Today sees the release of the eagerly anticipated La La Land, the sophomore directorial effort from Whiplash helmer Damien Chazelle (albeit in a limited capacity). Revered by critics across the globe, the musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling could be the big player at the Academy Awards in February. Indeed, one legendary director is so taken with its director that he believes Chazelle has an important part to play in the future of American cinema.
William Friedkin, the director of such classics as The Exorcist, The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A., is full of praise for the 31-year-old filmmaker and thinks he will soon be a major force in Hollywood. Speaking to Variety, Friedkin said:
“I’ve seen the future of American Cinema and his name is Damien Chazelle. At the age of 31 and on the basis of his last two feature films, he’s a master storyteller in total command of his craft and with an uncanny ability to surprise an audience, with each gesture, each moment, each frame.”
He continued to rave about the director and that in a marketplace saturated by blockbusters and CGI, Chazelle’s “handmade quality” brings a “rare combination” of stunning visuals and emotions. He finished by saying:
“He’s not simply a brilliant filmmaker, he happens to be a warm, modest, and engaging person with genuine humility. I mention this because these are rare traits among genius. Whatever the future of American cinema, whatever forms it takes, Damien Chazelle will be a major force in shaping it.”
There is a wave of overwhelming positivity for La La Land and is the early favourite at the moment to take home the Best Picture Oscar. But with such big films as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Passengers and Assassin’s Creed opening around the same time and other award hopefuls Jackie and Manchester by the Sea expanding, will it find an audience in a busy holiday season?
You can read our review of the film here; La La Land opens in the UK on January 12th, 2017.