3

La La Land

Gareth Thomas By

Sign in to view read count
Damien Chazelle's film La La Land, although also partly jazz-based, comes as a stark contrast to his previous directorial project, the brutal and intense Whiplash (2014). In essentially what seems a typical boy-meets-girl romantic scenario, La La Land follows the relationship between Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a pianist and jazz traditionalist who wants to open his own bar, and Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring LA actress. This isn't something that is rushed into and comes after the film initially takes some time to establish both characters and their aspirations, which continue to be an important focus throughout. La La Land follows the recent trend of musical films starring actors that aren't typically singers. However, none of this seems to be too much of a problem. The quality of singing in the film isn't disappointing, but don't expect Ryan Gosling to be the next Gene Kelly.

For a film with jazz as one of its main focal points, the music is very simple and somewhat lacking in style. Nevertheless, the songs—subject to a lot of repetition given a running time of just over two hours—are pleasant, catchy, and go will with the film's retro style and dance. Also important is the film's treatment of the genre of jazz music in general. It addresses several points in this respect. For one, it looks at the continuous stylistic developments that are going on under the label of "jazz," and stresses the point that you cannot afford to be a traditionalist if you want to keep the genre alive and relevant. The film also attacks the all too familiar "smooth jazz/cocktail party/Kenny G-esque" stereotype that has clung to jazz. To quote the film, jazz is "conflict and it's compromise, and it's very, very exciting!"

As a Hollywood blockbuster, a lot of jazz content is not expected of La La Land. Instead, it achieves this to a degree whilst appealing to a larger audience as an enjoyable and very visually attractive film.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read La La Land DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD/Film Reviews Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2017
Read Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall" DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017" DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary" DVD/Film Reviews Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years" DVD/Film Reviews The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years
by Doug Collette
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor