XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => 2016 In Film => Topic started by: Lottery on July 25, 2016, 11:09:31 PM

Title: La La Land
Post by: Lottery on July 25, 2016, 11:09:31 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDMf9m7FXd4

A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Written and directed by  Damien Chazelle.
Starring  Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons.

Looks wonderfully stylised. That shot at 0:45 is blowing my mind for some reason.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Just Withnail on July 26, 2016, 04:01:10 AM
Looks a little like a Punch-Drunk Love musical.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Pedro on September 01, 2016, 04:47:19 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBUXcNTjviI

The chord progression and melody from 0:38 - 0:50 is just perfect. 
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: modage on December 10, 2016, 01:26:20 PM
Recently there was a pretty great article about the Death of Film (culture) on The Ringer (https://theringer.com/movie-industry-shifts-peak-tv-arrival-moonlight-f0a5ddd85384#.vfnpaw9r3) and in it there were a few good quotes that stuck with me. One from Mark Harris about TV v. Film (https://twitter.com/modage/status/795446761838047233) and how good/great movies are still being made, they just seem to matter less in the culture and are becoming more of a niche, and another one (https://twitter.com/modage/status/795444649028702212) from Bret Easton Ellis (who says some attention-baiting things from time to time but this one I happened to agree with) is that it's great for filmmakers like PTA who have Annapurna to back them but there aren't really any PTA's being raised. And I got a little pushback on that one, so I clarified "Not sure I've seen a 27 year old filmmaker make a studio film that blew my socks off like Boogie Nights did since '97."

But last night I saw La La Land and have to amend that statement. I liked Whiplash (solid B/B-) and would've been interested to see what he did next but never would have expected him to make the leap that he did here, which is truly a Hard Eight to Boogie Nights level jump in ambition/scale/talent the likes of which I really haven't seen since the 90s. Movies may be on their way out like jazz but La La Land makes the case for film. The best ones still do what TV never can. La La Land is so good & such a delicate tightrope of nostalgia/new that I'm shocked that none of the 90s auteurs got there first! PTA & David O. Russell must be kicking themselves for never making a full-blown musical. Punch-Drunk Love got close but veered Demme instead of Demy.

Also: lots of early PTA influence in this, Boogie Nights to Punch-Drunk Love especially. And I'm sure he was absorbing the same influences PTA was when he was namedropping Astaire/Rogers and Singin' In The Rain before PDL, but he goes all the way with it. And I was concerned it might be too self-conscious but Chazelle sells it. Other than Riley Stearns' Faults (which had some major PTA vibez), this is the first film I've seen that feels like it's aping young PTA and trying to one-up him the way that PTA did to Altman and Scorsese. (Chazelle has mentioned screening Boogie Nights among other classic musicals as inspiration for the film.) If teenagers still watch movies anymore, La La Land should be a total gateway drug to classic cinema like Boogie Nights was for me.

In early 2012, I saw Emma Stone in a Live Read of The Apartment in the Shirley Maclaine part and she blew me away. I'd liked her in films, and she had been funny, but I'd never seen her do anything like this before, and remember thinking (and writing (http://www.indiewire.com/2012/04/jason-reitman-debuts-his-live-read-series-in-nyc-with-the-apartment-starring-paul-rudd-emma-stone-110976/)) that the first director to take advantage of this and give her a party worthy of her talents was going to hit the jackpot. I thought it might be Jason Reitman (since he cast her in the Reading and obviously saw what we saw) or Cameron Crowe who would've seemed the best fit to channel Wilder's bittersweet dramedic tone, but he whiffed. But 4 1/2 years later, with La La Land she finally gets a chance and she is incredible. Third time's the charm for a Gosling/Stone film actually worthy of their onscreen chemistry. With both this & The Nice Guys, Gosling has really gotten good at physical comedy, almost a silent comedian at times. Both of their singing voices are average which only helps the film's ragged edges.

