August 25, 2017
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I finally got to see La La Land with my church community group this week. I appreciated its down-to-earth, intentionally banal depiction of Hollywood as well as the subtle poking fun at LA traffic and lack of seasons (a flash mob dance number during a traffic jam opens the movie, in “WINTER”).
The palm tree is part of the joke.
Everyone in the movie is striving to make it in the entertainment industry somehow. And it’s the depiction of this striving that forms the main tension in the movie and my deepest thoughts after it ended.
Boston has a similar feel, with seemingly everyone striving to achieve academic or entrepreneurial success. Well, that’s not entirely true — I’ve certainly met many, particularly in church, whose efforts also included a healthy dose of family and community. But if you spend enough time on campus and casual social gatherings, the first topic that often comes up is what you work on, or what you’ll be doing after you graduate, and you can come away with the same sort of impression that it’s why everyone came here.
But it wasn’t the cities that the movie made me think about the most, it was myself. What has happened to my dreams?
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