John Berger's 'Ev' Ry Time We Say Goodbye

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I have always viewed movies as mood boosters. Whenever I watch a movie, I judge how good it is according to how well I understand the story. This is why I never truly understand how critics rate movies. However, upon reading John Berger’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”, I start to understand how paying attention to the different components of a film helps in understanding the essence of a story. As Berger once said, “There is no film that does not partake of dream. And the great films are dreams that reveal” (Berger 478). Reading these words instantly prompts me to reexamine the highly acclaimed musical, La La Land. The music, editing, and storyline clearly justify what Berger meant by a movie’s ability to transport us into the unknown whilst…show more content…
This is similar to the way theatre uses music as “a sense of ritual return” (Berger 475). In La La Land, the score weaves each scene together and accompanies me through every step of the story. Each song is either repeated or slightly altered and this reprise of the score constantly reminds me that I am still residing in the fantasies of La La Land. Additionally, the tendency of using xylophones as the main instrument accompanying the songs allows me to feel as if I am part of a dream. For example, during the scene when Mia is driving down the street after rehearsing for her play, the song City of Stars plays in the background with a slightly slower rhythm using xylophones. This alternative version of the song sounds like a lullaby, which reflects the dreamy state Mia is in while thinking about her career and relationship with Sebastian, who is always on tour. Mia’s misery is thrown back to me and I can feel myself slowly start to feel sad. The music not only reminds me of the illusory world of La La Land, but also creates an emotional intimacy between me and the characters of the film. This reinforces the idea of how La La Land transports me to their world. Hence, the score used clearly suggests how global refuge is offered in La La

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