“I need to watch that again,” my friend texts me, after I send a not-so-into-it message regarding the newly released film, La La Land.
It does seem fitting to get this blog a rolling with a film that has already gained much critical acclaim. La La Land is notching up a trophy room of nominations and wins for this 2016/17 awards season.
When I received my friend’s text message, the question really struck me. Why do I need to watch films again?
- Intelligence. The film hit me hard, make me think, and I want to explore its concepts and layers further. I don’t even need to necessarily like it that much.
- Heart. Something about the film moves me.
- Complicated. I like the intention but don’t fully get the full gist. Sometimes a film can be all up in your face and it’s all too fast. So it’s best to take a breath, and take it on for what it is the first time, and come back again if required at a later stage.
- SFAC (serious film award contender). It’s up for loads of nominations and I cannot fully connect? Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe not? I might have another look…
- Performances. If a particular actor/actress nails a role I’ll be there again at some stage.
- Writing. If the screenplay is making me gag then I usually want to experience it again.
- Mood. You can go into a film on a particular day, at a certain time, experiencing a natural mindset. Sometimes we even select the film we are watching on that mood. This can alter the experience positive or negatively.
- Distraction. There’s loads though since the age of new technology with screens everywhere; smartphones, tablets, computers etc… I find myself attempting to watch and surf the net (BAD habit) at the same time.
So where does La La Land fit in? And do I need to see this again?
It’s really the SFAC affect with a dash of distraction; I had a cold coming on, which I didn’t realize was so bad until later that night, so perhaps this had some influence. I have less patience when I’m getting sick. This film is an interesting one. I didn’t particularly love or hate it. I really really liked parts. And wanted to jump out of my chair bored in other parts. I am a Damien Chazelle supporter after admiring his award winning Whiplash (what a film!) so even when I wasn’t so impressed here I was wanting him to do well. I’m just not sure about this one. There was something amiss. Then again my expectations could’ve been mounted way too high considering its early awards season buzz.
It’s simple yet experimental. Contemporary and traditional. Crosses from the whimsical to the all so serious. Lightly natures with dark undertones. It’s 30s and 40s Hollywood musicals and 60s French musical Jacques Demy inspired. The contradictions appear to distract rather than compliment.
Having said that, the cinematography is stunning. There is some catchy original musical numbers and quirky choreography. A simple creative screenplay that works in parts throughout. It’s a simple tale which encapsulates the complications of a modern day relationship between a man and a woman striving for their individual passions. And life doesn’t always steer towards the direction you have in mind.
Everything I’m reading is mostly love and masterpiece comments. No. I don’t think so. That’s too much. I’ll be curious to see how I feel about this film on second viewing. I’ll wait for a bit though.