The transition from the silent to the sound era slowly brings the frenetic and debaucherous Hollywood lifestyle to an end, affecting everyone in the industry in ways they had never fathomed before.
A wild and extravagant cinematic wonder! Damien Chazelle is a freaking genius. He knows what to write, how to write it, what to shoot, and how to shoot it. His sense of rhythm, editing, depth of field, comedy/drama/music/musical, even horror, and his actors’ abilities turn everything he touches into gold. Every sequence carries its own priceless cinematic values that are given to you through sheer acting, photography, and editing. Babylon is a modern masterpiece and one of the most beautiful and difficult films seen in recent years. A love and hate letter to what has been and could never be repeated after it was done.
Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Diego Calva, Jovan Adeppo, Lukas Haas, Olivia Hamilton, Li Jun Li, Eric Roberts, Samara Weaving, Tobey Maguire (also, producer), Olivia Wilde, Phoebe Tonkin, and the rest of the cast give their 100%, holding nothing back! Similar praise deserves the rest of the crew that seems to have worked to perfection like a Swiss watch to make this top-tier level film happen. No matter what I or anyone else says, will not add to its superb quality. Babylon is the absolute must-watch and must be in everyone’s collection! Like every other Chazelle film, it knows no boundaries when it comes to evoking all the intended emotions.
A couple of years ago, at a conference, I extensively elaborated on Chazelle and the editing behind his films (always with editor Tom Cross); the average length shot, when he cuts and when he lets the shots “breathe”, and how his editing creates meaning by showing not telling, and most certainly not giving away. Everything I have said about Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016) firmly applies here, too. How much did the Academy notice Babylon? There was a time that I would really care about who they nominated and awarded, but I grew up and grew out of it. The Academy is meant to reward the filmmakers and the filmmaking techniques, but lobbies get in the way, rewarding politics while constantly swapping with one another the facades of hypocrisy. Furthermore, the fact that Babylon didn’t manage to find an audience means nothing. Be it the too many subgenres, the marketing (or lack thereof), its duration, or the time it came out, it doesn’t matter. All it matters is that you watch it.
If Hollywood’s lifestyle back then was worse than it is today, it is up for debate. It is a phantasmagorical business that elevates talents as easily as it chews them up and spits them out.
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Solidarity for Ukraine 🇺🇦 🙏
P.S. Most characters are based on actual actors/actresses and filmmakers of the time.
P.S. The similarities in the narrative between Babylon and La La Land are meant to be striking. Look into it if you are interested while keeping “nostalgia” in mind.
2 thoughts on “Babylon (2022): Comedy/Drama/History”
This review leaves me breathless. I don’t think I have ever heard you praise film to this extent before. Straight to the top of my list for must watch movies. Thanks mate
The film itself will leave you breathless. It will transfer you to a world within a world; to the beginning of the star system as we know it…