I watched La La Land recently and I think that it provides an exceptional example of a world that exists in a film, one that serves to enable the story as well as actively take part in it. The Los Angeles that the film takes place in is a magical and musical LA which seems as though it was created for dreamers and artists and down and out people with good souls to populate (because it was). We’re shown an LA with high sheen and a glossy surface – there are internal struggles between characters but these are still juxtaposed against the ostensibly beautiful city where they believe their dreams will come true.
Crucial to the construction of a world is also the internal logic and inherent, unwritten rules of the world. In La La Land, the most notable ‘world logic’ is the chance that at any stage, a scene or encounter may progress into a fabulous song and dance routine which is acceptable to all inhabitants of this world. In relation to the discussion prompt in class regarding whether a story could take place in another world, this one couldn’t. The mix of whimsy and realism and a constant musical mood allows for this particular story to be told – it needs to be able to transition to a jazz track at any time, because that’s how these characters communicate. It relies on being set in a place which is apparently a fast track for dreams to come true, because the characters are able to continue pursuing them, against the odds, and it also relies on this particular LA being not all it’s cracked up to be – a lot more blood, sweat and tears must be bled, sweated and cried than anyone imagined upon moving there.
I think the internal rules of a world defining a world as much as the setting itself is an interesting concept and one that I’d like to explore more as the semester continues, because I definitely find it to be true for most examples I can think of.