The soundtrack is a grower. I've probably heard it 25 times since last night and now I want to see the film again immediately. I know everyone is talking about Oscar stuff but I kinda hope it doesn't win Best Picture because it's too good for that. In a year with La La Land, how some critics could vote for that 3-hour unfunny piece of shit (http://www.indiewire.com/2016/12/sight-sound-2016-top-20-films-toni-erdmann-best-movie-1201751503/) over this, I will never understand. Lots more to say, don't want to tread into spoilers. But the Xixax of 2003 would've loved and dissected the shit out of this one.

This is the best film of 2016.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: samsong on December 11, 2016, 06:38:36 PM
it's alright.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: modage on December 11, 2016, 07:30:21 PM
 :doh:
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: polkablues on December 11, 2016, 09:23:52 PM
Bet you wish you had known that before you wrote that whole long thing.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: samsong on December 12, 2016, 01:41:16 AM
it's a charming, competent, nostalgic nod to movie musicals with some genuinely enthralling musical numbers.  justin hurwitz's music is by far the best part of the movie, a worthy homage to michel legrand.  gosling almost steals the entire show, and the two of them are adorable together.

there's a lot of dramatic posturing though that suggests to me that damien chazelle's appreciation and understanding of demy is purely superficial.  the spectacle and exuberance is all there but the pathos and romantic ambivalence are, at best, forced.  there's one scene in particular that is so abrupt and filled with unearned emotional beats, a kind of jerky gear shift sending the film towards a referential ending.  the second half is riddled with narrative missteps.

it's good, and a lot of fun.  it's also frivolous.

this is not the best film of 2016.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: matt35mm on December 12, 2016, 01:09:41 PM
I really loved it. Perhaps it's due to Chazelle's youth, but there was a commitment to the purity of feeling that made this much more than a technical exercise, although the technical aspects happen to be quite good, so that's all the better. It reminds me of how David Gordon Green's first couple of movies also succeed because of this total commitment to the large feelings of youth, and as he got "wiser" and learned the ropes a bit more, that magical quality was lost, even when all the same tricks are pulled.

I've recently been in an odd state as a movie-goer where I'm primarily experiencing a film intellectually, because I'm recognizing the whys and hows of the decision-making, and it's been hard to shut that part of my brain up. So I've been admiring more films than I've been loving lately.

So the lovely surprise of this movie was that it was able to shove me back in my seat, tell me to shut the hell up and just watch this and feel the feelings. A lot of that probably depends on happening to catch it at just the right time of day and being in the right mood and all that stuff, but I was just ready for this and am very happy about its existence.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: ©brad on December 27, 2016, 09:13:49 AM
Damien Chazelle is our new PTA. And thank god because we desperately need another one. By the end of the opening sequence (and holy shit, what a bravura piece of filmmaking that was), I was sold. 

I agree with Mod and Matt-man completely, although I would go even further and say this does Punch Drunk Love better than Punch Drunk Love, and is a more successful film. People were literally skipping out of the theaters when the credits rolled.

there's one scene in particular that is so abrupt and filled with unearned emotional beats, a kind of jerky gear shift sending the film towards a referential ending.  the second half is riddled with narrative missteps.

Which scene do you speak of?

Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Tictacbk on December 27, 2016, 02:46:18 PM
This was a delight, and has been growing on me for the last few days to the point where I definitely want to see it again. I also happened to see it a historic old LA theater, so that was nice.

I'm thrilled that people seem to think Damien Chazelle is the next PTA, but I don't see it yet. Which is to say, Boogie Nights this is not. Of course thats an unfair comparison, but I don't think this is PDL either. It's an extremely well made, fun and exciting musical, and I had a smile on my face the whole time, but I didn't get that "Holy shit this is incredible, I need to google this director's name and then spend the next 15 years of my life on an internet forum that sprouted from his fansite" feeling when I watched it. Maybe I'm just getting old?

