Making a Song and Dance About La La Land
Ok, LA LA Land did not win Best Picture this year. But it won LOTS. Everywhere else. And, with a live action stage musical in early stages of development, it’s clear that the film’s legacy will live on, indefinitely. It clearly worked and struck chords with audiences across demographics.
Here’s a recent overview of that success (nb was drafted pre Oscars but its relevance still stands)..
Take it away!
Everyone is singing from the same hymn-sheet when it comes to the most-talked about movie of this year’s awards season. Having already broken the record for the number of Golden Globe awards it’s won, La La Land is tipped for even greater success at the Academy Awards. One of the most celebrated aspects of the film is the way it harks back to the golden age of Hollywood musicals, and the movie’s success serves to underline the enduring appeal of an old-fashioned song and dance spectacular.
There’s no denying that some of the most enduring and iconic moments in cinema history come from musicals. Just taking one film, 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain, as an example, who can forget Gene Kelly’s captivating song and dance routine to the title number in the rain-soaked early morning streets? Or Donald O’Connor’s amazing, gravity-defying dancing during “Make ‘Em Laugh”? And who would not want to wake up to the effervescent Debbie Reynolds singing “Good Morning”?
There are many reasons why people might have a soft spot for films with song and dance routines. Of course singing and dancing are some of the oldest forms of human entertainment, and we can all appreciate the talent and sheer hard work that goes into a well-mounted song and dance number.
Also, as the film critic Mark Cousins has pointed out, although they may seem on the surface to be frivolous and trifling, musical films often convey serious and resonant messages about the human condition.
Watching or even just thinking about a classic musical film can make us want to revel in the mood and magic of the singing and dancing on display. Of course, we’re not all Fred Astaire reincarnated; you may even have two left feet, or would rather experience the ambience of the classic musical films without the exertion. One great way to achieve this is to play classic bar slots with an appropriate theme.
There’s a plethora to choose from. For example, the game Golden Era directly evokes Hollywood’s glory days; of Fred and Ginger in classics such as Top Hat or Flying Down to Rio. Rat Pack, on the other hand, is instantly redolent of the ultra-cool group of actors from the 1950s and ‘60s headed by Frank Sinatra. While they’re perhaps best known for the casino heist thriller Oceans 11, several of the members were accomplished singers and hoofers, not least of course Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
Sinatra also starred with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong in the 1956 musical High Society, which now lends its name to a classic bar slot game. Memorable songs from the movie include the very appropriate “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and Crosby and Sinatra’s mock-tipsy duet to “Well, Did You Evah!” It all goes to show that you don’t need to polish your dancing shoes in order to revel in the atmosphere and excitement of classic Hollywood musicals.
LA LA LAND might seem like a novelty. But the key to its charm is the timeless magic of the musical and long may that last!