Magazine article Variety

'La la Land' Musical Started with a Hook

Magazine article Variety

'La la Land' Musical Started with a Hook

Article excerpt

FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN "La La Land" composer Justin Hurwitz is the one to blame if you can't stop humming the tunes stuck in your head. "But that's the goal," he says with a laugh. "When we're working on them, we throw out the ones that won't get stuck enough."

Lionsgate's "La La Land" set for release Dec. 9, tells the story of L.A. residents Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist. After a couple of false starts, the two fall in love, but still struggle to live their dreams.

Hurwitz not only composed the score for the movie; he also wrote music for six of the 12 original songs and co-wrote lyrics for the song "Start a Fire"

The film marks Hurwitz's third collaboration with writer-director Damien Chazelle, his college roommate, including the Oscar-winning "Whiplash" The two met freshman year at Harvard, where they started a band called Chester French with classmates. Sophomore year, the two quit the band to work on movies full-time.

"When we were seniors, Chester French ended up sparking a bidding war among all the major labels," recalls Hurwitz, who says he and Chazelle are still good friends with their former bandmates. …

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