I concur with Pamela Lowe Saldana at All Things Thriller who wrote in my post – A Lovely Night (La La Land), ‘I think the opening sequence, with all the dancers, entertainers, etc., making the best of the horrid traffic jam…Wow! It is one of the best choreographed scenes in cinematic history.‘
The opening number really does encapsulate the originality, vivacity and enthusiasm of the entire film.
According to wikipedia: The ensemble number portrays drivers in a Los Angeles traffic jam on a highway ramp singing and dancing about their aspirations to succeed in Hollywood. The song was filmed on location on a 130-foot-high express ramp of the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange in three shots, edited with hidden cuts to give the illusion of a single six-minute take.
Hurwitz noted the tension in the song between the aspirations of the singers and the uncertain outcome of their efforts, noting “It’s an optimistic song, but it’s also about unfulfilled dreams.”
La La Land’s director Chazelle likened the number to the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz. What’s remarkable is it was filmed over just 2 days in temperatures over 101 degrees. I cannot imagine what the organisation on set was like to complete all that choreography in such a small time frame in such conditions. Mandy Moore the choreographer spent between three and four months preparing for the shoot, which involved over 60 cars, 30 dancers, and 100 extras.
The other aspect of Another Day in the Sun I love apart from its choreography and its aesthetic attraction is that it’s just such a damn good tune. You would think something so catchy would lose its appeal over time, but for me the experience has been the contrary. The more I hear it, the more I grow fond of it. And that goes with the whole movie and why I consider I La La Land a masterpiece.
So that’s enough of me harping on about the greatness of La La land; let’s just enjoy for another time shall we this terrific opening track which Pam and I at least consider one of the best choreographed scenes in cinematic history: