My current career crisis has lead to a lot of introspection… I’ve been looking back on my life and on the things that make me truly happy. Some are obvious. Like my fiancee, my pets, and books. Others have been a complete surprise. Like cooking. Some are hard to cop to and even harder to do *cough* writing *cough*. But some are things I’ve lost track of or have loved a little less deeply in the last few years. Like musicals.
My grandmothers favorite movies were the musicals of her childhood. Together we watched Funny Face, Easter Parade, Meet Me In St Louis, White Christmas, My Fair Lady, Singing in The Rain, but we watched Wizard of Oz the most. I was obsessed. At age 4 I could would do the Tin Man dance in the kitchen with a funnel on my head.
There is something so vivid about the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s. Colour was new. The worlds on the screen became so beautifully saturated with it. It is something we so rarely see outside of Wes Anderson movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some darkness. But the newer movies that I really truly love are able to capture some of that particular type of nostalgia, and make me feel some of the wonderment I felt as a kid watching Judy Garland spin around in a pretty dress before a painted skyline.
La La Land checked all of those boxes for me. The love for those films is even part of the narrative of the film. I was enraptured, the only thing that pulled me out was Miss Patty’s being featured multiple times… The costuming and sets are so wildly hypnotic. Musically speaking, I do believe that this film will continue the work of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley and make Jazz cool again.
Diving down this rabbit hole has been a welcome distraction from my job hunt. If you are ever stressed or worn out, go to your local library, borrow some DVDs and let your self get wrapped up in the warm blanket that is Judy Garland – THE EARLY YEARS, not the Valley of The Dolls years. Although that is an amazing story in all its forms.