In this wonderful film, Damien Chazelle reproduces all the excess of Hollywood between the wars. the director of La La Land offers three hours of roller coaster from which you come out KO and delighted. babylonnot to be missed, this Tuesday, September 5 at 9:10 p.m. on Canal + and on MyCanal.
Fasten your seat belts. Damien Chazelle invites us to three hours of roller coaster – a daring comparison for a film set mainly in California. Subject: cinema. Its beginnings, its underside, its vagaries. There is plenty to do. In the 1920s, Hollywood believed that everything was permitted.
Forty minutes of unbridled orgy
The director learned the lesson. babylon starts with forty minutes of unbridled orgy in a castle à la Xanadu. Tubs of alcohol, Himalayas of cocaine, ladies more or less priced, orchestras in tuxedos, the session makes you dizzy. The specialists will recognize in ping an allusion to the comic Fatty Arbuckle, will have fun putting names to most of the heroes (John Gilbert, Clara Bow, Irving Thalberg). Do not forget a diarrheic elephant which is not the last to join the party.
powder in the eyes
A poor Mexican arrives by chance in this universe, becomes the factotum of a star who claims to have Italian origins. An apprentice actress stamps a statue while parking, sets fire to the dance floor and plans to make short work of a future that she predicts radiant. Damien Chazelle brings to life an era as there are few in history. Between Kenneth Anger and The Last Nabab, this eventful, diverse, incongruous fresco is the fixation of a vertigo. The mute has never made so much noise. Decadence has a smell, that of silver nitrate. There are countless anthology sequences, filming in the desert, Brad Pitt getting drunk in his makeshift dressing room, an extra impaling himself on a spear, Margot Robbie crying on command again and again. There is also the scene with the rattlesnake, the depressed producer who got his head stuck in a toilet bowl.
moments of grace
These turpitudes, the American director underlines them. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, to show a monstrous fat man swallowing live rats in catacombs. His film, he rides it like a bronco high on amphetamines. Excess reigns there. There are swerves. Chazelle loves the enormous, the immense, cherishes window dressing. Nothing stops him. The period suits this volcanic temperament.
So here is the gossip aware of the slightest gossip, creating them as needed. Here are suicides, hangovers. This slime turns to gold on screen. Such is the law of the genre. She is cruel. She is so real. Excess is the rule. The arrival of talkies will change the situation, upset many destinies. The filmmaker animates his colorful characters, provides moments of grace, the premiere of The Jazz Singer, that of Singing in the Rain. At times, the soundtrack plays a few notes of La La Land. We verify here that the action is the sister of the dream (who said that again? Baudelaire? Unless it is Groucho Marx?).
Brad Pitt radiates
Brad Pitt radiates, staggering and ironic star. Margot Robbie throws herself headlong into the role of the starlet with her fingers in the grip. This Nellie LaRoy has nerve and energy to spare. Talent ? The thing is less certain. Diego Calva serves as the vaguely innocent narrator. The great virtue of babylon is not to smell mothballs. The scandal is that we can lodge beauty in this quagmire. This nave of fools contains romance. All this was not in vain, as suddenly proved, in an accelerated procession, these images of anthology, from the Andalusian Dog to 2001. Cinéma pas mort. Stop. Babylon alive and well. Paradoxical and Fitzgeraldian. Stop. We come out KO, delighted, washed out. Stop