“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#2, #1)…

Posted on October 21, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`We have finally made it to the top of the countdown. Two words suffice… Damien Chazelle. As it turns out, the gifted director put together cinematic masterpieces; one a frothy musical and the other, an intense jazz-laden thriller. Both flicks also feature actor J. K. Simmons. He earned an Oscar for the effort. First, let me rundown the previous entries of what I consider the finest productions of the last two decades:


#50 Gosford Park – #49 The Reader – #48 I Tonya – #47 Molly’s Game – #46 The Post
#45 Woman in Gold –  #44 Midnight in Paris – #43 The Grand Budapest Hotel
#42 Jojo Rabbit – #41 The Green Book – #40 Hidden Figures – #39 Truth – #38 Dark Water
#37 Chicago – #36 Darkest Hour – #35 Cold War – #34 The Producers – #33 Brooklyn
#32 The King’s Speech – #31 Nightcrawler – #30 Motherless Brooklyn
#29 Charlie Wilson’s War – #28 Richard Jewell – #27 The Ides of March – #26 Argo
#25 Thirteen Days – #24 An Education – #23 The Queen – #22 Hell or High Water
#21 The Ladykillers – #20 Frost/Nixon – #19 American Hustle – #18 Nebraska
#17 Promising Young Woman – #16 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
#15 The Imitation Game – #14 The Trial of the Chicago Seven – #13 Spotlight
#12 Sideways – #11 Lincoln – #10 Mank – #9 The Artist – #8 My Week with Marilyn
#7 Bad Times at the El Royale – #6 The Social Network – #5 Get Low – #4 Stan & Ollie
#3 Lion


~ #2 – LA LA LAND (2016)

“`Damien Chazelle wrote and directed this cotton-candy homage to Los Angeles. La La Land features a start that rivals the choreographic openings to  Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man and West Side Story. The style and tone of the movie were inspired by Jacques Demy’s  The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort. It draws visual allusions to top musicals such as Broadway Melody of 1940, The Band Wagon, Singin in the Rain, and An American in Paris. The movie travels through the Warner Brothers lot, Angels Flight, Griffith Observatory, Rialto Theater, Lighthouse Cafe, the 10 Freeway, and Hollywood Hills. The story focuses on balancing a career pursuit in Tinsel Town and falling in love.

“`Chazelle actually conceptualized the idea of this musical before turning out Whiplash. Due to the latter movie’s success,  its star Miles Teller was set to team with Emma Watson on the project.  Eventually, the script landed on the doorstep of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. She was actually delighted for the opportunity because of her childhood love of musicals. She had appeared in a Broadway revival of  Cabaret and her favorite all-time film is Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. The two channeled their inner Tracy/Hepburn, Bogie/Bacall, Astaire/Rogers, and William Powell/Myrna Loy.

“`La La Land earned fourteen Oscar nods and won six; Best Director, Best Actress (Stone), Best Original Score, Best Original SongBest Production Design, and Best Cinematography. The movie matched All about Eve and Titanic for the most nominations. Hilariously, at the Academy Awards ceremony, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced it had captured Best Picture of the Year. They were wrong… Moonlight won. Ironically, this is the only false note delivered by this loving tribute to the American musical.


~ #1 – WHIPLASH (2014)

“`After Damien Chazelle finished completing the script of Whiplash, Right of Way Films and Blumhouse Productions  helped him turn fifteen pages of the script into an eighteen-minute short film. It received acclaim after debuting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and attracted investors to produce a cinematic version.  The screenplay was based on his tempestuous bond with a former band instructor while he was in the Princeton High School Studio Band. I just love a Hollywood story!

“`With reference to the careers of Charlie Parker and Buddy Rich, the production’s soundtrack also features the arrangements of Duke Ellington and Juan Tizon (Caravan), and saxaphonist and composer Hank Levy (Whiplash). For his part, J. K. Simmons portrays a frustrated music professor who is profane, cruel, and utterly compelling. As a result, this psychological thriller has many neo-noir elements.

“`Loaded with bravado and swagger, Whiplash earned five Oscar nominations and received statuettes for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting ActorEntertainment Weekly and Movies.com named the production Best Motion Picture in 2014. It is better in my estimation… Simply, my FAVORITE movie of the twenty-first century.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2021 at 11:48 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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