Watch the Babylon Trailer
Damien Chazelle’s highly anticipated Babylon is set to hit the big screen in the UK on January 20th. From the Oscar-winning director of La La Land and First Man, his three-hour epic narrates the laws of Hollywood’s golden age during its turbulent transition from silent to talkies. A glorious overview of outer debauchery.
Set in the Roaring Twenties, it features R-rated movie stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, plus Tobey Maguire, Jovan Adepo, Diego Calva, Jean Smart and many more.
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The bold synopsis promises:
Babylon certainly kicks off in true bombastic style, with chaotically elaborate party setpieces packed with jazz, drugs, booze, and even a fair amount of elephants. It just gets silly.
Given the movie’s historical context, moviegoers are already wondering if the characters are based on real people in the industry or if Tinsel Town was really scandalous in the ’20s.
True story about Babylon
Director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle draws inspiration from Hollywood history, but the characters in the film mix fictional Hollywood players with multiple real-life Hollywood players, allowing great freedom when needed. I am taking it in.
Chazelle is said to have borrowed his early Hollywood studies from Kevin Brownlow’s classic work on silent cinema – Parade Gone By, early Hollywood with all its decadence and depravity. definitive explanation of
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Babylon is set in an era of great wealth, but also captures the rocky changes in Los Angeles between 1926 and 1930, when the film industry gradually transitioned from silent to talkies.
In a commentary included in the film’s production notes, Chazelle said, “I wanted to see the early days of the art form and industry under a microscope.
“And on a deeper level, I loved the idea of seeing society change.”
In addition to the huge leap in technology and new audience expectations, many stars also did not make the successful transition to talkies, and those who did did find themselves recklessly enamored with their newfound notoriety. I got
In a recent interview with Collider, the Academy Award-winning director claims he’s only “only scratched the surface” of Hollywood’s darker impulses.
This was an era of sensational news stories and despicable scandals, with young stars running wild on and off screen, and many facing tragic demise from an exploitative and unforgiving industry.
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Schroeder questioned the film’s period accuracy, and the writer of “Taxi Driver” said, “There are many things in Babylon, but some well-studied.” is not one of them.”
Who inspired the characters in Babylon?
A self-proclaimed fan of early Hollywood, Chazelle worked with a star-studded cast to carefully create intricate characters that epitomize young spirits that live and die fast in the changing celluloid age.
“We’re going to start investigating some of the people Damien pointed out to us, and now we’re going to start looking at how many people died,” Babylon star Margot Robbie told Cineblend.
Robbie also points out how “everyone was young” in this exploitative era. “People were growing from poor to being the biggest movie stars in the country…and if they were 20…they were dead by the time they were 25 or 30. .”
So does the cast portray real-life wild kid types in this tumultuous time? It’s not quite that simple, after all.
Max Minghella, who plays producer and former movie mogul Irving Thalberg, is the only real person in the film.
Known as “Boy Wonder,” Thalberg credited MGM’s distinguished reputation with his ability to produce high-quality films and his ability to skillfully identify and nurture talent.
The other cast members are a blend of multiple starlets and key players from the industry, fused together to paint a picture of the shady side of show business.
Played by Diego Calva, Manny Torres is based on several Latino filmmakers and actors, including Rene Cardona, a Cuban immigrant who pioneered the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
Brad Pitt’s character, Jack Conrad, is “sort of a super movie star” according to Chazelle.
Conrad is based in part on John Gilbert, a wildly successful silent film star of the 1920s who failed to transition into a new era of sound and saw his illustrious career fall apart. It is said
Margot Robbie plays one of the other leads, Nellie Laroy. The original “it girl” Clara an aspiring actress and flapper girl, heavily influenced by her Bow and Joan her Crawford cues.
Bow experienced a meteoric rise and then a fall while cultivating a scandalous reputation as a sexually vivacious party girl.
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Despite making a ton of money for the studio, Bowe was never considered star-worthy, and after too many tabloid exposures, she was dumped by Paramount Studios and eventually turned into a permanent retired to
Behind her fun-girl persona, Bow lived a tough life marked by extreme poverty and violence. Robbie considered it when inspired by Bow.
“Anytime you’re trying to create a character, you have to understand their childhood,” Robbie said in a recent interview. Anything can be justified.”
“She had probably the scariest childhood I could imagine for anyone. Anything can be justified.” [she] Imagine she went through something like that when she was a kid, she says and says so in this movie.
Babylon has so far garnered mixed reviews from critics, with many praising Chazelle’s depiction of the outrageous excesses of his time, but feeling he overcooked it. Some people
“One of the year’s richest and most ambitious films,” wrote Kyle Smith Wall of The Street Journal.
Nearly 100 years later, Hollywood still seems to be just as fickle a place where dreams are made and destroyed.
Babylon hits UK cinemas from 20th January. Check out the clip below.