I felt like it was missing a soul. All of the parts where there, and it was delightful, but it didn't hit me in the gut. Like I said, I'm gonna see it again, and I'm hoping the pathos I'm looking for is already there and I missed it. But maybe not? Also, for a film called "La La Land" I didn't feel like Los Angeles was well represented (especially if you're comparing it to PTA movies). Maybe this was by design, but it felt like it was made by an outsider. Chazelle could be a total LA guy, I don't know. But it felt like it was made by someone who has never been here. Like if Lars Von Trier wanted to make an LA movie and could also experience joy.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: polkablues on December 27, 2016, 02:53:01 PM
The most unrealistic part of the movie to me, even more so than people spontaneously breaking into song, was the characters' continuous insistence that Los Angeles is an aesthetically pleasing city, rather than the brownish, fluorescent-lit strip mall I know it to be.

Otherwise, this sums it up perfectly for me, too:
It's an extremely well made, fun and exciting musical, and I had a smile on my face the whole time, but I didn't get that "Holy shit this is incredible, I need to google this director's name and then spend the next 15 years of my life on an internet forum that sprouted from his fansite" feeling when I watched it. Maybe I'm just getting old?

Especially that last part. This is a movie that, if I had seen it when I was 19, I probably would have been convinced I had just seen one of the best movies of all time. My disappointment was less with the movie and more with myself for not being able to capture that feeling anymore.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: samsong on December 28, 2016, 12:45:47 AM
Which scene do you speak of?

SPOILERS
the resentment-a-thon dinner scene was complete horseshit.  it's a forced, device-heavy, writers workshop ploy to start the wheels turning towards the the umbrellas of cherbourg ending.  there's literally no argument to the contrary that i would even begin to entertain as remotely valid.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
END SPOILERS

john legend is the harbinger of "yea, i'm done taking this seriously", and it's when it gets the most serious about its "ideas."  #meh

the only thing i've read about this movie that gives credence to the notion that it's anything more than an amusing musical is jonathan rosenbaum's reivew (http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2016/12/the-manic-depressiveness-of-la-la-land/).  i like it just fine but i'm not losing my shit over it, nor do i see cause for that, but to each his own.

but this:
although I would go even further and say this does Punch Drunk Love better than Punch Drunk Love, and is a more successful film.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/16/fc/4d/16fc4d79587b70dc8c0e608b48f8cafa.gif)

also, toni erdmann shits all over this movie.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: ©brad on December 28, 2016, 04:36:55 PM
SPOILERS
there's literally no argument to the contrary that i would even begin to entertain as remotely valid.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
END SPOILERS

Hah, how Trump-ian of you.

but this:
although I would go even further and say this does Punch Drunk Love better than Punch Drunk Love, and is a more successful film.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/16/fc/4d/16fc4d79587b70dc8c0e608b48f8cafa.gif)

Your reaction to La La Land is kind of how I feel about PDL now. When it first came out and I was 17, I was as obsessed over it as anyone else, but I wonder if that had more to do with youth and an irrational obsession with PTA. I watched it a few months ago and I loved its exuberance, style, and weirdness, but I'm not sure it has all that much to say in the end. I say this not to ignite a PDL/La La Land pissing match (which on this site, I'm sure to lose), I just don't think PDL has significantly more pathos or substance.



 
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: RegularKarate on December 29, 2016, 11:02:57 AM
I loved this movie, but let's settle down on the PTA comparisons. It almost makes me like this movie less.
almost

It's flashy, beautiful dancing and singing and expressing emotion and I love it, but I'm pretty sure after a few more viewings, the emptiness will peak out a little more harshly.

See this on a big screen.*


(*but then watch PDL again, because FUCK that's such a better movie)
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: modage on December 29, 2016, 04:46:56 PM
I loved this movie, but let's settle down on the PTA comparisons

I think things got a little out of control but let me try to clarify my earlier post a bit.

Firstly, let's not get it twisted: PTA is and will always be the greatest, period.

