Damien Chazelle, Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt tell Babylon in Première

Damien Chazelle, Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt tell Babylon in Première

The director and the stars of the film spoke about the making of this film, and the current state of cinema.

Four years later First Man – the first man on the Moon, Damien Chazelle made his big return to the cinema this winter with Babylon. A film about the beginnings of Hollywood that made the cover of First in January 2023. If it was a flop in the United States, it passed one million admissions in France, confirming the popularity of its author, but also of the stars Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, here.

While Canal + benefits from the director being president of the jury of the Venice Film Festival to rebroadcast this work at 9:10 p.m., we are sharing this extract from our special file dedicated to Babylon.

Damien Chazelle – Babylon: “Life is a lot more fun when everyone likes your film”

We were able to meet the 37-year-old Franco-American prodigy, the youngest winner of the Oscar for best director (for La La Land, in 2017), visiting Paris in October 2022 to promote the film. A long work of more than 3 hours which takes us back to the crazy 1920s of Hollywood. A period marked by the excesses and escapades (between alcohol, cocaine, sex and scandal) of an industry still in its infancy which would be disrupted by the transition from silent to talkies. “Babylonit’s the nightmare version of Let’s sing in the rain”, summarizes the filmmaker about his new feature film, released in France on January 18, 2023.

Babylon tells the crossed destiny of three characters (a movie star, a beginning actress and a dreamy assistant), and through them the perpetual fear of disappearance which has inhabited the 7th art since its birth. An anxiety which obviously refers to the current situation of cinema, once again in a worrying phase of transition. But for Damien Chazelle, there is no need to panic.

This fear has indeed always been present, he admits in our pages. It has been there from the beginning, since Lumière who said that there was no future for cinema. Then there was the threat of radio, television, video cassettes, DVDs, etc. Cinema has died twenty times already! However, this impression persists that cinema is fragile and that there is something that could be lost. Maybe that’s why I’m optimistic. I think cinema will last forever. With silent cinema, however, we really lost something. Something deep. The tragedy is that silent cinema was an art that had just reached a peak. A sublime summit! Think of people like Murnau, Stroheim, Flaherty, Sternberg: they were creating the ideal of the universal language that we dreamed of. And then the sound came and everything changed, and maybe not for the better…

It’s quite fascinating to observe that cinema is regularly disrupted by technological as well as societal changes.“, presses Margot Robbie, who we were also able to interview. “The two often go hand in hand. When we talk about the transition from silent to talking, we tend to forget that this technical revolution was also accompanied by a transformation of society, and of the image that society wanted to project of itself through the cinema. Today too, cinema is facing societal as well as technological upheavals, with streaming, in particular, which has completely changed the situation..”

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the biggest revolution I’ve witnessed in my career, even bigger than the explosion of independent cinema in the 90s.“, confides to us for his part Brad Pittalso concerned by “the huge upheaval caused by streaming“.

Here is the trailer for Babylonto be seen again this evening on Canal +:

Damien Chazelle defends the controversial editing of Babylon: “It was the only possible ending”

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