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La La Lights Out

Ah I saw La La Land last Saturday!

First, I tried to trick B into going to see it with me by saying I’d heard great things blah blah blah and tactfully leaving out the fact that it was a musical in my description. Unfortunately, B read something somewhere that gave the game away.

‘You didn’t mention that it was… a musical?’


Then it occurred to me — maybe Cordelia (of Edward mistress fame) hasn’t seen it yet and will come with me!

I checked the weather and it looked like it would be fair, so I proposed brunch and a brisk walk through the common before an afternoon showing of the film.


‘You realise it’s pouring down rain?’ B asked as I prepared to walk to Balham. Disbelieving the rain I could see and hear out the window, I checked the weather app on my phone again. Nope, it just says it’s partly cloudy, it’s fine.

Ugh, it was raining when I went out, definitely pretty hard, so I had to wait for the bus.


At any rate, right on cue, I made it to Balham and Cordelia made it to Balham. The usual brunch spots were packed but we managed to secure a seat in one of the cafes and tuck in on poached eggs and smoked salmon and other Brooklyn-y types of things.

Shortly after I had made it back up from the loo on a rather treacherous set of stairs, all the lights went out in the cafe. Fortunately, we’d already eaten and I’d had my coffee etc so I wasn’t in a rage or anything and we were able to throw down some cash and make a speedy exit on blackout drama.

Of course, we didn’t know at the time that we are actually witches who cause electrical problems.


Brief potter around the charity bookshop and I managed to pick up three new novels to add to my list of 107 waiting in the wings. Then we hopped on the bus (there was no possibility of taking a walk that day) just in time to make it back to the Streatham Odeon for the 2:30pm showing.

I had dragged poor Cordelia down to my neck of the woods on the promise of a 2 for £12 voucher valid only in good ol’ Streats. Fortunately, when we arrived at the theatre there were about 400 people in line to buy tickets and the general atmosphere was very pleasant and pretty much ideal for having convinced someone to go somewhere against their will.


Cordelia looked dubiously at the queues and was mildly affronted by the wild children of Streatham running around the lobby, but soon we were safely ensconced in our theatre, eagerly awaiting a La La Land assault of the senses.

O how I loved the film right away! And as the opening sequence transitioned into the next scene and the scene after that, I thought to myself, ‘Gosh, I can’t wait to come see this again!’

Little did I know how soon this wish would come true — that the powers of my electrical-current-altering witch mind could actually will the re-watching of La La Land with immediate effect.

I’m sure you can guess, but about 30 minutes into the film the sound blew out. It was right when we were going to hear the Gosling tickle the ivories for the first time. You could tell by the expressions on his (lovely) face and the magical camera work that it probably sounded good… but really, who the hell knew since it had become silent pantomime piano playing punctuated by the occasional outcry from a member of the jilted Odeon audience.

La La Land (2016 Film) -
Yes please.

And then the screen went completely black.

You’re welcome.

As to be expected, lots of folks started stomping about and shouting at the gormless staff because, of course, a ruined cinematic experience IS LIFE AND DEATH.

No one affiliated with Odeon announced anything for quite some time, and we were all subjected to more adverts accompanied by some seizure inducing flashing lights from the projector. At one point, the film just started over from the beginning. I was content to let it roll and for the off-screen drama to be over. However, this attempted viewing was again thwarted when the first sequence seamlessly cut to a traumatically aggressive and jarring Nike commercial from hell.

The people were having none of it, at this point, and were in full revolt. Much to the embarrassment of her offspring sitting in front of us, one mother had taken matters into her own hands and was actually up in the projection booth attempting to instruct the Odeon employee in operation of the projector.


Eventually, a cowed and diminutive member of staff came into the theatre and explained that she was the only person in the building capable of both working a projector and administering refunds. She asked if we would like to see the film from the beginning… or get refunds?

This didn’t go over well with the disgruntled crowd, their voices raised against the evil projectionist reaching a fevered pitch.


Right then. I decided to go to the loo for the third time since I had wisely consumed approximately 61 lattes that morning (and the Odeon bathroom was just so nice and clean that I couldn’t resist visiting it multiple times). Maybe when I returned, the nightmare would be over?

When I came back from my stint in the toilets, people were pouring out of our theatre in a mass evacuation.


I grabbed Cordelia as the tide carried us away to another theatre where we settled back in to re-watch more adverts (I just hadn’t seen the Chanel commercial enough times yet to convince myself that if I wore their perfume I would finally be woman of complex contradictions and mystery).

The tension in the theatre was palpable leading up to the scene of former breakdown, and a collective sigh of relief could be heard when the Gosling put his fingers to the keys and we at last heard music.

I won’t spoil anything, but at one point in La La Land some characters are watching some movie in some movie theatre and the projection breaks down!!! In our theatre, this scene was met by surround sound murmurs of ‘meta…meta…meta meta…………meta…. how meta!’

Anyway, you’ll be glad to know that all this you’ve just read is merely a preamble to my official review of the movie. A review which will now be about one sentence long because sorcery is strength-sapping:

Apart from the technical problems caused by the strong currents of Weekes and Cordelia’s superhuman emotions, I deem La La Land worth watching.  I mean, sure the content was devastating and upsetting for me on personal level and I cried for an hour afterward, but it’s a great film! Go see it! The Gosling be good looking! There be dancing! And (sort of) singing! And nobody dies! Except my dreams in my soul!

Kill me.

Ugh that was kind of long and I’m tired, but yeah yeah yeah I’ll give ya a Weekes Word as a reward for making it all the way to the bottom of this post, Loyal Reader. Upon investigation into the derivation of this word (unknown!) I came across these gross things called Witchetty grubs!

This picture is entitled ‘A couple of Witchetty grubs’ on Wikipedia. Just a couple of Witchetty grubs, hangin out! Grubbin on this rotten stick!

I just thought you should know.

Mulligrubs: late 16th century and of unknown origin meaning feelings of melancholy, sullenness, and depression. Ex: Although La La Land certainly left Weekes with a case of the mulligrubs, she conceded that it was a film worth watching.

Peace and love, my fellow witches and Witchetty grubs!

xWG // #dazeandweekes

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