La La Land: Director Chazelle and Composer Hurwitz on the Musical’s Finale

Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper hosted a special screening of one of his favorite films, La La Land, at the Harmony Gold theater in Los Angeles, describing its creator, Damien Chazelle, as “the next great director.”


Chazelle said he would remember the journey to that very moment, as well as having a tough time saying goodbye to the film once it had to wrap. “With this one it was hard because I tried to get it off the ground for six years.

“Once we were shooting, it felt like, ‘We better not screw it up. This is our one shot.’ When you’ve waited that long to have your one shot to shoot a film, you don’t want to leave it with any regrets.”

He added, “This one in particular I tried to shoot as much as I could, edit as much as I could.”

Chazelle said: “There’s something about some of my favorite musicals that they put me in a sort of heightened state where I feel like I’m floating out of the theater rather than walking out. I want to capture a little bit of that feeling, but at the same time not have it be a purely escapist movie, but have it also be something that makes us think about choices we’ve made in our lives or those different paths and where we can go and how we choose to balance our personal lives with our professional pursuits.”

Justin Hurwitz, the film’s composer, noted, “I hope some people leave the movie being blown away by the fantasy sequence at the end because it’s a showcase for all of us.  Obviously for me, it’s nine minutes of score and that closes the movie, but also the production the costumes, the direction, the way Damien tells the story with all images and the choreography. It’s such an elegantly put together sequence from all departments.

He added, “Narratively, it’s such a beautiful idea. That sequence was in Damien’s first script. He always wanted to go back and rewind the relationship and show what it could have been through this fantasy montage.”