|Dancers celebrating La La Land Day|
It is likely by now that you have seen La La Land. If you waited for home video, yesterday was your chance to bring home the beloved musical that rejuvenated the genre and brought in $440 million internationally and won six Oscars, including Best Director for Damien Chazelle and Best Actress for Emma Stone. However, there was another reason to remember the movie yesterday. April 25, 2017 has officially become the first annual La La Land Day in Los Angeles, California. To say the least, it wasn't just a name on the paper. The city went all out with a celebration full of dancing and an appearance from composer Justin Hurwitz. You can read about the festivities and more after the jump.
It makes sense why Los Angeles would give La La Land some recognition. For starters, it's one of the most optimistic portrayals that the city has ever had. Where most films fall on the Chinatown side of the spectrum full of sadness and decay, La La Land showed the land of young opportunists in a positive and artful way. Even the opening traffic jam has a certain romanticism to it. While it's too early to determine what the cultural value of La La Land will be in 20 years, it's safe to say that a holiday dedicated to the embrace of the city's biggest industry will be something worth celebrating.
The city's Mayor Eric Garcetti was there to provide a plaque that made the event official. He also played "City of Stars" on piano. There were also aerial dancers who performed on the side of City Hall to "Another Day of Sun." It was a big occasion, and one that drew an enthusiastic crowd. When discussing the film, the mayor claimed that:
Hurwitz would go on to say:
“This film held a mirror up to our city — showing the world our passion, our creativity, our optimism, and of course, the deep-seated desire of every Angeleno to jump out of their car in traffic and to just start dancing."
“It’s very flattering for the city to embrace the movie like this. Because we were obviously embracing the city by making this movie. So to have it go the other way is very cool.”If you wish to see some of the festivities, you can watch a brief look at the event below:
Not to be outdone, the film's various locations were also decked with attire for the occasion. In Long Beach, CA, The Blind Donkey featured a neon sign that said Seb's. It was in honor of the jazz club that protagonist Sebastian owned in the film. The one catch is that The Blind Donkey wasn't where the exteriors were shot, but where all of the interiors were. While you aren't able to see it anymore, there is a sign lit inside the bar that you can see blow:
While this may prove to be another pointless holiday, it's exciting to see how recent cinema impacts culture and society. While it isn't nearly as impressive as 12 Years a Slave getting the Solomon Northup memoir into the high school learning curriculum, it does show how one film's dream of portraying artists as go getters can pay off. Maybe it will fade into obscurity like American Sniper's Chris Kyle Day on February 2. Maybe it will continue to be celebrated every year. After all, that's how Los Angeles County does things. Whatever the case may be, there is now a day to celebrate the legacy of the film, which isn't half bad.