Tuesday, May 9, 2017

La La Land



I just saw La La Land, which is one of the best musicals ever.  Looking at the AFI  rankings, I would say that it as number four, below Singin' in the Rain, West Side Story, and The Wizard of Oz.

1
1952
2
1961
3

1939


4
1965
5
1972
6
1964
7
1954
8
1964
9
1951
10
1944

The film is about careers. Musicians and actresses are in among the most competitive fields, but many lines of work involve the setbacks in the story of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone).  This is the first HR musical.  

Several of the great musicals of the mid-twentieth century, such as Singin' in the Rain and A Star Is Born, were also about entertainment careers, but none had the realism of La La Land.  Besides the Academy Award-winning acting of Emma Stone, music of Justin Hurwitz, and direction of Damien Chazelle, part of the film's appeal is its realism about 21st century American careers and the trade-offs that many Americans make.

"Someone in the Crowd," posted above, is a paean to networking, which I have discussed with my students for 26 years. Business values have become so infused in our culture that they have become the subject of our best art, just as heroic valor was the subject of the best classical art. 

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