In Los Angeles, in the footsteps of La La Land...

From a freeway to the famous Griffith Observatory, the five-time Oscar-winning musical La La Land puts many Los Angeles locations in the spotlight.
Réalité/fiction La La Land Los Angeles
Réalité/fiction La La Land Los Angeles

La La Land in Los Angeles

The five Oscar and six Golden Globe 2017 musical La La Land puts many Los Angeles locations in the spotlight. Here is a selection of the main ones.

Century Freeway, a real La La Land

This is the location of the grand opening scene of the film. Stuck in a big traffic jam, each driver gets out of his car for a real singing ballet. Colour, lively music, all the ingredients are there to launch a musical comedy in the most beautiful way. Brilliant.

Two days of filming were necessary and more than one hundred dancers were mobilized. The filming took place during a weekend in August, under a scorching sun. While the scene was to be shot at ground level, director Damien Chazelle finally decided to film it on the interchange, about thirty meters high, to show the extent of the city.

Then of course, you certainly won’t be able to stop on this motorway bridge, but with a bit of luck, you’ll run into traffic jams… Then turn on the music and let your imagination do the rest!

Address: Interstate 105, Los Angeles, USA

Mount Hollywood Drive, Griffith Park

Mount Hollywood Drive, Griffith Park - La La Land
Mount Hollywood Drive, Griffith Park – La La Land

From this corner of Griffith Park, the view of the valley and Los Angeles is clear. No wonder the director of La La Land fell for it. Even more so at sunset, as in the scene in the film, where Sebastian takes Mia home. After a good walk and a chat, they stop there, before sitting on a small bench, wedged under a lamp post. There begins the song “Lovely Night”, followed by a dance between the two actors. If you arrive at Cathy’s Corner, don’t look for benches or street lamps, they have been added for the occasion. Only the view is authentic!

Address: Mount Hollywood Drive, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, USA

Hermosa Pier

Hermosa Pier - Image by sabrinaariana from Pixabay
Hermosa Pier – Image by sabrinaariana from Pixabay

The scene on Hermosa Pier is brief but memorable. Here again, the place is sublimated by a beautiful sunset, a light that is both soft and warm. It was here that Sebastian began to sing the song “City of star”, which won the Oscar for best original song. After a few dance steps, Sebastian plays with his hat before meeting a couple, both amused and a little surprised. The pier was built in 1904 and rebuilt in 1913. It stretches nearly 300 m across the Pacific Ocean.

Address: Hermosa Pier, Los Angeles, USA

Smoke House Restaurant

It is there that Sebastian is forced to return to play Christmas songs, to his great despair. The restaurant is run by the inarguable J.K. Simmons. It is especially there that Sebastian and Mia meet for the second time in the film. If Mia seems hypnotized by the piano piece played by Sebastian, the latter passes in front of her without calculating it. It was only a rain check…

In the movie, his name is changed to Lipton’s House. Very spacious, with its red faux leather seating and black and white photos of actors, the restaurant is located right across from Warner Bros. studios and is very popular.

Address: 4420 Lakeside Drive, Burbank, USA

The “Seb’s”

Le Seb's - La La Land
Le Seb’s – La La Land

This is where the final scene takes place, the last meeting between Mia and Sebastian. Everyone has fulfilled their dreams: Mia has become a movie star, Seb has opened his club, which seems to be a great success. In terms of location, it’s actually a mix of two establishments: the Blind Donkey in Long Beach for indoors, and the Black in Hollywood for outdoors.

Addresses: Blind Donkey, 149 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, USA and Black, 6202 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, USA

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory - Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Griffith Observatory – Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Griffith Observatory is also located in Griffith Park and therefore dominates the Los Angeles Valley. It is a very touristy place, from which you can see the Hollywood sign that stands out in white on the hill. It is a somewhat mythical place of the City of Angels which opened in 1935. It was renovated between 2002 and 2006.

The part of the film that takes place there is equal to the grandeur of the site with a dance in which Sebastian and Mia rise into the stars. As it is forbidden to film inside the observatory, this scene was shot on a set that faithfully reproduces the interior of the observatory.

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, USA

Studio Warner Bros.

Warner Bros Studio - La La Land
Warner Bros Studio – La La Land

It was in these studios that a large number of scenes were shot. It’s mostly where the coffee shop where Mia works is. Actually, it’s not coffee, obviously. It was built from scratch and is opposite the window used in a famous scene from the film Casablanca. Mia even refers to it in La La Land.

Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, USA

A bonus in Paris for the finale of La La Land

And yes, Paris is also in the spotlight in La La Land with the Caveau de la Huchette. Close-up on the sign and then on Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) playing piano inside before a trumpet player evokes Louis Armstrong. Then Sebastian and Mia (Emma Stone) escape through a gate to survey the City of Light at night.

No doubt, it is at the famous Parisian jazz club that the end of the great Hollywood success refers to. And Damien Chazelle’s film had an impact on attendance, as attendance increased after the feature film’s theatrical release. However, the scenes were not shot on location but in the studio where the location had been meticulously reconstructed. Since 1946, the Caveau de la Huchette has been hosting jazz concerts and has seen great musicians such as Sydney Bechet.

A place to be found in the Paris guide of the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels!

Address: 5 rue de la Huchette, Paris, France

The Fantrippers Buying Board

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The coolest guide in Paris!

The café of Amélie, the mansion of Untouchables, the jazz club of the finale of La La Land, the Hôtel du Nord of the mythical replica of Arletty “Atmosphere”, the cinema of A bout de souffle, the restaurant of Ratatouille, the quays of the Seine of Midnight in Paris, the secret places of the Da Vinci Code, the grocery store of January in La Traversée de Paris , the Bridge of Inception and Peur sur la ville, the addresses of the spectacular scenes of Mission Impossible 6, but also series Call my agent, Gears, Le Bureau des légendes, Sense8, Sex and The City, Gossip Girl…

Etienne Daho’s Café de Flore, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hotel in Nas in Paris, Serge Gainsbourg’s Poinçonneur des Lilas metro station, Serge Reggiani and Marc Lavoine’s Mirabeau Bridge, Mc Solaar’s Lyon station…

The places evoked in the comics Adèle Blanc-Sec, Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Michel Vaillant…

But also in the novels of Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Leo Malet, Daniel Pennac, Marc Levy, Guillaume Musso… you’ll find all the must-see places of Parisian Pop Culture in this new guide.

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By Damien Duarte

Friday, April 21, 2017

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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