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La La Land still gets me……..



After the discourse of the movie industry which have grouped into two camps, one that loved the flick “Green Book” and think it a deserving winner of best picture Oscar and those in the other camp that thinks the movie is not a fair representation and reflection of the racial issues that face us as a nation today and yesterday, I realize that you cannot please everyone every time.  This brings me to the movie “La La Land”, a film that was deemed Oscar worthy just couple of years ago. Yet this film, like “Green Book” has its detractors.  I suggest that it takes time for a film to engrain itself into the historical culture of cinema, and that all films need to simmer on the stove to really have them ready for a real taste their greatness. 
La La Land has so many that do not like, even hate it, that I felt I had to address this for the few that will take time to read this.


I first viewed La La Land on my big screen Panasonic Plasma 65 inch TV (the best TV in the world to watch a movie at home, thank you very much Tom Cruise), in blue ray, a year or so after it came out.  I am sorry I did not see it in the theater.


I was hesitant to view LLL as of the negativity from some that totally hate the film. That said, I purchased the blue ray and sat down one evening by myself to see what it was all about. The beginning musical number on the freeway in LA did not impress me and I found it not to my initial liking. I did not bond with the that particular song at first and the whole set piece by director Damien Chazelle was initially a turn off.  I really needed to take time and view this scene again, one without any cuts, a continuous shot that was in fact a masterful work of filmmaking.  I did not realize the significance of the brief encounter of the  two principals (Gosling, Stone) and the following half hour or so of the film started clicking for me and the set piece with the two at the pool party set the emotional caring of these two for the rest of the film. I thought the flick was fresh in its fantasy feeling for Los Angeles, and the ambitions of the two fit perfectly in that environment. I can say that I was not as impressed with the dancing of Gosling and Stone in their scene overlooking LA but on further views I have come to enjoy the two in this pivotal first greeting.


The total package of “where” this film takes place was enough to overcome any misgivings of  my first viewing, I have replayed my blue ray three times, for two reasons, One, the interplay between Stone and Gosling, and secondly, for the musical numbers and songs. The solo performance of Stone in the interview scene which I think sealed her Oscar win for best actress, and the relationship developed between Stone and Gosling and their final meeting in Gosling’s club at the end of the movie.



All the music is, in my opinion, lends to  a special feeling when I hear it replayed, as I often listen to the soundtrack on my ‘Alexia’. Just my personal look at La La Land. And for all those that did not like the movie and call it various negative names, I truly feel badly that you cannot understand the ride these two special characters took in their world of LA Land in this great film.




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About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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