Mise en scene and cinematography in La La land

Cinematography- The film is shot in Widescreen and presented in the 2:55:1 CinemaScope ratio.

The musical numbers are filmed in a style that pays homage to musicals from Hollywood’s golden age.

Complex camera movements in the film’s musical sequences.

The cameras almost dance starting and stopping pushing into the action

Opening scene-


Old summit logo reflects old Hollywood era- black and white not widescreen

Starts in the sky and tilts into the action

Quick pan- immersive sense of escapism

Direct address to audience immerses audience

Camera placed at eye level

Set in present day

Mise en scene-

Low key lighting with spotlight on Seb – lost in his music as if he’s the only person in the room

Spotlight focuses on Seb and shows his importance reflects his aspirations to be a star

Seb fed up of playing mainstream music- xmas songs connote the type of mainstream music he is forced to play

Body language begins to relax as he plays his own music.

Spotlight connotes his fantasy of being on stage

Red hue could connote- anger/love/passion

Blue represents creativity and control

Yellow associated with change.

Red is used as a manifestation of reality.

Coffee shop scene-

Red dress connotes a realisation of reality as Mia wants to be her.

Yellow umbrellas connote change

Coffee spill reflects failure and obstacles that has stopped her from succeeding.

Hidden coffee stain with blue coat.

Pool party scene-


Yellow is prominent

Mia wearing yellow dress implies that this is where Mia and Sebs relationship changes.

Sebs red shirt reflects the reality that he needs a job so joins a 80s cover band.

Blue tint of the sky

Red yellow and blue sky

Mia wearing a yellow dress with red bag

When all colours are blended together it symbolises that the characters are blending together their relationship.

Summer montage-

Blue walls in apartment


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LA backdrop crucial to the film and is one of the allusions of the films title.

Griffith observatory- planetarium – connotations of Hollywood stardom

Includes iconic locations and references to Hollywood’s rich and glamorous history

Rewards spectators prior knowledge to film culture

Reflexive pleasure- prior knowledge needed to understand reference

You are the star mural implies that Mia wants to be there this is reinforced by her blue dress which connotes success.

Dinner scene-


Use of green background could emphasise Sebs romantic gesture.

Yellow glow on the characters faces implies that their relationship is going to change.

Past exam questions-

Explore how the use of cinematic techniques encourages the spectator to identify with a key character in the film that you have studied.(40 marks)

Discuss the significance of cinematic techniques and sound in shaping the response of the spectator to the films you have studied for this topic.

How far do your chosen films concluding scenes confirm their key messages and values.

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