The musicals that inspired 'La La Land'
"La La Land" is a homage to American and French musical films. Take a look at some of the classics that inspired director Damien Chazelle.
'La La Land': Homage to musicals
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) encounter each other right at the start of the film in a fast and furious musical scene set in LA's jammed traffic chaos. They dance across cars and sing at the top of their lungs. The opening is reminiscent of American musical film greats, but later scenes of Damien Chazelle's movie reflect more of French musical films by Jacques Demy.
'42nd Street' (1933)
Hollywood choreographer Busby Berkeley worked in all sorts of dancers in the film "42nd Street" in 1933. His dance choreographies were famous for their complex, geometric moves, making him a leading figure in shaping the musical film genre in the 1930s. The opening scene in "La La Land" is a shining example of just such a grandiose choreography.
'An American in Paris' (1951)
Following its Golden Globe award in the category Best Film Comedy/Musical, this romance by Vincente Minnelli garnered six Oscars in 1952. As far as the Golden Globes go, "La La Land" has already surpassed "An American in Paris," taking home seven. The upcoming Oscars will be the greater test.
'Singin' in the Rain' (1952)
"Singin' in the Rain" is a musical film classic and also one of the catchiest tunes ever. This scene showing actor and dancer Gene Kelly, who also directed the movie, is likely its most famous. "La La Land" pays tribute to "Singin'" in a scene with Ryan Gosling.
'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' (1964)
Rain also plays a big role in the musical film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle sees the movie as the "most perfect in form that I know." "I love it more than any other," he said about Jacques Demy's cinematic work from 1964. The bittersweet, melancholy atmosphere of the French film is what Chazelle revives in "La La Land."
'The Sound of Music' (1965)
"The Sound of Music" followed in 1965 as the most successful film musical of all time. It was a cinematic version of the Broadway production and was particularly successful in the US. It continues to inspire various artists to this day, such as Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga, who have paid tribute to the musical in their own work. Will "La La Land" also be able to boast such success?
'The Young Girls of Rochefort' (1967)
Jacques Demy's second work, "The Young Girls of Rochefort," likewise inspired "La La Land" in terms of style. The melancholy and atmospheric color of the French film are reflected in Chazelle's romance. These influences from the 1930s through the 1960s have shaped "La La Land" - a masterful tribute to the musical films of Hollywood and France set in a contemporary musical drama.