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Thursday, February 2, 2023

“Babylon”, all a waste

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Of so many movies that Hollywood has made about Hollywood itself, this is the most bombastic, the most ostentatious, and the most pointlessly long. Over the course of three hours and nine minutes, scrambling every dollar of their budget (and that’s 80 million) on the screen, we see some 50 performers backed by twice as many extras (all real, nothing digital), wrapped in period costumes and ready to to pretend the lack of control of filming, parties, orgies, relaxation, hangovers and shootings, all supported by three or four times the number of technicians, assistants, props and other necessary people. We see the work of these technicians, the dedication of the artists, the enthusiasm of the author for the staging and the shocking additions put only to provoke disgusting laughter. What we do not see is something truly deep and substantial. The director, Damien Chazelle, the same as “La La Land”, says he has researched the history of old Hollywood for ten years. The only thing that is noticeable is that he took Kenneth Anger’s “Hollywood Babylon” and other similar texts with a tabloid tone as a source of inspiration, and based on them he put together the story of a willful boy (Diego Calva) who becomes an executive production manager, a loony on the loose (Margot Robbie) who becomes a star and a cultivated actor (Brad Pitt a la Douglas Fairbanks run-down) who begins his decline while maintaining elegant composure. Don’t think they end well. The film doesn’t end well either, and smears it completely with an incredibly ill-advised homage to cinema.

Source: Ambito

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