Cinematic Brilliance of Camera Angles in La La Land

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 640 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 640|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1: Enhancing Narrative through Camera Angles
  3. Body Paragraph 2: Developing Characters through Camera Angles
  4. Body Paragraph 3: Thematic Expression through Camera Angles
  5. Conclusion


The art of filmmaking is an amalgamation of various elements, each contributing to the narrative's depth, emotional resonance, and visual appeal. One of the quintessential tools in a filmmaker's arsenal is the use of camera angles, a technique that can shape the viewer's perception and engagement with the story. Damien Chazelle's 2016 musical masterpiece, La La Land, is a paradigmatic example of how strategic camera angles can elevate a film's aesthetic and emotional impact. This essay seeks to explore the use of camera angles in La La Land, analyzing how they enhance the narrative, develop characters, and contribute to the film's overall thematic expression.

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Body Paragraph 1: Enhancing Narrative through Camera Angles

Camera angles in La La Land are meticulously chosen to advance the narrative in a visually compelling manner. The film opens with an iconic long take of a traffic jam that transforms into a vibrant musical number. Chazelle employs a combination of wide shots and sweeping crane movements to capture the chaotic yet synchronized dance of the commuters, setting the tone for the film's whimsical yet grounded narrative. The use of high-angle shots during this sequence not only accentuates the scale of the choreography but also introduces the audience to the bustling city of Los Angeles, a character in its own right. This strategic use of camera angles in the opening scene establishes an immersive narrative foundation that persists throughout the film.

Body Paragraph 2: Developing Characters through Camera Angles

Character development in La La Land is profoundly influenced by the use of camera angles. The relationship between the protagonists, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), is intricately portrayed through varying angles that reflect their emotional states and evolving dynamics. For instance, their initial encounters are often shot using medium shots and over-the-shoulder angles, creating a sense of intimacy while maintaining a degree of emotional distance. As their relationship deepens, Chazelle transitions to close-up shots that capture the nuances of their expressions, fostering a deeper connection with the audience. Moreover, the use of low-angle shots during Sebastian's piano performances underscores his passion and dedication to jazz, while high-angle shots of Mia during her auditions convey her vulnerability and determination. These deliberate choices in camera angles provide a visual subtext that enriches the characters' development.

Body Paragraph 3: Thematic Expression through Camera Angles

La La Land is imbued with themes of dreams, love, and the bittersweet nature of artistic pursuit, all of which are accentuated through the use of camera angles. One notable example is the "Planetarium" sequence, where Mia and Sebastian share a dance in a gravity-defying, dreamlike setting. Here, Chazelle employs a combination of wide shots and bird's-eye views to create a sense of weightlessness and wonder, mirroring the euphoric realization of their dreams. Conversely, the film's conclusion utilizes a poignant montage that revisits key moments from their relationship. The juxtaposition of close-ups and long shots in this sequence not only highlights the passage of time but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and loss. By carefully manipulating camera angles, Chazelle effectively communicates the film's thematic essence, inviting viewers to reflect on the interplay between reality and aspiration.

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In conclusion, Damien Chazelle's La La Land exemplifies the transformative power of camera angles in filmmaking. Through a deliberate and creative use of various angles, Chazelle enhances the narrative, deepens character development, and underscores the film's thematic core. The strategic deployment of wide shots, close-ups, high-angle, and low-angle shots not only enriches the visual storytelling but also amplifies the emotional resonance of the film. As a result, La La Land stands as a testament to the profound impact that thoughtful cinematography can have on the art of cinema, offering viewers an immersive and emotionally fulfilling experience. This analysis underscores the importance of camera angles as a fundamental component of cinematic expression, demonstrating how they can be utilized to craft a compelling and visually stunning narrative.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Cinematic Brilliance of Camera Angles in La La Land. (2024, Jun 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
“Cinematic Brilliance of Camera Angles in La La Land.” GradesFixer, 07 Jun. 2024,
Cinematic Brilliance of Camera Angles in La La Land. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Jul. 2024].
Cinematic Brilliance of Camera Angles in La La Land [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 07 [cited 2024 Jul 24]. Available from:
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