La la land review _ film pulse

A song can happen anywhere in La La Land because it exists in a world that we so rarely see these days – that of the old-fashioned movie musical. Directions to griffith park observatory There isn’t an ounce of self-consciousness or cynicism in writer/director Damien Chazelle’s approach to this format, and he has no problem beginning the film with an elaborate number performed by dozens of folks stuck in a traffic jam.

It’s December, but they’re in Los Angeles so it’s just another hot and sunny day. Griffith park trails cafe Within a matter of seconds, they have gone from sitting in their cars to dancing and singing on top of them. Griffith park haunted picnic table They recall their pasts, renew their hopes and bemoan the slowness of the present. Haunted griffith park A trio of musicians appears in the back of a storage truck and performs an elaborate interlude.


Griffith park observatory directions Why? Because they can.

This sequence is unrepentantly bold, and although it has fairly little to do with the plot about to unfold, it serves as an announcement that we are entering that long forgotten world, and it will be a wonderful journey. Griffith park observatory at night Even when the story proper is set into motion, it’s built on beautifully precise foundations, towering with dreamy possibilities.

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress who, like many, is desperately waiting for her big break. Griffith park camp Every audition seems to be a failure. Griffith park hike hours She makes ends meet by working as a barista in a coffee shop on the Warner Brothers lot, spending her break time marveling at the cinematic history around her. Griffith park hiking hours A series of chance encounters, often in awkward situations, introduces her to Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a struggling jazz pianist who is also having trouble succeeding in his field.

The two are young, idealistic and attractive, so why shouldn’t they fall in love? Their first few months together are warm and wonderful, as their trying professional lives begin to feel a little bit more bearable. Griffith park bike trails But nothing lasts forever, and as their own situations grow and change, so do the dynamics of their relationship. Griffith park map Reality rears its ugly head, and challenges present themselves in the odd, unpredictable ways. Griffith park and observatory Sebastian and Mia are faced with a series of hard choices, and it may not be possible to find a perfect compromise every time.

There are about a half-dozen songs in La La Land, and when done right, they are powerful, welcome additions to the story. Griffith park horseback riding Not all of them have to be especially catchy or memorable, but Chazelle – alongside composers Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – integrates the pieces in a way that good musicals do: as supplements to our understanding of the plot, not replacements for missing links in the writing.

The screenplay moves seamlessly, with its smooth mixture of snappy dialogue and glossy music. Griffith park christmas Mia and Sebastian are well-developed characters, whose harmonies and conflicts are presented with equal depth and significance. Griffith park at night The bumps in the road that they come across do not seem arbitrary, nor do their reactions. Griffith park view Gosling and Stone are more than game to handle this material, and it helps that they have been co-stars before. Hollywood sign griffith park Their chemistry is that much more established.

In an odd way, however, reflecting upon the caliber of La La Land’s onscreen talent makes me reflect upon some of the issues which detract from the film’s efforts. Pony rides at griffith park It seems that amongst all of the glowing feelings that are brought about here, an occasional lack of forethought with regards to what will matter to the audience leads to undesirable outcomes.

Overly cutesy moves on Chazelle’s part – like a decision to make the opening freeway scene look as if it was captured in one shot – have a feeble “look-at-me” attitude about them which is needless. Pony rides griffith park A number of elaborate sequences, ranging from the middling (a tracking shot following characters jumping into a pool) to the overt (a pointlessly prolonged event in the planetarium at Griffith Park Observatory which climaxes with Gosling and Stone dancing in outer space), are never distractingly unwelcome but rather insufficiently contextualized. Griffith park museum The reason that the movie’s cold open is so effective is because it is unexpected. The old zoo griffith park Those few attempts to bring us back to that first sense of “wow” are met with diminishing returns.

Yet for each of these instances of shoddy overpunching, there are several more that bring everything back to its tender and genuine roots. Griffith park california Chazelle is never in over his head and always remembers that the greatest asset he carries here is the ability to make powerful moments from simple elements. Griffith park hours Minimally arranged duets and solos are heartrending bookmarks, which stay in the mind longer than an extraterrestrial waltz.

