Opening Statement

Through these characters, its setting, and the idealism of Hollywood, La La Land is a love letter for many things: the classic musicals of Astaire & Rogers and Gene Kelly, the classic romances of Bogart and Bacall, jazz music, movie theaters, the city of angels, and more – by Aaron Pinkston, January 2, 2017

Generational Lenses

Such a pessimist making something as hopeful as La La Land is the definition of millennial—ambitious, contradictory, a little stupid, and ultimately inspiring. At least that’s how I see it, but hey, older viewer, if you want to tell me Chazelle’s story is yours too, I’d listen – by John Gilpatrick, January 3, 2017

The Nature of Homage

One look at the trailer for Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and images of West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain, and An American in Paris will come rushing to mind. But as praise and Oscar buzz swirls around the charming tale, I find myself pondering the nature of homage itself – by Sarah Gorr, January 4, 2017

The Forum: Our 2016 Favorites

From a nostalgic sing-along to strange metaphorical worlds, from historical texts of a terrifying pasts to rays of hope in a bleak future, these are The Cinessential crew's favorite films of 2016 – January 5, 2017

Further Streaming: Underrated 2016

By now, it’s been established that 2016 was another great year for film. It’s not just for the top shelf, universally loved instant classics, but also for the deep and diverse selections below La La LandMoonlightManchester by the Sea, etc. – by Aaron Pinkston, January 6, 2017

The Cinessential Podcast, Ep. 7

The Cinessential staff wraps up 2016 with their discussion of La La Land. Topics include: the casting, the music, the ending, and the nature nostalgia. The group then talks about their favorite films of the year, including Moonlight and The Witch – by The Cinessential, January 13, 2017