. I'm not a sentimentalist by any stretch and wasn't really rooting for them to live happily ever after.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
But the coldness of their final encounter left me cold, even with the final look back smile that seemed forced.
Totally with you on this.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
He looked completely crestfallen when he saw her and then played. I'm all for ambiguity, but we needed something here.


knives wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure that was the boyfriend who she ditched earlier.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
If this was true the chasm it would have caused would have made this movie all kinds of amazing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:35 pm 
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What I took away from La La Land is that the choreography of the camera is exemplary whereas the choreography of the performers is very mundane. This works fine when just Stone and Gosling are on the screen (their park bench routine was the highlight of the film for me), but I was surprised at how dull the dance moves were in the big cast numbers. I guess this was due to unfulfilled expectations of the film being a return to the "classic Hollywood musicals of the 40s/50s" promised by so many reviews. Chazelle clearly intends to give us songs-and-dances by everyday folks who don't sing or dance too well and, while that has its charms, I was hoping to be dazzled a bit more. While I wasn't expecting, or wanting, wall-to-wall numbers, there has to be a good thirty-minute plus stretch in the film's third quarter where it forgets it's a musical. Stone's solo number and the big finale end things in a fine fashion, but overall the film feels uneven. I agree that "City of Stars" is a strong song, but it's the only strong one the film has. For all the ridicule heaped on A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran", it's more memorable than the film's originals.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:01 pm 
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I agree. I don't know that this film is wholly exceptional as a modern-day musical. The songs are not particularly distinguished, and the choreography is rarely exceptional (It's best when it relies on the scrappy charm of its stars, less so in big numbers, where the camera is either too rushed or close). For those waiting for the rebirth of the musical, hope Leos Carax.

But as a dazzling love story – where the musical numbers are just one piece of Chazelle's dazzle-toolkit – I thought it was very effective, especially regarding the way love affairs can be undone by career and compromises to life.

I'm surprised no one yas brought up the influence of I Love Melvin: from the initial fake-out meet-hate, to the way the film ignores it's a musical for a solid stretch of it's narrative at the end. More importantly, it's the way the film is both an airy and fluffy story of wide eyed dreamers, and a much more bitter story about working-class life and life's hard compromises. Although ultimately Melvin is the more pessimistic story, interestingly enough.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:20 pm 
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I thought Nick Pinkerton exquisitely captured the pedestrian worker beeness of La La Land.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:14 am 
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In addition to all of the other influences that have been mentioned, I think "Cleo From 5 to 7" must have been an influence. My favorite scene from that film is when Cleo sings "Sans Toi" in her apartment. It begins very realistically, as she is looking at some new songs that Michel Legrand's character has given her, then the camera pans and zooms to a closeup of her face, looking into the camera, framed by a black background. The orchestra slowly creeps in and eventually builds to the climax of the song. It then finishes abruptly and quietly, snapping back to reality.

That is exactly how "Here's to the Dreamers" (at Mia's audition) plays out. I haven't watched too many musicals, so perhaps that type of scene is common enough; but "Cleo" immediately came to mind for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:36 pm 
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jorencain wrote:
In addition to all of the other influences that have been mentioned, I think "Cleo From 5 to 7" must have been an influence. My favorite scene from that film is when Cleo sings "Sans Toi" in her apartment. It begins very realistically, as she is looking at some new songs that Michel Legrand's character has given her, then the camera pans and zooms to a closeup of her face, looking into the camera, framed by a black background. The orchestra slowly creeps in and eventually builds to the climax of the song. It then finishes abruptly and quietly, snapping back to reality.

That is exactly how "Here's to the Dreamers" (at Mia's audition) plays out. I haven't watched too many musicals, so perhaps that type of scene is common enough; but "Cleo" immediately came to mind for me.
Definitely. The movie uses the technique of shutting off set lights during the shot to spotlight the main characters in this number and several others throughout. Then it cleverly does the inverse during The Messengers performance, starting with only Seb lit then turning on the rest of the stage lights to reveal the band, betraying the intimacy and individuality of the other numbers.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:37 am 
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There's nothing exactly new here from a story perspective, with the ever retraced Hollywood/Entertainer Dreams & Romance tale taking center stage - yet filtering it through Gene Kelly, Jacques Demy and a variety of other classic musical styles reminds me of how Lucas snatched and grabbed from a hodge podge of older adventure tales for Star Wars. This isn't as pure and clean from a cultural zeitgeist perspective as that, but I couldn't help smile as Chazelle smashed together the endings of An American in Paris (for production design) and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (for the melancholy mood) for his film's finale. I did find the dance choreography too sedate - especially in contrast to the bold camera movements. Many will find the story fluff too run-of-the-mill to be overcome by the obvious energy involved in getting the film made, and others may fall in love with the latter despite the familiar fable. I find myself in the middle - it's pretty great, even if it's substantially a remix. 9/10


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:10 am 
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Roger Ryan wrote:
there has to be a good thirty-minute plus stretch in the film's third quarter where it forgets it's a musical.


This is actually not as uncommon as one would think in classic Hollywood musicals. The Wizard of Oz, for instance, doesn't have a single number after If I Were King of the Forest a little over halfway through the film.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:44 pm 
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Argh. So I'm sitting there watching La La Land and for the first three quarters all I can think is why is this not clicking? The film looks amazing, it sounds great, I love some BabyGoose, Whiplash was an instant classic, but this is not grabbing me and I'm distracted. Why's Emma Stone so gaunt? This print is looking a bit soft on a screen this size. Where the fuck did she get takeaway coffee from?

Winter... five years later. Finally, Emma Stone is made to look healthy. She enters Seb's. He catches her eye. He sits at the piano. He starts the refrain. Dear God! Suddenly, I'm fighting back the tears. There's a woman sobbing several seats down from me too.

I should share: I did manage to hold back the floodgates, but Gosling only needed to play a few more keys before going on their voyage, the director only needed to linger a moment more and I would have gone.

This took a long time to deliver for me, but in its final moments it did come together. A full masterpiece would have broken me down, but this fell just short. I rarely have the urge to watch films for a second time in close proximity, but I do here. I think this will age well with a second viewing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:01 am 
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I liked it, mostly. The actual musical parts were easily the best part of the film. Maybe they should've stuck at it throughout. Not that either Gosling or Stone are the greatest singers or movers but the dramatic aspects of the film seemed a little forgettable.

Hadley Freeman reckons Seb is every bad date you ever had - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... te-you-had

Seb was basically an old man in Ryan Gosling's body. Look at how he dressed, how intransigent he was, how he insisted he knew more than everyone else. He's also one of the dudes in High Fidelity just a jazz aficionado.

Shame we didn't see any of So Long, Boulder City. I'd have liked to have seen whether it was a good play or not!!! What happened to her flatmates who she ditched as soon as she hooked up with Seb?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:47 pm 
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I would've liked more musical numbers as well. A fuller "I want" number for Emma Stone might have been nice, her little tidbit in "Someone in the Crowd" (a wasted opportunity for a satire of LA culture) was tantalizingly brief. They could've musicalized the debate about jazz between Seb and his musician friend. They could've musicalized the argument. They could've even musicalized So Long, Boulder City, giving us a glimpse into her childhood and possibly setting up the interview number.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Hilarious sketch sending up exactly what I expected to happen with the reputation of this movie


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:46 pm 
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The state of this article: BBC News on "overhyped" La La Land


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:20 pm 

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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


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:21 pm 
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It's just click-bait-- oh no, people like a movie too much, time for a thinkpiece!


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