Damien Chazelle’s La La Land has already made a splash at cinemas and on the awards circuit. Mostly Film’s resident grumpy jazzers, Martin and Sarah Slade, review the music, while self-confessed musical and Ryan Gosling aficionado Fiona Pleasance offers some thoughts on the film. Readers, be warned: mild SPOILERS follow.
Here at Mostly Film we were very excited to hear that La La Land, the new Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling movie directed by Damian Chazelle which opens the Venice Film Festival this week, is being sold as a “reinvention of the musical”. In celebration, Fiona Pleasance introduces a look at some of our favourites of the genre.
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Jersey Boys is the latest musical theatre blockbuster to get the big screen treatment. Viv Wilby assesses Clint Eastwood’s take on this tale of crime and close-harmony singing.
BY VIV WILBY
I said when it came out that Tim Burton’s film of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd was his best for a long time. Maybe I got carried away in the moment. A couple of years on, I’m coming round to the view that most of what impressed me was down to Sondheim and not Burton.
I didn’t know the show at all before I saw the Burton film and I’d always been somewhat prejudiced against the whole Sweeney Todd thing. I was scarred by my experience of a dreadful schools’ musical version of the tale (I’m Sweeney Todd the bar-ber, An evil soul I har-bour, I run a little business cutting hair and other things) with which we occupied a couple of ‘music’ lessons in the third year. The few songs that I’d heard sounded difficult and discordant, full of tricky rhythms and rhymes. ‘The Worst Pies in London’ is not a song that makes a whole lot of sense shorn of context and live performance. Continue reading Sweeney Todd