Sound seems to play an important role in the presentation of cinema, the method which its multifaceted textures might be employed may evoke a breadth of feelings; melodic chord progression may tug on ones heart strings as the score crescendos in a cacophony of emotion. Whether from an orchestral soundtrack or a thumping beat used to convey on-screen action, finding a suitable soundtrack may be a key part of cinematography. Audio may assist in supporting the visuals on-screen and it seems to be an essential tool in any director’s arsenal.
One individual who aims to utilise this diverse toolset is American film director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle. It was 2014 when Damien Chazelle seemed to cast his penchant for a sound to screen with his award winning film Whiplash. Whiplash seemed to captivate audiences with its emphasis on sound and tell the tale of a young drummer and his determination to succeed. Whiplash featured Miles Teller (War Dogs, The Spectacular Now) and J.K Simmons (Spider-Man, The Accountant) as the musically inclined duo at the forefront of this musical adventure.
Whiplash may have gone on to earn several Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for its standout performances and excellence in sound. With its tale of determination, passion, and unique score, Whiplash may have propelled Damien Chazelle into the spotlight and among Hollywood’s finest. Damien Chazelle seems keen to continue his tradition of producing musically themed films, this time with an actual musical. Titled La La Land, Damien Chazelle recruits Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Big Short) and Emma Stone (The Help, Birdman) to star in his latest auditory feature.
The premise of La La Land seems to feature a jazz pianist, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who falls in love with an aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone), in Los Angeles. As the pair become acquainted, audiences may be treated to an array captivating melodies. With La La Land, Damien Chazelle aims to explore themes which explore what it means to pursue one’s dreams and the emotions which colour the daily lives of individuals. To assist with the musical side of the film is Justin Hurwitz, who previously worked with Damien Chazelle to score Whiplash. This latest musical adventure aims to take an introspective look at those with aspirations and dreams and glue this spectrum of emotions together with a captivating soundtrack.
La La Land aims to release in the UK 13th January 2017; however, the film has already premiered in several other countries, seemingly in time for the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony. The 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony, which was held earlier this week, may have seen the cast and film crew of La La Land seemingly its biggest winner. La La Land seemed to garner Awards in several categories, earning the team involved numerous accolades in the process, including:
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Emma Stone
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Ryan Gosling
Best Director – Motion Picture – Damien Chazelle
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture – Damien Chazelle
Best Original Score – Motion Picture – Justin Hurwitz
Best Original Song – Motion Picture – City of Stars, Justin Hurwitz
With such a diverse list of accolades, La La Land aims to live up to expectations and prove itself a worthy successor to Damien Chazelle’s 2014 hit, Whiplash. As the 89th Academy Awards approaches, audiences might see if La La Land is able to retain its position on the podium and win itself an Oscar or two in the process. Critics seem to be praising La La Land for its heartfelt approach to musicals and standout performances and time may tell if UK audiences react the same way.
How does Damien Chazelle aim to produce a romantic musical drama with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land?