By Dominick Platt
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The 2017 Oscars were bordered by two Memphian contributions to film: Justin Timberlake's “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” and the film “La La Land” who Molly Smith produced. Timberlake’s Oscar-nominated song opened the ceremony, owning the stage as he usually does. Ms. Smith’s produced film won six Oscars in total, breaking records as it earned trophy after trophy. This is a great accomplishment by these individuals, and something Memphis should be proud of. As a Memphis native, I can say we as a city have two things going for us: our water and our music. Funnily enough, both accolades are music driven, as ‘La La Land” is a musical. And I’m still alive after drinking from the tap so I guess we’re still strong on those fronts.
Mr. Timberlake recorded “Can’t Stop the Feeling” for the 2016 animated film “Trolls”. The movie, marketed to children, was definitely not the content Timberlake is known for. “Let’s be honest: A lot of my music; don’t let your children listen to it,” he explained in an interview about the choice to record this song. However, he went on to say “This felt like an opportunity to share… what inspires me the most with my son.” A noble goal straight from an artistic father’s heart. He also was the performer to bring the crowd into the dance fever the most, getting almost the entire venue dancing as he moved the crowd. A true Memphian performer.
The statue-bloated film “La La Land” is definitely Molly Smith’s production company Black Label Media’s most award winning film, however, they’ve also done work on the famous film “The Blind Side”. In an interview about her thoughts on going into the film, Ms. Smith had this to say, “La La Land is something for a new generation — something special that feels very real and contemporary yet also timeless." Keeping up with contemporary art is something Memphians have done since we first started picking at guitars. She later added her thoughts on film in general. “Filmmaking is such a scraped-together process, every film you put on the screen, it's a miracle to bring it to life." The miracle came together quite well in this critically-acclaimed movie.
Memphis and music go hand-in-hand. It runs in the “as advertised” clean water we drink and blood in our veins. We started that tradition long ago and it’s good to see we’re continuing it today.
Dominick Platt is a staff writer with The Galleon and a major in Creative Writing at Christian Brothers University.