Chaos can be the only complete word that can define the essence of Damien Chazelle’s Babylon. With an ensemble cast starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, and Tobey Maguire to name a few, the movie with its wildly riveting, funny, colorful, and ambitious plot storms into Hollywood like a creative hurricane. The film’s unparalleled cinematography represents a juxtaposition of the era of the “talkies” with the now-extinct silent films and the director, in a never attempted effort, merges the two to create a singularly outstanding masterpiece.
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Brad Pitt’s Set Experience With Babylon‘s Damien Chazelle
Brad Pitt ranks among one of the greatest actors of our generation, having delivered unmatched classics like Fight Club, Se7en, Fury, Inglourious Basterds, the Oceans trilogy, 12 Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. However, having been in all of these films and amassing their diversely original filmography, Brad Pitt was still left awe-struck by the magnificence of Damien Chazelle when working with him on the historically significant Babylon. Speaking of his time on set, Pitt claims,
“I shot the first four days, [witnessed] some amazing choreography, and it was raucous, and it was bawdy, and it had this great energy to it, and half the background is naked, and they’re snorting cocaine off someone’s a**. And then I had three days off, and I came back, and it was still going. I was like, oh my god.
I still marvel how much this man got in one shot… I’ve been really fortunate to work with some of the great filmmakers, and I already consider Damien Chazelle one of the greats.”
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Speaking of the broad and ambitious vision displayed by the director of Babylon, Pitt iterates how infinitesimal his contribution seemed in the face of it all — “None of us really matter in it. “But we’re all a piece, a little piece of this art of storytelling, and I feel pretty damn honored.“ Adding to Pitt’s already flattering remarks, Margot Robbie chimes in saying,
“you have a great director looking out for you, so I couldn’t have wished for anything better, it was the greatest experience of my life. It’s the greatest character I’ve ever played and probably the greatest character I ever will play.”
Pushing the 3-hour screentime, Babylon, in its early screening has captured the divisive attention of film critics. Like all great classics, however, opinions remain massively divided and the film falls prey to the subjective emotions of its audience because of its exaggerated focus on the era of decadence and depravity.
Damien Chazelle’s Ambitious Babylon Brings Out the 1930s
Babylon‘s ambitious script attempts to expansively cover the era when the silent films of the 1920s were slowly being pushed to the background in favor of what was then termed the “talkies.” The inclusion of sound became an instant success and consequently, an instant favorite among the Hollywood crowd which ushered in a new wave of spectacle and added a new layer of fascination to the industry’s 1930s-era productions.
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But with the transition and technological evolution, actors who had risen to the untouched heights of success with their mimetic films and vehemently relied on physicality on tape rather than close-up shots failed to smoothly step over from one art form to another. This period becomes the subject of Damien Chazelle’s Babylon. Pitt uses the words “spectacular” and “visceral” to encapsulate what Babylon feels like in its entirety and further goes on to claim that, “It’s extreme, it’s big, it’s bawdy, and at the same time underneath it, there’s just real heart and need for meaning.”
Babylon premieres on 23 December 2022.
Source: The Playlist