But what I was responding to specifically is what B.E.E. had brought up about there being "no more PTA's being raised." And that isn't to say that there aren't talented young filmmakers out there today, because of course there are (go Ghostboyyy), but that those filmmakers aren't getting the same opportunities to SWING FOR THE FENCES the way that the 90s class of auteurs did. What I miss specifically is the 2nd or 3rd film, the step-up from indie to 30-to-60-ish million dollar swing-for-the-fences film, and that is disappearing. Because what happens is you have promising dudes like Ryan Coogler having to do his best within pre-existing franchises and IP instead of making his Boogie Nights or Three Kings or Adaptation or Fight Club or The Fountain or what-have-you. Now I loved Creed, but it's no Boogie Nights and whether Coogler was capable of stepping up into something on that scale, I guess we'll just have to wonder. So right off the bat, what I love about La La Land is it fits into that disappearing class of film. I liked Whiplash but would not have pegged Chazelle as a dude who could've made a film like La La Land, and I'm really glad he did. Whether he flames out from here or keeps stepping it up is anybodies guess.

Secondly, I think that Chazelle is part of a younger group of dudes (about our age) who grew up idolizing that 90s crew as much as that 90s crew grew up idolizing that 70s crew, so it's interesting to watch a film and start seeing someone aping little PTA stylistic touches the way PTA aped them from Scorsese or Altman. It may be debatable whether he's getting them directly from PTA or whether he's stealing them from the earlier films that PTA stole them from, but I don't think it's a stretch to think that there are some nods/touches coming directly from him. Here are some quirky delights that stood out to me (feel free to add some after you've seen it).

- Obviously the color washes on the title cards in the trailer were a direct nod to PDL.
- The girl jumping in the pool during Someone In The Crowd (even though the camera stays above water) reminds me of the I Am Cuba shot from Boogie.
- Gosling's apartment has a drab, plain Barry Egan feel to it.
- The iris in during the kiss reminds me of the iris in with Barry and Lena holding hands in PDL.
- Lense flares on Gosling, the lovelorn lead character creating his own love theme on the piano/harmonium, also PDL-ish.
- Shot of Gosling/Stone walking down the sidewalk has a Barry/Lena feel to it, I almost expected the white semi-truck with blue stripes to drive by them.
- The whip-pans of 90s PTA.
- Gosling's suit in Barry Egan blue.
- 80s cover band has some Boogie Feel My Heat vibes.
- Quick cut close-ups in the coffee shop are very 90s PTA (Boogie breakfast, etc.).

I don't think this film is as good as PDL -- it's way more straightforward and doesn't have the dark, strange undercurrents that make every PTA film so endlessly rewatchable -- but it's not really fair to compare. I've seen it three times now and I'd see it again tomorrow in a second.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: RegularKarate on December 29, 2016, 05:22:43 PM
I agree with all the things you just said (and that you initially said). I was reacting more to "Chazelle is our new PTA" and the ridiculous suggestion that LLL was better than PDL (shame on you).
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: ©brad on December 29, 2016, 09:02:31 PM
Jesus tap dancing christ.

I was reacting more to "Chazelle is our a new PTA-esque writer/director who, like PTA after only two movies, has proven himself as a filmmaker to watch"

Didn't mean to insinuate he was a PTA replacement/equal. It's just refreshing to see an American director who can write and who's film fluency extends beyond David Fincher and movies made before 1999.

and the ridiculous suggestion that LLL was better than PDL (shame on you).

There's nothing ridiculous about this notion.


Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on December 29, 2016, 09:44:44 PM
I haven't seen LLL. Just want to reiterate that PDL is a total mind-bending masterpiece that (maybe belaboring the obvious) is a lot more than a love story. There are so many complex emotions, moods, abstract images, atmospheres, sounds, and ideas in that movie. It is deeply exhilarating and frightening on a molecular level in all kinds of mysterious ways.

If this film manages to top that, I'll be impressed.

(Not that it has any obligation to do so.)
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: polkablues on December 30, 2016, 12:45:25 AM
It's hard when the debate about the movie isn't "bad vs. good," but "really liked it vs. LOVED IT." Or more specifically, "thought it was a good movie vs. had an intense emotional connection with it." I feel like I liked and appreciated La La Land quite a bit, but it didn't punch me in the gut the way it did some people here, so I end up feeling like I'm pissing in someone's ice cream when I give my thoughts about it.

