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(Credit: Lionsgate Entertainment)

Film

Damien Chazelle names his favourite film of all time

The youngest filmmaker in the history of the Oscars to win the coveted prize of Best Director, Damien Chazelle inspired members of the uninitiated youth to fall in love with the art of cinema with his modern masterpiece La La Land. After recently working on a Netflix project, Chazelle has already moved on to a period drama called Babylon which is set for a 2022 release.

Chazelle started turning heads with his 2014 gem Whiplash but he caught the global attention with his 2016 musical. La La Land stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz musician who meets a wannabe actress (played by Emma Stone) and falls deeply in love with her. The film is a celebration of love, life, music and everything that is so beautiful about the cinematic medium.

In an interview, Chazelle said: “I remember being nervous before showing the movie, when we were getting it ready for the Venice Film Festival. Not nervous in a way I’ve always been nervous before screenings, but nervous in a way that felt even more palpable to me than I’d ever experienced. I don’t know if it’s because it took longer to get this off the ground, or what exactly.”

Detailing further, he added: “But I feel so passionately about a lot of the things that make up this movie, whether it’s musicals or the ideas in the film, the idea of reaching for a dream, whether it seems like it’s gonna work out or not. I felt like my heart was way out on my sleeve. I felt very exposed. But maybe a musical always exposes. Nothing can go haywire quite like a musical going haywire.”

When asked about his favourite film of all time in an interview, Chazelle did not hesitate when naming a 1964 musical masterpiece by Jacques Demy as his favourite film of all time. Titled The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Demy’s film uses the cinematic medium to transform the monotony of regular life into something truly magical. Chazelle cited this work as a principal influence behind La La Land as well.

Chazelle explained: “Because if I had to send a movie to aliens to describe what cinema is, what this thing called cinema is, I think that’s a movie that doesn’t even make sense on paper anyway. It’s opera but not opera. It’s real but completely fake. It’s happy but heartbreaking. It just doesn’t make sense unless you see it as a movie and it’s the most shattering, transporting work of art I have seen in any medium.”

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