The year 2016 was not as horrible as some people thought it to be. I did go through some personal changes that might not be seen as monumental in the wide scope of the world. I have always been a true romantic–a label given to me by an English professor when I was a freshman. However, somewhere between January of last year to December, I slipped into the character of a realist. This change of heart has not made me terribly cynical, but it has helped serve as a shovel of sorts as I bury myself deeper in a hectic work week of six full-time and part-time jobs.
I was lucky enough to reserve tickets for a show that had been sold out all week at my local cinema on New Year's Eve. It is funny how movie tickets must now be reserved three days in advance like an actual theater and it still does not guarantee the best seats in the house (but that is an entirely different topic of discussion). The movie of the night was Damien Chazelle's La La Land and it took a movie like this to remind me why I was a romantic for so many years and why I became a cynic.
Having spent nearly one decade living in La La Land (Los Angeles, CA) the film was a nostalgic look back at a city that I once called home. The story focuses on two characters who are both creative, artistic types: the girl wants to be a famous actress and the guy, a pianist, wants to own his own jazz club. Both characters seem to have their heads in the clouds and are dreamers with individual goals. The story mirrored a similar naiveté that I once had in a town where everyone was encouraged to pursue the arts and follow their dreams.
I do not intend to give away any spoilers and I will not. I did not expect the ending of the film to go in the direction that it did. Just know that by the end of the film, I had trouble seeing out of my glasses because of the tears and I actually felt viscerally ill while watching a montage that played out in the film's final ten minutes. The physical reaction is the reason I thought about the movie all night and have not stopped thinking about the movie today. It has forced me to contemplate the importance of following a dream career path and the sacrifices that one has to make to stay on that path.
It was a dazzling film for anyone who is an artist and has ever found themselves at a crossroads right before realizing a dream.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Jan. 2, 2017
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