TOKYO: The director of hit romantic musical “La La Land” said he was jolted and honoured when he learned that his film had earned a record 14 Oscar nominations.
Damien Chazelle’s whimsical tribute to Hollywood’s Golden Age of musicals topped the Academy Award nominations list on Tuesday, tying an all-time record set by “All About Eve” and “Titanic”.
“It was a little bit of a shock and it was a huge honour,” Chazelle told a press conference a day after the film’s Japan premiere.
The movie scored nods for best picture, best director and acting nominations for its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Its 10 other nominations came in nine categories.
“Ryan and I were staying in the same hotel when we found the news, so we were able to celebrate together with champagne,” Chazelle said.
Gosling stressed the “collaborative” nature of the production.
“If you’re lucky enough to be recognised in this way for your film in most cases only a few people are singled out,” the Canadian actor said.
“So to see so many our collaborators recognised just really made it that much more special.”
When asked if he had included any references to other films in the production that have gone unnoticed, Chazelle said he might have borrowed something from a Japanese yakuza movie from the 1960s.
“I feel like I took a little from this Japanese movie “Tokyo Drifter” by Seijun Suzuki and his whole kind of oeuvre of movies,” Chazelle said.
“His super wide frames and very pop-art colours — they feel like musicals to me, but with guns.”
“Maybe that’s like a kind of hidden homage, at least not one that anyone in the US would get.”
Chazelle and Gosling also participated in a ritual ceremony and cracked open a wooden sake barrel, hoping for the movie’s success in Japan.