Movie Reviews

Damien Chazelle is right: more movies should be divisive (like Babylon)


The director has argued that more films should generate extreme reactions in audiences, and his recent jazzy, extravagant epic is a testament to itself.


At the release of Damien Chazelle’s raucous early Hollywood epic Babylonboth the film and its director have undoubtedly put money in their mouths: claiming that big, polarizing films still belong in theaters. interview with insiderChazelle argued, “It’s good to spark conversations and debates, and to have a lot of fierce opinions on both sides. We did, and I think that’s a good thing. More movies should do that.“Between BabylonLooking at the press run for . Jeezas a result, viewers get value.

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observable BabylonRotten Tomatoes score with a roughly even split of, Chazelle’s ambitious long-standing passion project certainly lives up to his statement. Despite its disappointing box office success, it nevertheless earned a spot on multiple critics’ year-end top 10 lists, while at the same time earning him his share of 0-star reviews. However, as a good percentage of films tackle tone-filled subject matter, BabylonThe difficulty of handling is entirely by design.

Related: Why Babylon bombed at the box office


Why Babylon Reception Is So Polarized

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there’s a good reason Babylon It’s built to defy anything but a polarizing response, as it spends its entire three-hour runtime on extreme portrayals. took place in the largely unregulated “Wild West” of early 20th century filmmaking (as silent films gradually became “talkies”), Babylon resolutely evident in its description Or brutal on-set working conditions followed by an orgy.In this way, the viewing experience is Babylon It’s a constant flogging between fanatical debauchery and harsh industry practices. Highs for bringing the fantasy to life and lows for stomach-churning systemic exploits.

As if to prepare the viewer for the troublesome ride to come, Babylon Aside from the broadcast in the first scene, that part is difficult to watch and requires a strong stomach. struggle, being excreted by heavy animals in the process. worker. Not only does the film quickly present such a spectacle to warn the squeamish of what is to come, Babylon (as the title says) It means unflinchingly portraying such contrasting situations as inseparable from both each other and the “myths” of old Hollywood.

There should always be room for divisive movies in Hollywood

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messy reaction Babylon What is now accepted is more indicative of the long and tragically difficult path that an inherently polarizing film often must take before it is first greenlit, produced, and released. As with many equally ambitious projects, Babylon An idea that Damien Chazelle had to harbor for over a decade has taken all its years to become bigger and more respected until finally securing the influence and expertise to make it happen. Released a high project.Unfortunately it’s a very rare kind of filmmaker and has ashes Filmography As Consistently Accomplished As Chazelle Who usually has the means and the leeway to helm such a divisive film once and for all?

After all, there are clear intentions as to why many lucky and accomplished directors have taken so long to finally seize such an opportunity. It is the belief that there should always be room for polarizing art in today’s cinematic world. Theaters are consistently filled with franchise content, often filled with similar award nominees, so art that seeks to evoke emotions outside the comfort spectrum needs to remain accessible. Original films that explore more dangerous territory and are meant to stir up controversy can lead to more volatile investments, but the neglect they often face upon release is what makes them such outliers from the start. If so, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Related: Two of 2022’s biggest box-office hits are so worrying about the future

How Divisive Opinions Actually Help Movies

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As Countless films in previously divisive genres prove, any press can be a good press.from Shining To big lebowskimany of the now-beloved classics and “cult classics” first appeared as movies, and general audiences aren’t quite sure how to handle them right away. Far from falling in love with a film, it often takes longer than a single film’s theatrical release before a certain target audience sees it.

Today, more than ever, movies are expected to experience a fruitful “second life” outside the theater.Like polarized chatter Babylon Spread, there’s a good chance future aficionados will find it via streaming and enjoy the opportunity to bring the movie’s depraved party into their living rooms. Collective viewers, regardless of whether they are watching, should keep an open mind to the types of cinematic art that affect certain people differently while enjoying the rich conversations that result.

tomorrow: Margot Robbie’s Babylon role proves she was the perfect Harley Quinn



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