The Power of Love vs. White Saviors: Cinephile Hissy Fit Tackles La La Land!

Photo courtesy Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

Hello everyone! Will Johnson here to report that for the second straight week on Cinephile Hissy Fit, we are tackling a bonafide crowd-pleaser with the film that was a Best Picture winner for about four minutes, La La Land. My co-host pal/nemesis Don Shanahan really loves the film and being the contrarian I am, I despise it. So it made for a perfect topic for episode 11 of our burgeoning podcast!

I think what makes this episode particularly successful is how we both read the film. Needless to say, we not only disagree but come at the film from very different places. Don sees the film as a love note to romance, old-school musicals, and chasing your dreams. I, on the other hand, can’t quite shake the potential white savior narrative at play even if, admittedly, it only pertains to a small part of the story. I won’t spoil the meat and bones of the discussion but obviously, these contrasting views lead to an interesting discussion on filmmaker intentions, privilege, and film theory.

Emma Stone looks lovingly at Ryan Gosling in a jazz club
Photo courtesy Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

So, without further ado, check out our eleventh episode of the show and determine for yourself if I’m just simply a woke, SJW libtard—I humbly await those comments! Follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook if you are so inclined! We are very responsive there and will gladly answer any of your questions. Cinephile Hissy Fit is a 25YL production and part of the Ruminations Radio Network!

La La Land (2016)

Listen to this episode from Cinephile Hissy Fit on Spotify. 25YL film critics, honored dads, and summer freedom school teachers Will Johnson and Don Shanahan come from completely different places when it comes to the optics and results of Damien Chazelle’s award-winning movie. For this show, these two guys go heady and long on those divergences.

Written by Will Johnson

Will is the author of the little-read books Secure Immaturity: A Nostalgia-Crushing Journey Through Film and Obsessive Compulsive: Poetry Formed From Chaos. Will is a film critic at 25YL but also specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the occasional horror review. Will loves his hometown Buccaneers and lives in Phoenix, AZ, USA with his two daughters.

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