If you had to guess what writer/director Damien Chazelle would do after the massive success of his dark and frenetic take on the story of a young jazz drummer and his sadistic teacher in Whiplash, would you have thought it would be a romantic musical set in Los Angeles? I certainly wouldn’t have, but that, in part, is why I am so excited for his next film, La La Land.
The other reason most people are looking forward to Chazelle’s newest endeavor is his casting of former Crazy, Stupid, Love co-stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Those two heartthrobs singing and dancing through an old school musical meant as an homage to the art and romance inherent in a city more often noted for its ostentation and traffic? Sign me up.
Especially after the release of this lovely image of Stone and Gosling (see above), mid-waltz in an LA parking lot at sunset. Inspired by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, there is a sense of movement in the shot, but also a feeling of hope and magic – two things I wouldn’t have guessed would come from the creative mind behind Whiplash.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chazelle said:
“I wanted to make a big love letter to the city and focus on that push and pull that all young artists experience, between dreams and reality, which old Hollywood musicals are so good at expressing. I just love the idea of a whole emotional arc told purely visually and musically. And it’s a city that’s so filled with dreamers, most of whom won’t make it. I think there’s something poetic about that.”
Chazalle had apparently started the screenplay before taking a break to do Whiplash. Once he’d gotten that tense and twisted story out of his system, he returned to La La Land, the story of a musician (Gosling) and a struggling actress (Stone) in Los Angeles. Whiplash co-star, and Oscar winner, J.K. Simmons also has a role in the film, and Chazelle is once again collaborating with editor Tom Cross, who won an Oscar for Whiplash as well.
La La Land looks to be a complete tonal shift from Whiplash, but that seems like a smart move for the young filmmaker. His talent needn’t be pigeonholed if he’s got multiple kinds of stories he wants to tell and based on the chemistry we know Stone and Gosling have on onscreen, La La Land could be another big hit for Chazelle.
La La Land is set to hit theatres on July 15th, 2015.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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