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'La La Land' to bring its singing and dancing love story to AFI Fest

'La La Land' to bring its singing and dancing love story to AFI Fest
Actor J.K. Simmons, left, actor Ryan Gosling, actress Emma Stone, director Damien Chazelle, actress Rosemarie DeWitt and John Legend, from the film "La La Land." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

A film that revels in giving modern day Los Angeles the feeling of a classic Hollywood musical is coming to one of the city's classic venues:   "La La Land" will  screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Nov. 15 as a Centerpiece Gala during AFI Fest.

Directed by "Whiplash" filmmaker Damien Chazelle, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and featuring music by Justin Hurwitz, the movie tells the story of an aspiring actress and struggling jazz pianist both trying to make a go of it in the big city.

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"It's this weird movie that needs to be both a fantastical musical at a certain scale and yet this realistic love story," Chazelle recently told The Times' Rebecca Keegan.

The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival before moving on to the Telluride Film Festival and then picking up the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. (Seven of the last eight People's Choice Award winners have gone on to be nominated for the Oscar for best picture.)

Ryan Gosling says "La La Land" was an opportunity to show an old but enduring Los Angeles, one that highlights local treasures like Grand Central Market, Angel's Flight, and Watts Towers,

AFI Fest also announced this week its world cinema showcase program of 33 films from 28 countries, including seven of the official entries for the Academy Award for foreign language film. Among the titles in the section will be Pedro Almodóvar's "Julieta," Xavier Dolan's "It's Only the End of the World," Pablo Larrain's "Neruda," Asghar Farhadi's "Salesman," Ken Loach's "I, Daniel Blake," João Pedro Rodrigues' "The Ornithologist," Michael Dudok's "The Red Turtle" and Bertrand Bonello's "Nocturama."

The festival also announced the Cinema's Legacy section showing nine classic movies. Along with the previously announced screenings of "Carmen Jones," "The Hitch-Hiker" and "Piccadilly," among the films showing in the section will be Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane," David O. Russell's "Flirting With Disaster," Dino Risi's "Il Sorpasso" and Julie Dash's "Daughters of the Dust."

AFI Fest runs Nov. 10-17. As previously announced, the festival will open with the world premiere of Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply." Paul Verhoeven's "Elle" and Mike Mills' "20th Century Women" will also pay as Centerpiece Galas along with a special screening of Taylor Hackford's "The Comedian."

For more information, go to afifest.com

Follow on Twitter: @IndieFocus

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