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A screening of the 2016 musical romantic comedy drama “La La Land’ will be presented on Thursday, August 24 at 7 p.m. in the Library Community Room. The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Friends of the Rialto Theatre, with special thanks to 210eastsound and Movie Licensing USA. The beloved film grossed over $445 million worldwide after it was made with a relatively small budget of $30 million. It will be shown using professional equipment and projected onto a giant film festival-type screen.

The Library event will also feature a discussion by Escott Norton, the Executive Director of the Friends of the Rialto Theatre with David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, a husband and wife duo who are production designers and art directors. The couple is best known for their frequent collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino as a production designer such as “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Kill Bill: Volume 1” (2003), and “La La Land” (2016) for which they won the Academy Award for Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.

Upon its release,”La La Land,” was dubbed “a love letter to Hollywood” and became an American cultural phenomenon and an instant classic. Written and directed by Damien Chaziel, the charming tour de force stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, with John Legend in a key supporting role. Besides a popular success, the film was also a critical blockbuster that was showered with 14 Academy Award nominations, tying the record. It eventually won 7 Oscars, including Best Director for Chaziel, Best Actress for Stone, and Best Score for the compositions and orchestrations of Jason Hurvitz, a Harvard University classmate of Chaziel. The film also won hundreds of other awards, and was tabbed as Best Picture of the Year in many polls.

As so many millions already know, “La La Land” follows the lives of two young LA dreamers, an aspiring and inspired actress in Stone as Mia, and a talented and stubborn jazz pianist in Gosling as Sebastian. They meet and fall in love while trying to succeed on their own terms in their chosen professions which are not always complementary. Filmed on location in various recognizable spots in Los Angeles, the movie also prominently features South Pasadena’s historic Rialto Theatre where Mia and Sebastian attend a showing of “Rebel Without a Cause.” The film’s opening scene is a vibrant musical dance scene featuring a cast of dozens, caught up in a traffic jam on the ramp to the 110 Freeway. It sets the stage for many more unforgettable scenes to come.

The Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro St.. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and no tickets or reservations are needed, but “first come, first seated”. Refreshments will be served. The Community Room is only about a block away from the South Pasadena Thursday Farmers Market, considered one of Southern California’s best, and only about 2 blocks from the Gold Line Station. Free parking is available at the Mission-Meridian Parking Garage, located at 805 Meridian Avenue next to the Metro Gold Line Station.

Harry Yadav
Author

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South Pasadena Review Online Newsletter

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