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La La Land, a love letter to Hollywood

Damien Chazelle utilizes his cinematographic prowess to create a vibrant musical

Ryan+Gosling+%28Sebastian%29+and+Emma+Stone+%28Mia%29+walking+home+after+one+of+their+dates.
Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia) walking home after one of their dates.

Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia) walking home after one of their dates.

Dale Robinette

Dale Robinette

Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia) walking home after one of their dates.

Mateo Galvez, Special to the A-Blast

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Damien Chazelle, the director of Whiplash, has went back into the world of music, right after contributing in the writing process of 10 Cloverfield Lane he made this year’s critically acclaimed hit La La Land. People have been calling this movie a “love letter to Hollywood,” the beauty in both the colors and the cinematography shines on screen.

The movie shows a sense of realism of our main characters Mia and Sebastian. The two young people seek to reach a goal each of their own, wanting to pursue their dreams.

The plot of this movie is very reminiscent to that of Damien’s previous work Whiplash, where a young kid tries to be the best drummer. While the plots are similar, the two films are drastic in tone. La La Land is fun, bright wonders of opportunity; while Whiplash is simple and intriguing. This does not hinder the film, however, the story steps aside for its complexity in camerawork and lighting. Damien’s similar approach to jazz seem more and more obvious that he is into that style of music and seems to make the audience equally admire it as well.

La La Land Shows the beauty and importance of making an effective introduction to the film, similar to writing an essay. The sequence that goes all throughout in the beginning of the film to the end of the song is all in one take. The camera centers on the actors movements and makes us follow the characters on screen. Both the choreography and natural lighting of the sequence stands out along with the bright lively visuals that seem to represent four seasons; yellow meaning summer, blue meaning winter, red meaning fall, and green meaning spring. The power of scenery in the beginning reflects to what the rest of the movie is like scene after scene of powerful emotions with the music telling the story. Another Day In The Sun foreshadows what’s about to come to our main characters as the real world awaits them.

During the course of the film there are sudden moments when the movie turns into a play by having a stage light focus of the actors who would sing or play an instrument to have their attention. These moments allows the protagonists to tell a story or follow their emotions, moments like the audition scene where Emma Stone’s character tells a powerful story she once heard long ago. Moments like the song Ryan Gosling sings City of Stars while on a boardwalk passing by makes those scenes memorable.

This movie touches those who were and are young, showing how much it takes to pursue your dreams. That dreams should not be just dreams, to pursue what we always wanted to aspire. Damien shows what is like being young with dreams of our own, he is a young man that understands as to why we are the way we are because he once lived and dreamed the way how an average adolescent would think. La La Land is a movie that has power through context carefully crafting scene after scene.

The direction felt like that of Sir Ridley Scott where we focus on landscapes as well as our protagonists. Damien Chazelle has given us an opportunity to explore something we have seen prior but in a beautiful approach. With Damien’s new movie First Man now on pre-production who knows what he will pull off!

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The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.
La La Land, a love letter to Hollywood