Oscar-winning composer Justin Hurwitz talks about the “very cool” distinction as he preps for a special event at the Hollywood Bowl in May.
La La Land may have lost the best picture Oscar to Moonlight, but Damien Chazelle’s love letter to Los Angeles isn’t done dancing away with notable honors. This morning, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared April 25 as La La Land Day.
Those in attendance included Garcetti, Chazelle, Oscar-winning composer Justin Hurwitz, Oscar-winning production designers David and Sandy Wasco and choreographer Mandy Moore. As part of the celebration outside Los Angeles City Hall in downtown L.A., Bandaloop aerial dancers performed a medley of dances inspired by the film on the facade of the building. According to the city, the events fall in line with L.A.’s support of the arts while honoring Chazelle’s portrait of the city.
“Very cool” is how Hurwitz described the special recognition ahead of the special day. “With the film and the music, we were hoping to capture certain flavors, colors and feelings of Los Angeles, so to have the actual city embrace the film is very flattering,” Hurwitz tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really cool that this movie has become a touchstone for so many people in so many places.”
More people will have the opportunity to experience the film and its music in real life when Hurwitz and his musical crew take over the Hollywood Bowl for two nights starting May 26. La La Land in Concert will feature the live score against the backdrop of the film, and Hurwitz is in now in the thick of preparations.
“It has taken over my life and is a full-time job right now,” he admits. “I’m very excited — I love the Hollywood Bowl. It’s one of the iconic locations that wasn’t used in the movie so to get to have a connection between La La Land at that location in some ways is very fitting.”
One of his goals for the performance is to try to bring back as many musicians who worked on the film score as possible. That, along with presenting some new music that lovers of the movie haven’t heard yet.
Die-hard fans won’t have to wait until the end of May for special La La Land experiences. Lionsgate Home Entertainment has big plans for April 25 to coincide with the movie’s DVD release. Locations in five cities — Chicago (Andy’s Jazz Club), Los Angeles (Blind Donkey), Washington, D.C. (Mr. Henry’s), New Orleans (d.b.a.) and San Francisco (Le Colonial) — will transform into the jazz club featured in the film, Seb’s.
As for Hurwitz, he’s got no time for socializing. “I’m very busy,” he says, when asked about his life and workload at the moment. The Oscar wins are great, but haven’t dramatically transformed his day-to-day life. “I look at them every day. They are sitting on my piano and they give me so much joy to look at every day. But I can’t say my life has changed. I just work really hard.”