I get the PTA comparison in the sense that this movie is clearly Damien Chazelle opening his wrists and draining himself dry for us. The huge, unavoidable difference is that PTA's films are endlessly and uniquely insightful about humanity in every moment of every scene, while Chazelle just doesn't seem to have that singular point of view, that thing that only he is capable of telling us. Points for ambition, to be sure, but the gears of the machinery are visible in his storytelling in a way that the truly great filmmakers can make invisible. I certainly didn't hate the dinner scene the way samsong did, but even as I admire the solid writing and great acting, I can feel the mechanics behind the emotional beats, moving the pieces around the board.

Also, Chazelle has a tendency toward injecting humor in the form of gags that undercuts the emotional integrity of the scenes a bit. The thing when Ryan Gosling was going to meet her outside her house to drive her back for her audition, thinks she's not showing up and starts to drive away, but it turns out she had just gone to bring coffee and donuts? A funny moment, for sure, but it's a sitcom gag. It's not true in the way the greatest storytelling is true.

And without even trying, I sound massively negative about the film, which isn't true! I really, really liked it. I walked away from it happy and wistful. There are so many great things in it, and the ending is so fucking good, so heartbreaking and beautiful and perfect. But I just can't shake the feeling that Chazelle left points on the field.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: jenkins on December 30, 2016, 03:18:10 PM
any movie that makes people chatty is in serious consideration for having been a good idea. that's the law of the land. i appreciated this conversation and its emotional beats. i found its immediate shape bizarre and similar to an existential crisis. i believe that particular conversation is over because i believe polka nailed the ending. i look forward to other people talking about this movie in other ways.

i won't think about the movie the way it's been talked about, i never do okay. from the conversation i'm chill on this movie. RK nailed the downtempo created by the PTA comparison. nerd ass references only work after you already like the movie. though i found the Demy comparison helpful. i don't feel the need to see Demy movies in theater. i saw The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in theater and that was both wonderful and unnecessary kind of. no one walks around calling a Demy movie one of their favorite movies, by the way. Lola is my favorite of his and it's not a musical. Donkey Skin is my second favorite and it's not a musical. so this movie isn't destined to be one of my favorite movies, based on my pattern and from conversation suggestions, although indeed i liked the conversation i think everyone did, Redbox feels me on that.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Lottery on January 03, 2017, 07:10:23 AM
It's no PDL but it put a smile on my face.

Like Whiplash, the film seems pretty one track but I don't mind it much here- whereas Whiplash felt a little empty once you stepped back from the chaos. It's also a little juvenile and kinda reverent at times, but I suppose that wide-eyed simplicity is part of its charm. It is indeed charming and I was glad to catch this on the big screen but I have to admit that I wasn't under its spell for its entire running time. I do agree that Chazelle is putting all of himself out there but it's not always enough. There are a couple of truly masterful moments, that made me go 'wow' but the overall emotional effect wasn't entirely consistent.

Also, thanks to this thread- I did think about PTA a few times during the screening. Even if it was just on a superficial level- the lens flares, close shots of Stone in the car, Gosling in the alley- really, really makes me want to see a new contemporary PTA movie.

Anyway, simple film with lots of pizzazz. That's been enough to enjoy Chazelle's work so far, I just wonder if there's more to the dude.

PDL is a total mind-bending masterpiece that (maybe belaboring the obvious) is a lot more than a love story. There are so many complex emotions, moods, abstract images, atmospheres, sounds, and ideas in that movie. It is deeply exhilarating and frightening on a molecular level in all kinds of mysterious ways.

Amen. As time passes, the more and more I think it's the second best thing he's ever made (Master #1). It's so goddamn pure, despite the manic nature of it all, it just feels so whole in its effect.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on January 14, 2017, 11:36:01 PM

See this on a big screen.*


This especially works for the Observatory sequence (not ruining anything since they show bits of it in the trailers).
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: matt35mm on January 15, 2017, 02:01:02 PM
I posted this on Facebook but I'll repost here to have more of a dialogue about it. I really love the movie. I think that it's a lot more interesting and rich than it appears on the surface. I don't agree that it's just a simple film with some pizzaz. I would not make comparisons to PDL, but I feel compelled to talk more about the movie so that it doesn't become yet another "cute movie" that becomes forgotten in a few years.

