La La Land (2016)

La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan GoslingEmma StoneRosemarie DeWittJ.K. SimmonsFinn WittrockJosh PenceJohn LegendTom Everett Scott
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2016

Plot:
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist who dreams of owning his own club and devoting his life to saving jazz as he loves it. Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress and playwright who dreams of the big career and works hard to finally get her breakthrough. No better place for either of their dreams than Los Angeles, where they meet and, despite initial antagonism, fall in love.

I was lucky enough to see La La Land pretty early, before it really became the smash hit it has since gone on to become with the accompanying blowing out of proportion of its qualities and the resulting backlash. And I have to say that I was very much charmed by the film and its two protagonists. Did I think it deserved all of the love it was getting? Not really. Did I think it deserved all the hate? Definitely not. It’s sweet, fun and entertaining, nothing more, nothing less.

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Writer: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle
Prequel to: [very kinda] Cloverfield
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr., Bradley Cooper [as a voice cameo]
Seen on: 9.4.2016

Plot:
Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) gets into a car accident. When she wakes up, she finds herself chained and locked in a room in a bunker. As he frees her Howard (John Goodman) explains to her that he found her and brought her to his bunker because something has happened outside that makes the very air poisonous. With them in the bunker is Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) who confirms Howard’s story and says that he fought his way into the bunker to get away from the outside. Michelle is suspicious though and plots her escape.

10 Cloverfield Lane was a thoroughly entertaining, tense film with a great cast. While it did stumble here and there, altogether it raced through its story and dragged the audience right along with it.

10cloverfieldlane

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Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Andrew (Miles Teller) studies at the conservatory to be a drummer. A jazz drummer, to be exact. When the renowned professor Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) is looking for a new drummer for his school jazz band, Andrew does everything he can to get the coveted spot – and succeeds. But Fletcher’s teaching methods are built on abuse – only the ones with star potential will make it through. And Andrew is convinced that that’s him.

Whiplash is a tense, well-made and exciting film with a completely fucked-up message. The entire film I was hoping that it would end in exactly the opposite way than it did – and that ending makes me hesitant to really applaud the otherwise excellent film.

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Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is the first movie by Damien Chazelle, starring Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia and Sandha Khin.

Plot:
Guy (Jason Palmer) and Madeline (Desiree Garcia) are a rather happy couple. That is, until Guy meets Elena (Sandha Khin). After Guy and Madeline break up, both try to get their new life on the way.

This movie was boring. Really boring. It was the first boring musical I’ve seen in my life. Which is probably connected to the fact that it’s also the musical with the least songs I’ve ever seen. Half of the time, characters just appeared and you didn’t know where from. The story was completely unfocused and did I mention that it was boring?

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