If La La Land holds the power to transport, we might ask where—and importantly when—it takes us. There lies a profound irony in liberal white folks heading to La La Land to repair after a political season overflowing with the nostalgia of white supremacy. (For all its gauzy backwards glancing, Chazelle’s film might be subtitled Make Hollywood Great Again.) If seeing Gosling and Stone tap dance in the Hollywood Hills tickles something deep in some viewers, perhaps it’s worth investigating the roots of that feeling and its supposed universality. Quite simply: The past represents liberation for one group, a horror show for another.


Know when I realized I'd never fit in in Hollywood?

When I realized I universally hate movies about the greatness of Hollywood.

My Facebook feed, which is full of white Hollywood people, has been a bukkake bananza for this fucking film. "What's that? A bunch of white people singing and dancing about how great it was under the HUAC? Fuck yeah! Haven't been this psyched since The Artist won best picture!"

Even when Hollywood is scolding itself it's fucking tedious. The Player - in which an annoying screenwriter is accidentally killed by an up-and-coming executive who then succeeds forever by covering it up. Crash - in which black people have it rough, but white cops have to live with the guilt of burning bodies and Sandra Bullock stretches by playing someone who gasp doesn't trust minorities. Get Shorty - in which a two-bit thug points out the ridiculousness of Dustin Hoffman while getting to bang Rene Russo.

The problem is, your entertainment is largely made by an insular cadre of rich white people who all know each other, all work exclusively with each other, all eat at the same restaurants and even across a metropolis of 20m people all bump into each other regularly because there's an archipelago of tony whiteness floating on a sea of grit. And they will jump at any chance they can find to reinforce the notion that theirs is the One True Religion.

I used to think I hated musicals. I don't. I hate the musicals people in Hollywood like. It's funny - you ask someone in Hollywood what the best musical ever made was, they'll tell you Moulin Rouge. You ask someone anywhere else, they'll probably say Fiddler on the Roof.

And that's why we get La La Land instead of Cabaret.

posted by galen: 851 days ago