LA LA LAND is an intelligent, witty, slyly subversive movie with serious thematic engagement and cohesiveness, which is, frankly, a rare thing. Most movies, including very good ones, are a series of things happening in a certain direction for an hour and a half, circling around a handful of typical themes. And that can be very entertaining. And often, they capture moments of truth. But LA LA LAND, alongside THE LOVE WITCH and THE LOBSTER, is a movie in which the style, characters, actions, and circumstances emerge from and return to a focused theme. That takes rigorous effort, and it makes me a bit sad when people dismiss the movie as a vapid candy-colored trifle about two white people dancing that isn't worth taking seriously, or as something that's just aping classic movies without having its own identity.

I wouldn't say that everyone should love it, just as I wouldn't say that about any of the esoteric movies that I usually extol. You do have to be charmed by the music and the actors and the concept for it to work. If you don't, then there's not really a way in for you. It's not wrong to not like the music; that's a matter of taste, but the movie's not vapid. Yes, the movie is about self-absorbed idealists, one of whom is a mansplaining white jazz man who verges on insufferable, but that doesn't mean that the movie is vapid (I think that it's self-aware of all those things and uses that to further the engagement with its theme). And I get that the movie has ingredients that will automatically make people allergic and they're just not going to get past that. But if you do step into place with it, there is richness and substance and even subversiveness there, beyond just being cute. So the point of this post is to encourage you to

A: watch the movie if you haven't or think it looks dumb
B: re-consider or re-watch the movie if you thought it was cute but empty
C: not think that the people who love the movie are just idiots who were charmed by all the pretty colors, even if you hated it, which is a fine opinion to have.

I will say that I don't think the movie is about the central love story or even really about the two main characters. I think that the movie's operating on a thematic/representative level, using the love story (and movie stars) as a seductive portal into a story that's more concerned with the bittersweet nature of dreams and the idea of Los Angeles (not the real Los Angeles), the weirdest city in the world, the city that Werner Herzog calls the most substantive city in America, a city that hums to its own tune, a tune that creates a certain insanity in certain people, a tune that dreamers sometimes can step in time with, a tune that is often used to exploit people, a tune that guides the nonsensical choices that people make, a tune that people will willingly suffer deeply for. The songs in the movie don't stem from inner feeling bursting out, the way that we would traditionally think of musicals. The songs stem from a desire to connect with the tune of Los Angeles. Even romantic love often stems from a desire to connect with the tune of Los Angeles (we want our romances to feel like the movies), as ill-fated as that impulse may be. The movie celebrates the bittersweet nature of dreams, and the fact that dreams aren't reality, even when those dreams come true.

I also think that it's worth noting that the movie isn't called SEBASTIAN & MIA, but LA LA LAND, a term that suggests disassociation from reality.

I've seen the movie twice (it holds up!) and I think I would have more specific things to say after a third viewing, as far as citing certain examples of what I think is really smart about it.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: jenkins on January 15, 2017, 02:15:35 PM
adorable. there's no way i'm going to smack down your passion for La La Land, which movie has this quote

Quote
People love what other people are passionate about.

isn't that a good one? i remember i leaned toward my friend and whispered, "if only it were true..." and she laughed. it's not the 'what' which is easy to share, it's the passion.
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: jenkins on January 22, 2017, 02:49:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abn6cPxrc5w
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: modage on January 22, 2017, 05:56:35 PM
I actually kinda hate this sketch, not because it features a guy who doesn't like La La Land. But because it's POV seems either backwards from reality or just confused.

On one level you have the feeling of seeing a movie that everybody loves and going "well, it's not THAT good" which is a normal and natural response to hype. so the joke being the same as the Beyonce sketch from a year or two ago where you can't actually admit you don't like this thing for fear of being attacked by the crowd.

On  the other hand you have that same character being a mouthpiece for every kinda internet backlash complaint about the film. But delivering those complaints as if they were all thoughts that he had and being very soft spoken about them.

