"La La Land" (the announced picture of the year for a solid four and a half minutes) featured multiple scenes done in one fluid take ("Birdman"-style) due to the liking and collaboration of Damien Chazelle and Linus Sandgreen, director and cinematographer respectively. This cinematic technique allows the audience to immerse themselves in the actuality of the scene of the film.

Where was this scene actually shot?

Taking place at Cathy’s Corner in the famous Griffith Park, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) feature in a musical number while Justin Hurwitz’s "A Lovely Night" plays in the background.

To the dislike of fans, Cathy’s Corner doesn’t actually feature a row of lampposts nor a bench. However, this set dressing done by the crew helped achieve a classic Hollywood-esque aura. Also worth mentioning, the lamppost comes in handy when Sebastian swings around it (cueing the start of the musical number), sort of an ode to the late Gene Kelly in the classic musical "Singin’ in the Rain" (1952). The physical and emotional distance between the two characters is also clearly represented.

Breaking down the number

The bench plays an intrinsic role in the subtext of Mia and Sebastian’s building romance throughout the number. Both characters go through a healthy amount of choreography, and eventually, they are physically brought together and sit alongside one another.

As the number progresses, they ascend to the top of the bench. This features a camera movement that surges over the characters' heads as Mia and Sebastian overlook the dazzling, picture perfect sky and view of the heartbreaking, yet always sanguine city of Los Angeles.

This is juxtaposition (and somewhat foreshadowing) at its finest due to the mere fact that although the landscape is impeccable as they come, the flustering romance between the two falls short at the end of the film.

The bench, nonetheless, brings the two closer together with a strong amount of interaction.

From Sebastian’s lamppost swirl, to the choreographed movements while the pair are on the bench, to the quintessential dance movement displayed on every movie poster and recognized by millions, this demonstrates the ever growing romance and emotional connection between Mia and Sebastian throughout this specific scene. As the physical space between the two leads incrementally becomes less and less, the intimacy is further cultivated.