The Fools Who Dream

Cropped from the La La Land movie poster

This title, as many of you know, was taken from a song from writer-director Damien Chazelle’s hit 2016 musical, La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. I’m not sure who will be encouraged by the lyrics today but it has been my silent mantra for a sunny but rather uncertain Monday. This film captures the heart of the artist/dreamer or anyone wishing against the odds to succeed in what they love.

Chazelle is best known for the musical pulse of his movies, complex tracking shots in the choreography and stories about star-crossed lovers with great talent and challenges to match. La La Land is set in contemporary Hollywood and tells the tale of two aspiring artists/lovers giving their all to make it in tinsel town. The movie did $449 million internationally and won 6 Oscars, including Best Original Score, Best Song, Best Actress, Best Design, Best Cinematography and Best Director.

In the end, we all get to decide. Is this too hard or hurtful and it’s time to quit? Or is what we wish for so compelling that there is no giving up.? I know what my choice has to be. Here’s to the ones who dream!

It should be noted that this song is actually an audition piece for the actress. It comes at a pivotal point in the film and underscores the movie’s theme.

My aunt used to come home and tell us stories about being abroad and I remember she told us that she jumped in the river once, barefoot.

She smiled…Leapt without looking and tumbled right into the Seine. The water was freezing, she spent a month freezing but said she would do it again.

Here’s to the fools who dream, foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache. Here’s to themes we make.

She captured a feeling, a sky without ceiling, the sunset inside a frame. She lived in her liquor and died in a flicker buI I remember the flame.

Here’s to the ones who dream. Foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache. Here’s to the mess we make.

She told me ‘A bit of madness is key, to give us new colors to see. Who knows where it will lead us. And that’s why they need us.’

So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles. The painters and poets and plays.

And here’s to the fools who dream. Crazy as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that break. Here’s to the mess we make.

I trace it all back to then. Her, and the snow and the Seine. Smiling through it, she said she would do it again.

Songwriters: Justin Hurwitz, BenPasek, Justin Noble Paul

Chazelle’s next film is Babylon starring Brad Pitt and Margo Robbie. It’s set in period Hollywood and though the plot is under wraps, the title is telling. The movie production was delayed due to the pandemic but finally finished shooting in L.A. In October. The updated release date is December 2022. Can’t wait.

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