During last night’s Gold Derby party I spoke to La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz, who’s a longtime friend and collaborator of director Damien Chazelle. Hurwitz also composed the score of Chazelle’s Whiplash (’14) as well as Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (’09), a musical that resembles La La Land in some ways, and which served as a kind of early training exercise. I enjoyed the fact that La La Land‘s most recognizable songs– “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” — are heard a couple of times each, and that this repetition allows the melodies to sink into your system. As you might expect, Hurwitz is a cool, friendly guy. GD’s Tom O’Neil and I were telling him that La La Land is far and away the favorite film of the blogaroonies. The test will come when it opens commercially, of course, and especially when the schlubby-dubbies in the Academy and guilds have a look-see. It’s all well and good for a film to be championed by the blogaroonies and film festival elites, but the 60-and-older crankies and slowboats have to go for it also.

La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz — apologies for the low light but that’s part of the charm of Eveleigh, the Sunset Strip restaurant that hosted last night’s Gold Derby party.

Besides “City of Stars” and “Audition”, the other La La Land songs are “Start a Fire”, “Someone in the Crowd”, “A Lovely Night” and “Another Day of Sun.”