mariaki

LaLa Land, Anyone?

29 posts in this topic

On 7/11/2018 at 11:57 AM, JohnT3 said:

Saw it last night.  Did not like it.  Having taken and enjoyed our recent course on musicals, it made me once again appreciate how great Fred Astaire and his partners were.  Gosling and Stone are not singers nor dancers.  The visuals in LLL were quite good, but the rest mediocre.

As a jazz musician I liked the story line of a jazz cat trying to maintain the integrity of his art form but at the same time make a decent living.     Yes,   Gosling and Stone are not singers nor dancers so it is somewhat folly to compare them to the great Fred Astaire and his stellar partners,   but I also can understand why some would wonder why those two were cast (or why the film didn't just feature actual dancers and singers in musical scenes instead of so much focus on those two).

I also wish actual jazz musicians were featured more.   John Legend isn't a jazz pianist and he isn't a supporter of it.    Oh well,   I'm happy that jazz,  which is a dying art form,  was even central to the plot!

 

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20 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

. . .

I also wish actual jazz musicians were featured more.   John Legend isn't a jazz pianist and he isn't a support of it.    Oh well,   I'm happy that jazz,  which is a dying art form,  was even central to the plot!

 

I'm not a musician, but I would hate to see jazz die. I thought Ryan Gosling gave a good speech to Emma Stone about why it's foolish to say one dislikes jazz without knowing what the entire category includes. But I thought La La Land was a tepid musical. I'm not sure it was meant to compete with musicals directly. It was more of an homage to old films overall, with its use of iris shots, mentions of Rebel Without a Cause, the song and dance routines. Some of the song and dance routines reminded me of An American in Paris. The film was even a downer, as many claimed It's Always Fair Weather to be. But I just didn't enjoy La La Land that much: I thought it was much too long, and that's always a bad sign.

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My wife and I actually purchased the movie on Amazon, and got $4 worth of the $8 we spent. By the time summer had rolled around in the film, we had decided we didn't really care what happened to the two of them, and that we'd heard enough of the music and seen enough of the dancing to know that the second half wasn't going to be any different. We seldom leave movies unfinished - we even sit through the credits in the cinema, much the annoyance of anyone who goes with us. But this was a stock romcom so predictably boilerplate that we just didn't see the point of finishing it.

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On 6/29/2018 at 1:27 PM, MarkH said:

I thought it was pure magic. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg meet The Love Parade ... but also totally its own creation. It evoked that feeling when you’re young and excited about life in a new city or a new profession and all of the highs and lows are exaggerated and you feel like the star in your own musical. So sweet and full of the joy of life. I went to see it several times before it left the theatres, alone or with friends, because I knew that special feeling would never be quite the same on TV.

I agree, Mark, particularly to your reference to "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."  It was visually dazzling, yet somehow very intimate, perhaps because of the choice to use actors rather than singers/dancers in the leads.  So emotionally resonant, and such a wise commentary on pursuing the artistic dream.

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