That grounded atmosphere of bittersweet passion is what makes the movie excel. History of griffith park After all, the story’s eleven-o’clock-number is a direct tribute to “the ones who dream,” an acknowledgement of what makes the film’s concept so wonderful to begin with. Griffith national park The final 20 minutes of La La Land are a powerful, melancholy coda, yet its effectiveness does not come solely from expansive staging and ambitious visuals – but rather the emotional power packed behind it all. Griffith park observatory los angeles It builds over the two-hour runtime to a satisfying conclusion that leaves viewers with smiles on their faces and a lump in their throats.

Having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time. Haunted table 29 at griffith park los angeles ca As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges. Griffith park sunset While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger.

Based on the International Best Selling Book, A STREET CAT NAMED BOB is a moving and uplifting feel-good true story. Griffith park parking lot When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. Griffith park los angeles california James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet. Griffith park food Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. Griffith park hike map He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. Griffith park horseback riding hours But Bob had other ideas. Horseback riding in griffith park Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.

Harper (Tye Sheridan), a seemingly naive law student, obsesses over the idea that his shifty stepfather was involved in the devastating car crash that left his mother hospitalized and comatose. Griffith park caves He drowns his suspicions in whiskey until he finds himself suddenly engrossed in conversation with volatile grifter Johnny (Emory Cohen) and his stripper companion, Cherry (Bel Powley). Griffith park dogs As daylight breaks and the haziness of promises made becomes clearer, how will Harper handle the repercussions (not to mention the violent duo—on his doorstep)? Employing a split-narrative structure to tell this tale of deception and murder, Christopher Smith takes his audience on a thrill ride full of hairpin turns, where it’s never quite clear what or who can be trusted.

A real-life ‘Breaking Bad’ for the psychedelic set, THE SUNSHINE MAKERS reveals the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo

at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture. Griffith park zoo haunted United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, ‘Orange Sunshine,’ all while staying one step ahead of the Feds.

From the producer of SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN and LISTEN TO ME MARLON, THE SUNSHINE MAKERS premiered last year at the prestigious DOC NYC film festival to critical acclaim. Griffith park halloween The documentary has thrilled audiences with its stranger-than-fiction look into the lives of two “LSD evangelists.”

I AM MICHAEL is the incredible true-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a high profile queer youth activist who created a national controversy when he claimed to no longer be gay and became a straight Christian pastor. Griffith park los angeles map The film follows Michael from his life in San Francisco with his boyfriend Bennett (Quinto), where he pursues political activism, a journalist career at XY Magazine, social awareness, and sexual exploration, to his days of personal self-discovery. Griffith park entrance After a traumatic scare, Michael is plagued by doubt and paranoia, and begins a religious reawakening. Griffith park history Michael renounces his gay lifestyle, rejects his friends, and endeavors to find his “true self.” He explores Buddhism and Mormonism, yet ultimately lands at a Christian Bible school in rural Wyoming where he meets his girlfriend, Rebekah (Roberts), and becomes the pastor of his own church. Griffith park steamers This powerful new film captures one man’s haunting journey through modern concepts of love, denial and redemption.

When Eric Lombard (Brett Dalton) proposes to his girlfriend Colleen during a romantic trip to Florence, he is shocked when she turns him down and heads back home. Griffith park dog park Heartbroken, he stays behind with his cousin Anna (Stana Katic) and her Italian husband who introduces him to calcio storico, an ancient form of football played every summer in Florence that combines rugby and street fighting. Griffith park fountain As a former college football star, Eric is a natural at the sport, and while many of the local Italians have their reservations about an American playing their beloved game, he proves himself again and again on the field and ultimately wins their approval.

During his time in Florence, Eric finds himself falling for Stefania (Alessandra Mastronardi), the girlfriend of his teammate Paolo (Alessandro Preziosi). Griffith park observatory hiking trails As their clandestine relationship heats up and the all-important final game approaches, Eric finds himself at a crossroads – caught between friendship and love, having to decide what he really wants and how hard he’s willing to fight for it.