”La La Land”, the popular2016 musical drama, will be the feature free movie at the Many Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 7.
As always the movie is free. It begins at 7 p.m. Box office will open at 6:15. “La La Land” is sponsored by Many Mayor Ken Freeman, the Town of Many, and the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee.
Musicals are usually romantic. They teach us that some emotion is so powerful that it can’t be put into mere words—it must be sung. Some love is so overwhelming that you just have to move your feet. Characters in musicals not only understand love differently than those in traditional films but they turn that understanding into art—dancing, singing and transcending mere dialogue to become something greater, something purer, something closer to true romance.
One of many remarkable things about “La La Land” is how much energy and time it devotes to movement and music, not just lyrics. Most modern movie musicals, so often based on Broadway shows, have focused heavily on songs that further plot. In ” La La Land,” choreography matters and a simple piano refrain can have more power than a lyric. This is a beautiful film about love and dreams, and how the two impact each other. Los Angeles is filled with dreamers, and sometimes it takes a partner to make a dream come true. |
There have been some musical films since the era of Rogers & Astaire, but few that have tried to recapture that sense of fluid, magical thinking in which characters communicate with their bodies as much, maybe even more, than they do with their voices. One of many remarkable things about“La La Land” is how much energy and time it devotes to movement and music, not just lyrics. The modern movie musicals, so often based on Broadway shows, have focused heavily on songs that further plot. In “La La Land”, choreography matters and a simple piano refrain can have more power than a lyric. This is a beautiful film about love and dreams, and how the two impact each other. Los Angeles is filled with dreamers, and sometimes it takes a partner to make your dream come true.
“La La Land” opens with a bit of a fake-out in that it’s a large ensemble number of a variety that viewers don’t see again in the movie. Cars are stuck in the notoriously awful L.A. traffic when the drivers decide to break into song called “Another Day of Sun”—a bit about how each day brings new hope for these young wannabe artists—jumping out of the cars and dancing on the freeway. And after the chorus-like introduction to a city of dreamers, we meet two such sun-gazers: pianist (Ryan Gosling) and actress Mia(Emma Stone). Like any good musical, the two have a few false starts and playfully mock each other’s flaws in their first scenes. But we know where this is headed and Gosling & Stone have the chemistry to make us long for them to get together.
The first major centerpiece scene is a long walk between Sebastian and Mia as the sun is setting over the Hollywood Hills. They start to see similarities in one another. Mia is tired of going on worthless auditions, ones in which the producer doesn’t even look up from their phone. Sebastian holds on to an ideal version of jazz, wanting to open his own club instead of selling out and playing greatest hits for tourists. And Sebastian and Mia have a clear, instant attraction. So, even as they sing about how they’re not really a couple, and how this gorgeous night is wasted because they’re not with their true partners, their bodies tell another story with a fantastically choreographed dance number. Stone and Gosling aren’t natural singers or dancers, but they bring so much character and commitment to every movement that it doesn’t matter. They’re fluid, engaged and mesmerizing. We watch them fall in love through dance.
It helps that Gosling and Stone have the kind of star power that made so many of those classic era musicals memorable. He’s smooth and charismatic; she’s clever and beautiful. The phrase has lost most of its meaning, but these are MOVIE STARS. And, of course, they’re more than capable when “La La Land” demands greater depth, finding characters so rich that the movie would work without the music. It’s a story of artistic passion, and how easy it is to get derailed from your dream. Sometimes it takes another person to push you back on to the tracks to find it again. Gosling and Stone get these characters, finding grace in their movement but emotional depth in their arcs; Stone has never been better.
It’s easy to let the world get you down sometimes, especially in a year like 2017. It’s easy to think that dreams don’t come true, and that love only exists in movies. “La La Land” serves to remind us that movies can still be magical, and they can still provide the channel for us to see magic in the world around us. It’s not so much another day in the sun, as the characters sing in that opening number, but the dreams of the night before, the ones we wake up and try to fulfill, that keep us dancing.
”La La Land” is classified as a romantic comedy, drama and musical. It is rated PG-13 for some mild language. There is no nudity, sex scenes, or violence. The movie is 126 minutes long.
Mayor Freeman and the members of the Cultural District Advisory Committee are hopeful that the residents of Many and the surrounding areas will attend this free movie and bring the entire family. It’s lighthearted, but it has a message: “Dreams can come true if you work hard enough.”
Freeman wants everyone to know that the movie is completely free and concessions are only $1 each. “We do this for the families in our area, so no one can complain there’s nothing to do around Many. There are things to do every weekend in Many, and we want our citizens to do their part by attending and participating,” the mayor said.