In the "real world" I can see the first scenario playing out. Everybody seems to like this movie but it's not for everyone. In the "online world" it seems quite the opposite. The anti-La La Land-ers seem to have the loudest voices with their think pieces and eye rolls while I've yet to see any pro-LLL piece or person aggressively shouting down someone for thinking it portrays it's POC in a negative light or whatever. I've seen pieces that argue that it doesn't but the tone is generally respectful and not a KINDA aggressive shouting way.

Which may seem like a small thing but if the premise of the sketch doesn't ring true, it ceases to be funny to me because what's the point?
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: Drenk on January 30, 2017, 06:04:54 PM
SPOILERS

I think this is a bad movie. (I thought Whiplash was bad, too.) His childish way to perceive artists as loners who can't be happy and have to dedicate their lives to their PURE ART —which is just about being the most noisy, the same way the first scene of LLL is absolutely graceless but technically difficult, constantly showing how difficult it must have been— makes me mad. But it is not just about what it is about, it is also about how it is done...

He doesn't know to write characters. I'd even say Chazelle is not aware of how dumb they are if there wasn't John Legend saying: "Dude, jazz is about innovation", and Seb's sister mocking her brother...I like Girls so I know it's possible to write assholes in a way I actually enjoy—I mean, in a way they are humans...Mia is not a character, she is an intention...Seb has more development but, like I said, I wonder if Cgazelle is that aware of how ridiculous his character is. At the end, he has his club. Does he save his silly idea of what jazz is? Is it possible to save a silly idea?

It's barely a musical. City of Stars is the only good song in it. They know it. There is nothing but City of Stars during 30 minutes. I said that I dislike the first scene, but not just because Chazelle is filming his camera not caring about the dance, but also because the song SUCKS!

The worst sequence must be at the beginning when she is at her house with her friends, and then they sing? and pretend to dance? and then there is the party where Chazelle does the ending of Whiplash with his camera: being noisy with no character development. No sense of wonder, no real scene: it's just boom, boom, boom...

It's probably my bad, but when Seb calls Emma Stone "Mia" toward the end of the movie I didn't know her name was Mia. I wish she existed, I wish Seb saw her acting once, I wish we could have seen a few seconds of her play. And what about her thing with dudes who could be Trump's sons?

(By the way, the casting for this movie must have been way more ridiculous than the scenes of casting in it. They all could be in an ad for shampoo.)

This movie is bad nostalgia, because it's not about a world that existed or it's about the level zero of fantasy. (I loved when it went meta and said "fuck you" to the viewer, but it made me think that Mia's play must be bad, too.)

The last scene is great and, while being frenetic, it doesn't seem like he's trying to hit us with his camera. But then I remembered about the characters and realized I didn't care. Maybe if her marriage with Trump Jr seemed like more like a real marriage between two human beings who love each other and not just like an excuse for separation?

Chazelle strikes me as an arrogant technical genius writing movies about arrogants assholes. But whatever. I'll just stop seeing his movies.

BUT: it is good that the industry can produce movies who can make me mad that way. I think he's a bad filmaker and writer, but he is a filmaker and a writer.

If you liked it and are interest in musicals, there is this great show on the CW called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: to me, the first song of the show is the perfect counter-example to the first scene of LLL: a good song with character development (+fun and aware of its own fantasy).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ZDNuakBsQ






Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: tpfkabi on February 19, 2017, 04:59:12 PM
I enjoyed the film. It is probably my favorite of 2016, but I still have a lot to see.
One thing that stood out to me on a technical standpoint - did it look really "digital" to you when the camera was moving or panning at any fast speed? Was it my screening, or is that just how digital looks? I don't remember pre-digital films with moving cameras - think Scorsese or PTA - where it looked like that.
I don't know if maybe they had to do some digital time compression in post to make music sync up and it causes that?
Title: Re: La La Land
Post by: pete on March 04, 2017, 04:56:55 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

played this in the car last night and it made me realize that no sequence in La La Land used its musical numbers as effectively as Monty Python did in a parody scene and no scene had better music or dancing or just joy than this little number and it made me rethink this film's place amongst other films. I liked being pandered to, but I'm now even less sure if this really was that good of a film.