In the Dark

Shall We Dance?

La La Land
Produced by Summit Entertainment 
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle 
Distributed by Liongate 

The Founder
Produced and distributed by 
The Weinstein Company 
Directed by John Lee Hancock 
Screenplay by Robert D. Siegel 

In last month’s issue, no less a cinematic authority than Taki pronounced La La Land delightful (“Beyond the Idiot Box,” Under the Black Flag), a judgment with which I thoroughly agree.

This movie does something I despaired of ever seeing again.  Director Damien Chazelle has reinvented the kind of musical Fred Astaire was making with Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, and Cyd Charisse from the 1930’s through the 1950’s.  And it’s just what’s needed now.

Astaire’s films helped lift Americans from the Depression not by mounting analyses of its causes and possible remedies, but by reminding them of the restorative properties of hope allied with buoyant energy.

They were delightfully airy soufflés that were whipped up by means of Spartan discipline.  Rogers had the proof: her blood-stained shoes.  Astaire was a perfectionist who insisted...

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