Jazz, Paris and tragedies: The creator of “La La Land” premieres his first series

After conquering Hollywood with the colorful “La La Land”, director Damien Chazelle makes his television debut with a miniseries set in Paris, wrapped in jazz music and in which its protagonists, bohemian and disorderly, try to organize the chaos of their life.

“The Eddy” is the title of the Netflix production but also the name of the jazz venue run by its protagonist, Elliot (André Holland), an American musician who tries to rebuild his life in Paris after a family tragedy and who, in his attempt surrounds himself with a multicultural group of musicians who live their internal dramas in the big city.

From the beginning the hallmark of Chazelle is imposed: Music is a central element of the plot, with long jazz performances in bars, rooms or even garages that serve as improvised sets and mark the identity of the fiction.

Although its protagonist, Elliot, feels incapable of returning to a stage, a new composition haunts his head and will bring back, at times, his passion for music.

The new song, the changes in its melody and lyrics – “it continues to slide slowly, in the strong hangover” -, will serve as a link as the different dramas that articulate the plot written by Jack Thorne (“Skins”, “Shameless”) .

AN INTIMATE BEING IN A GRAY, ROMANTIC AND CHAOTIC PARIS

Although Chazelle has directed the first two episodes of the series, the chosen tone is much more intimate and does not have the brightness or the explosion of “La La Land” (2016).

“The Eddy” is a European production, Frenchified, in which the dialogues follow one another in English, French and Arabic and the scenes follow a slow and detailed rhythm, instead of the speed at which Hollywood is accustomed.

Nor does it show the monumental Paris, that of the “grandeur” and the Champs-Elysées, but rather immerses itself in the suburbs of the French capital, full of small apartments and chaotic streets in which cultural diversity exudes.

Perhaps the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone musical more or less idealized the city of Los Angeles, but in this case there are no windows overlooking the Eiffel Tower and no wines on the banks of the Seine.

If you have to look for a Chazelle reference to describe the Netflix series, more than “La La Land”, it would be the vibrant “Whiplash” (2014), which aroused applause at festivals such as Sundance or the Seminci in Valladolid before reaching the Oscar.

As with “Whiplash”, in “The Eddy” the musical moments that its protagonists give away, with passionate performances, give that romantic and spontaneous stamp that Chazelle, a filmmaker passionate about music, has previously impressed on his works in the big screen.

A SERIES ABOUT MUSIC BEFORE A DRAMA

In “The Eddy” there is personal, romantic and family drama, especially when Elliot’s daughter, played by Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games), arrives from New York to Paris and discovers her father’s unstable life in Europe.

There is also an underlying crime with its pertinent police investigation and financial hardships in each character, but “The Eddy” is above all a series about music.

Musician Glen Ballard, producer of Alanis Morissette’s acclaimed “Jagged Little Pill,” has composed the songs for the series, which also features singer-songwriter Benjamin Biolay as a record label manager.

“The Eddy” opens this weekend in the Netflix catalog and its soundtrack has been released at the same time, with versions of St. Vincent and Jorja Smith, among others.

Javier Romualdo

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Jazz, Paris and tragedies: The creator of “La La Land” premieres his first series

The Inside News Hyderabad