The Nation / Director of “La La Land” takes Brad Pitt to the 1920s

“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle gave a sneak preview of “Babylon,” his long-awaited ode to 1920s Hollywood fueled by drugs and hedonistic excess, at the Toronto Film Festival. The film starring Brad Pitt, Olivia Wilde and Margot Robbie, which opens in December, dives into the dark side of the so-called “city of tinsel”.

Characters inspired by silent film stars who attended wild parties full of cocaine, elephants and naked dancers appear in its trailer. “It was about capturing the spirit of that era, which I would say is much wilder than even our ‘roaring ’20s’ concept,” Chazelle told the audience. “There was more excess, more drugs and more extreme lifestyles on all sides of the spectrum than I think a lot of people realize.”

The film, which is still in production and has yet to be released in its entirety to the public, is already being positioned by the Paramount studio as another award mine for Chazelle, who directed the Oscar-winning “Whiplash” before landing the Academy Award. as best director for “La La Land”, the youngest in history to receive that award.

Chazelle said each character in the film was inspired by multiple real silent movie stars and moguls, though they are technically fictional. Pitt plays a well-known movie star and Robbie is an aspiring actress party girl. “Babylon” will tell how the arrival of “talkies” (films with recorded dialogues) and social and technological changes transformed Los Angeles, a city that was barely built “from scratch” in the California desert.

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“To do it, you need a certain kind of crazy. It’s this kind of crazy American dream, with a manic vision of ‘we’re just going to change things out of the blue,’” Chazelle explained. “I don’t think it’s a big surprise that the people who did that were also doing a lot of drugs and partying. It’s all part of the upholstery.”

“So I wanted to try to capture all of that, the highest highs and the lowest lows.” “It’s humanity at its most glamorous and animalistic and depraved. You almost need all of that to actually explain what was going on in real life,” he added. “Babylon” will be released in limited theaters on Christmas Day – just to be eligible for the Oscars in March – and then in January it will have a wider release.

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This is one of many films that celebrate the importance of cinema itself being shown this year at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). On Saturday, Steven Spielberg received a thunderous ovation for “The Fabelmans,” his semi-autobiographical film about falling in love with cinema as a child and already a favorite at the Oscars.

Later Monday, Sam Mendes, director of “American Beauty” and “1917,” will present “Empire of Light,” which tells the story of a romance set in a beautiful movie theater in 1980s England. The TIFF, the event around the largest cinema in North America, will go until Sunday.

Source: AFP.

The Nation / Director of “La La Land” takes Brad Pitt to the 1920s