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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 9 months later...

When I first saw the movie, I enjoyed it but didn't think it was as magical as everyone was saying. I didn't even like the soundtrack that much at first. Then I thought more about the movie and listened to the soundtrack on its own (which slowly started to grow on me), and after a while, I could not wait to own the movie on Blu-Ray. I've watched it a few more times since, and have enjoyed it the same amount each time. I still don't think it's magical (I think the green screen in the planetarium scene could have been done better, especially since the wire work is exquisite) but I appreciate the direction the more and more I watch it, I've grown to love the soundtrack more, and Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's chemistry really make the movie work for me.

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/30/2018 at 12:18 PM, MotherofZeus said:

I enjoyed  La La Land a great deal. I look at the movie for what it is rather than what it could be.  Asking for Fred and Ginger is like asking for moon'" dust.  It is so rare. We've watched tremendous musicals. We've watch so-so musicals, and some stinkers. La La Land is somewhere in the better than so-so and good range for me. it was a victim of being overhyped because people are starves for musicals. 

What I enjoyed about La La Land was a nostalgic movie informed by the past that is still examining how those crazy show biz kids of today are tryin'"g to make it happen.  It showed us one of the classic tropes of whether or not one of the lovers will give up the other for the career. Won't spoil it here by discussing the ending. How artists support one another and inform each other's art. The way La La Land wove fantasy and escapism into the lives of Seb's and Mia's reality while employing humor and romance was wonderfully done for me. 

There is an astute observation above regarding the musical being a product of its time. As our fearless instructor told us, it is a time capsule of when it is made.  What does the audience and the culture want from it's aesthetic, its protagonists, its conflicts? What does that say about us? In such a divided country, I liked that "Here' to the Dreamers" relates to all of us -- for surely we all dream. Do we dare to reach for the dreams? If so, what do we sacrifice? That is very uniting in most lives, I'd say.

The leads are gorgeous but relatable. For me, that was are faced whether or not each will compromise his and her vision to achieve their dreams. It asks the "if only I had..." in a very compelling way. It is exceptionally accessible while still being evocative of the magic of musicals. "If one gets one's dream, at what price" is an extremely timely question in the movie.

Are we applying an outdated standard for what the musical is becoming? I don't have an answer to that. It is a question I ask when I look for more in La La Land.  The songs "City of Dreams" and "Here's to the Dreamers" really touch me whenever I watch the movie. When I left hte theater after watching it, I heard more people discussing the plot, events, and meaning than I usually do. It wasn't for lack of those elements. Rather it was because it had provoked thought. That's what art should do.

I actually think it is stronger than many recent musicals and original content is a delight. Add that it succeeded at the box office, and we have a musical that paves the way for more musicals.  

On the other hand, I didn't go to TGSMOE because I know how it glossed over some unpleasantness in a way I couldn't overlook. That's just me. I know some people adore it.   

YES, I AGREE mostly "product of it's time" exactly  and it's a real time capsule.---and it helps others get made.KEEP MAKING MUSICALS.AND it really provoked thought.I'm not a millennial and I am an "artist" among all the artists who had to have DAY JOBS and I was in the MAJORITY who did that.MAJORITY, GUYS.ARTISTS all got "day jobs."ALL OF THEM.EVEN famous ones.Witers of old Sci fi ALL had day jobs!YOU KNOW HEMINGWAY lived off rich women that was his job!I PROBABLY would have done that except for "women's Lib"which turned out to be a complete waste of time!WASTE !If I HAD known that,I would have USED MEN like all smart women did.FEMINISM I love but it does not work unless you fell for it--and I'm sorry I did not do that, use them.Honest!THEY USE US.Besides that women are smarter anyway.YEAH, it's true,marry them ,f---   them, use them.Women's Lib don't work,it never did.And it still does not.Artists and women's libbers,we fell for lies.  Get over being an artist I now know writers, artists have "day jobs" even famous Sci fi writers.I would have gone to  business school,not art.Listen to Meryl Streep when she played the old rock and roller, she cashiered for COSTCO as her real job.!I loved that!Reality in a movie,the "day job for artists."Art School Confidential was honest about the f------- art world.If you don't use,you lose!

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