“La La Land,” “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”
Sandgren’s intuitive camera has been trained on a string of intriguing projects, including “American Hustle” for David O. Russell, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” for Lasse Halström and “Promised Land” for Gus Van Sant. But his exuberant work on Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land” took him to another level, and brought him an Oscar, one of six for the film. “It’s a contemporary drama, but since the characters are dreamers, it was important to bring them to a magical moment, to travel between reality and dream,” says Sandgren. “It’s a blend of old and new — inspired by golden-era musicals, but transformed by up-to-date sensibilities and techniques.” Sandgren’s reteaming with Halström, a fellow Swede, on “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” a dramatization of the ballet.