That movie starring Los Angeles, La La Land, ended its commercial, in-theater run with almost $151,000,000 earned. That’s pretty impressive for a gentle musical with few CGI effects. As of Tuesday, April 25th, it’s available to rent, so you can check out La La Land if you haven’t seen it. While you’re at it, also see Whiplash, Damien Chazelle’s 1st major release. I thought both were great and that he is on his way to becoming a major American director.
I also enjoyed seeing Jenna Chandler’s ‘La La Land:’ The ultimate filming location map. After providing it, Jenna listed and commented on 18 of the places where this film was shot. I like the way she began #1, the movie’s opening scene that was filmed on a freeway on-ramp. “No one has ever handled LA’s notorious traffic jams as gracefully as the characters in La La Land‘s opening musical number,” she concluded. Amen.
I learned from Chandler that it took 2 days to film this scene and that it was done on the overpass in the middle of the LA area where Interstates 105 and 110 meet. The last time Ruth & I were in LA, we sat in traffic A LOT, so I admire Chandler’s candor and Chazelle’s ability to make LA seem like a desirable destination again. Yes. I now want to go back and revisit the Disney Concert Hall, The Getty, the Pacific Design Center, etc. And now I wouldn’t mind seeing The Griffith Observatory where “City of Stars” caused the up-until-then rather combative couple in La LA Land to literally float through the air.
Emma Stone played a girl named Mia from Boulder City, Nevada. She lived, I now know, in Rose Towers, a 20 unit Moorish-influenced, 20-unit Long Beach complex built in 1928. In my opinion, Stone deserved her Oscar for Best Actress. Mia’s romantic dance sequence with Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) was filmed in Griffith Park where the planetarium is, as were other scenes. Some people feel that knowing where movies were filmed spoils Hollywood magic. I don’t. For me, ‘knowing where’ enhances a movie’s magic.
According to Hugo Martin, writing for the LA Times, tourism is a $20 billion plus industry in Los Angeles. He also notes that 86% of 400 people interviewed after seeing La LA Land said they were more likely to visit LA after seeing this movie. I wonder if the millions now seeing The Fate of the Furious will be heading for Cuba soon.
Many movies could have been shot anywhere, but I like it when the location becomes part of the story, which is what happens in both La La & Fate.