Gosling fans, hold onto your seats. The San Francisco Film Society is hosting a special screening on December 8 of the already Oscar-buzzworthy movie musical La La Land, at the Castro Theatre, and guess who's going to be there live in person!! Stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both going to be there for a live Q&A, along with co-star John Legend (who also composed a song for the film), and director Damien Chazelle.
The event is a first-of-its-kind award ceremony called SF Honors, a new award from the SF Film Society made possible by a gift from Board Vice President Todd Traina and his mom, Dede Wilsey. Traina has served on the board since 2009, and the award $1 million over ten years is meant to celebrate innovation in current cinema, and will come with an annual event like this one with a screening and special onstage tribute to the creators and cast of one of the year's best films.
"Innovation and audacity are values cherished here in San Francisco," says SF Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan in a release. "We are grateful to Todd Traina and Diane Wilsey for their enormous generosity in launching SF Honors. Their gift will allow us to celebrate the remarkable and unique fusion of music and film that is Damien Chazelle's La La Land, adding our enthusiastic support to the film's impressive award season run."
The movie has already been heralded by the New York Times' Manohla Dargis as being able to "make musicals matter again" in a way that has eluded great directors for several decades. And, she writes, after watching it a second time after the election and surrendering to its dance numbers with Gosling and Stone, "I realized that this must have been what it was like to watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers during the Great Depression."
La La Land opens in theaters nationwide on December 9. Tickets ($25) for the Castro screening and event are now at rush, which means only film society members can get access to advance tickets, and some tickets will be available day-of at the theater. Maybe it's time to think about a film society membership?