Today I wanted to talk about 'La la Land', one of my favourite films of all time. I wasn’t that into it the first time I watched it on a small TV screen, cramped up on an 8-hour flight; I despised the ending and it just wasn’t it at the time. It wasn’t until months later, when I started to think about the film more and listen to the soundtrack, that I fully fell in love with it.
Ok so the score, cinematography, costume, editing, camera work, all the shebang is incredible, obviously. The film is so pleasant and aesthetically pleasing to watch, I love every minute of it. But the main part that captivates me the most is the storyline and screenplay of it all. The characters themselves are brilliant but all the ins and outs, all the small shots and scenes that connect and have so much meaning and are so easily unnoticed if you’re not looking close enough, that’s what makes it so brilliant. Everything just worked so amazingly together.
Imagine you’re making a massive puzzle and each piece is so huge that you can’t make that much sense of it, but then when the puzzle is complete, you see the whole beauty of everything and it’s so insane. Can I also just say, imagine being a part of that film - in that project - everyone working together and being creative and bouncing off each others creativity. I might be wrong and it wasn’t like that at all, but I want to believe it was, because it’s films like this that make me so excited and hopeful, because that's especially what this movie teaches you, never stop chasing your dreams!
La la land is also the film that got me into jazz, a sadly a dying art. There’s this one scene where the character Sebastian (played by Ryan Gosling) is talking to Mia (played by Emma Stone) about the importance and brilliance of jazz and about the dynamics of a band. I’m not an intensely musical person, I’ll listen to music but I’ve never composed anything or played an instrument. However, I was still able to enjoy this scene immensely. He talks about it so passionately and it made me realise how, with so many creative outlets, intricate and attentive it all is. You can never underestimate the amount of talent and effort that goes into greatness and art. It reminds you of all the wonders you have left to discover and all the knowledge you have to left to learn.
I hope everyone is well and safe,
P.S. Check the slideshow above for some of my favourite shots
Today I’m going to be going over some of my recent film favourites with you.
I want to start with the feel-good film Saint Frances (2019) directed by Alex Thompson. This adorable film follows Bridget, a 34-year-old who has no clue what she wants to do with her life. She gets a job as a nanny over the summer, looking after 6-year-old Frances, who changes her life. This film is brilliant and utterly adorable, while also blending in
some heavy themes such as religion, parenthood, post-natal depression, and abortion. Yet it doesn’t feel like a heavy film – it’s a giggly, heartfelt story of love, family and friendships, showing that not all human dramas have to be bleak. It tackles the struggles women face in such a funny way that is shows a lot of these problems are normal and we shouldn’t have to shy away from them. In the United States alone, 70%-80% of women will experience Post-Partum Depression, so why is it such a taboo topic in our society?
Saint Frances is a reminder to the audience that despite the nastiness in the world, people can still be nice. It explores the relationships and perspectives from just a glimpse into one woman’s life. It is a great film to watch if you need a bit of uplifting or some faith in humanity.
It could be compared to teen body-horror Ginger Snaps (2000, dir. John Fawcett), which tells the story of two death-obsessed sisters - Ginger and (get this) Brigette - after Ginger gets bitten by a werewolf the same night she gets her period. The film intertwines puberty and the struggles of teenage girls with lycanthropy and is all one big metaphor for how much it truly sucks to be a teenage girl. Silly as it sounds, it’s actually a really cool film and I would recommend it; it’s edgy, tough, and is certainly a girl-power film.
Finally, I watched Prisoners (2013) directed by Denis Villeneuve. After two young girls go missing, one of the fathers decides to take matters into his own hands after the police seem to be letting the families down. This film is disturbing in an enigmatic way that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your hands sweaty. The cinematography is stunning, with classic Villeneuve style such as silhouettes and emphasis on shapes paired with an eerie soundtrack.
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations – let me know if you watch or have watched them and tell me what you think!
I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. Thank you for the amazing response since we launched the website last month! We love you all and appreciate your kindness and support <3 Today, I have a couple new film recommendations for the month of February!
Starting us off is the brand new feature film from director Sam Levinson, called Malcolm & Marie, starring Zendaya and John David Washington. It tells the intimate story of a couple the night of Malcolm’s film premiere, and the strong love and it's struggles over the course of one night in Zendaya’s real house. Both Zendaya and Washington give incredible, authentic performances, weaving in and out of intense arguments and loved-up giggles.
The film pulls on Levinson’s actual experience of forgetting to thank his wife at his film premiere; even the references to addiction and
Malcolm and Marie (2021)
suicide attempts could be inferred to be somewhat auto-biographical, as he has opened up about his own battle with addiction as a teenager surrounding his teen drama ‘Euphoria’.
The black and white cinematography feel claustrophobic, and the long tracking shots and close ups between the couple make the audience feel as if they are invading the couples privacy, looking into something they shouldn’t be. It feels genuine as well as voyeuristic; it is real people portraying real relationships, without the glorification or cringe. It’s a beautiful film and I would highly recommend!
Next is Lost In Translation (2003), directed by Sofia Coppola. I’m so in love with everything about this film, from its luscious Japanese setting to the wonderful Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, not forgetting its dreamy soundtrack. It follows the blossoming of an unlikely friendship between two misfits in a Tokyo hotel; a faded, middle-aged American movie star Bob Harris and a neglected, kind young woman named Charlotte. Between the bar visits, hilariously awkward advertising photoshoots and lonely trips to Kyoto, the two form a special bond, showed through some of the loveliest cinematography. If you didn’t want to visit Japan beforehand, you will after watching this. A lot of the film is shot handheld, giving it a documentary feel, similar to Malcolm & Marie, but not so much in an invading way, but more as an admirer from afar.
Surprisingly, when looking back on the film, the audience actually learns very little (and yet so much at the same time) about these characters and their backgrounds, but it is so hard not to fall madly in love with this film and form a deep connection with these characters. I think the film speaks to many people, with the tagline ‘everyone wants to be found’ telling you everything you need to know. We have all felt lost at some point in our lives, needing someone – or something – to point us in the right direction. As Charlotte says, “I’m stuck. Does it get easier?”, to which Bob simply responds with, “no.” But this film could suggesting that after all, it does get easier; we can't all be lost forever. We all have a place and a person, you just have to find them.
Enjoy and stay safe,
Lost in Translation (2003)