As it turns out, the majority of masses actually do love musicals. At least, they do when there are Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in them. Let’s be honest, no other Movie in the recent memory has made us want to learn a piano tune, a dance number, anything that would make our lives at least bit more similar golden age Hollywood, as much as this Damien Chazelle’s flick did. Just add the Gosling’s shattering speech at the Golden Globes 2017, and you have the movie event of the year! However, there’s a huge Hollywood history behind La La Land, starting from the Gosling and Stone waltzing in the Griffith Observatory to the colorful choreography of the intro sequence! My-Picture.co.uk sways into the glorious iconography of musicals!
Fred Astaire is probably the most famous cinema dancer ever and quite understandably so. The tremendous talent and natural charisma pretty much veiled the fact that the movies themselves were rarely half as good as the Dance Numbers featured in them. Regardless, they remain cinema classics with Swing Time (1936) being no exception. Though initially not as warmly welcomed as other Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers-led outings, it spawned one of the greatest dance sequences the screen had seen at that point. Gosling and Stone pay their dues with their beautiful waltz between planets!
Singing in the Rain
This was to be expected. Singing in the Rain (1952) has become somewhat of an ultimate musical, a piece rarely anyone these days has actually seen, yet a one that has somehow become synonymous with the whole musical culture in general. Just like La La Land, the film initially was somewhat of a sleeper, despite boasting an impressive cast with actors like Gene Kelly and the much loved and sadly recently deceased Debbie Reynolds. In no time the became an absolute classic, featuring some of the most easily recognizable yet physically demanding dance numbers on the silver screen!
An American in Paris
Another Gene Kelly-led flick that was also heavily referenced in the latter part of La La Land, namely, in the flashback of “what could have been” sequence during the film’s ending. Now, for your attention, the 17-minute long ballet sequence at the end of the movie alone cost approximately one million dollars (in 1951’s dollars). The movie itself has a very decorative, intentionally naive vibe about it, something that also really shows quite frequently while watching the thus far most talked-about movie of 2017 – La La Land. More than Paris itself, it’s an impossibly wonderful Hollywood dream, a one that inspired Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling to keep the pursuit of their passions!
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
A European counterpart of the otherwise more America-centered film genre, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) is probably the most famous film made by the legendary French director Jacques Demy. This film features not only the very young and beautiful duo of Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo but also boasts an incredibly bold colour palette, as well as a perfect final crane shot (another feature La La Land elaborated on). If you opt to see it, get ready for an incredibly inspiring experience albeit you might have to get accustomed to it at first. The whole thing is sung like an opera piece, even the most casual lines of dialogue.
West Side Story
Far away from the warm beaches of the West Coast, this modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliette takes place in the urban jungle of New York. An absolute “must” not only for the enthusiasts of musicals but also for everyone who considers him/herself a true cinephile, West Side Story (1961) has everything for contemporary musicals to borrow from. Bold tones, a lighthearted spirit, choreographically perfected dance numbers and a tragic twist to remind us – sadness is an integral part of beauty. If only rivaling gangs these days would solve their differences with energetic dance-offs. Anyhow, reserve your next movie night for this one!
La La Land is truly somewhat of a cinematic phenomenon. Released to a rather tame audience reception (yet those who saw it initially left cinema crying and dancing at the same time, as evident here), the film’s popularity simply exploded in 2017. And why not, if anything, cinema should sometimes be sincere, dreamy and impossible as it too often forgets to do (and did a lot back in the days). My-Picture.co.uk meanwhile reminds – to reach you dream you have to see it first. A huge canvas of Gene Kelly singing in the rain should do the thing!
Here’s to the ones who dream!
Der Beitrag 5 Movies that Made La La Land Happen! erschien zuerst auf My-Picture.co.uk blog.