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Babylon (dir. Damien Chazelle)

jacques100 · 8 · 657

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on: July 15, 2019, 10:59:18 AM
Several studios are lining up for Babylon, a script that Damien Chazelle has written to direct as his next film. I’m told that Lionsgate, which distributed the 14 Oscar-nominated La La Land, is considered the frontrunner to land a project described to me as an original drama that is set in period Hollywood. Emma Stone, Oscar-nominated for La La Land, is circling to star. Sources said the film is a bold auteur piece with a significant budget and that other studios are in the mix. Rumor was Chazelle had written another musical, but I’m told that is not the case here.

At a moment when the Hollywood box office is being dominated by sequels and live action reboots of animated Disney films, Chazelle’s film is a breath of fresh air, something to get excited to leave the house to see. I expect it to land quickly once a series of meetings are completed between the filmmakers and all the studios. It is a commitment though, and that is why the auction is playing out methodically. The film will be produced by Olivia Hamilton, Matt Plouffe and Marc Platt. Stay tuned.



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Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 11:48:24 PM
set in period Hollywood


lol @ "period Hollywood" my god. does that automatically mean the golden era and no further description is required anymore?

there was an update after the initial news item, the update reads like this:

I can add that Brad Pitt also is circling Babylon, the early-Hollywood period drama that is likely to reteam La La Land filmmaker Damien Chazelle with Emma Stone. Sources confirm that Pitt also is in the mix, though neither he nor Stone has made a commitment. I’ve also heard that Babylon is a drama that mixes real and fictional characters and is solidly in the R-rated category. Pitt is about to open opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s one of the most impressive screen turns for Pitt in a long time.

so now they say "early-Hollywood period drama," yes the golden age.


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Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 07:17:45 AM
“Fellini Satyricon” Meets “Day of the Locust”
A friend has slipped me a May 2019 draft of Damien Chazelle‘s Babylon, his theatrical follow-up to First Man. (Chazelle is currently working on The Eddy, an eight-episode Netflix series set in Paris.) Babylon is a late 1920s Hollywood tale about a huge sea-change in the nascent film industry (i.e., the advent of sound and the up-and-down fortunes that resulted) and about who got hurt and who didn’t.

A la Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Babylon (which may or may not be distributed by Paramount or Lionsgate) offers a blend of made-up characters and a few real-life Hollywood names of the time — Clara Bow, Anna May Wong. Paul Bern and an “obese” industry fellow who represents Fatty Arbuckle. (I’m presuming there are others.) I’ve only read about 40% of it, and I’m certainly not going to describe except in the most general of terms. It runs 184 pages, and that ain’t hay.

Most of Chazelle’s story (or the portion that I’ve read) is amusingly cynical and snappy, at other times mellow and humanist, and other times not so much. It takes place in the golden, gilded realms of Los Angeles during this convulsive, four or five-year period (roughly 1926 to 1931, maybe ’32) when movie dialogue tipped the scales and re-ordered the power structure. Everyone above the level of food catering had to re-assess, re-think, change their game.

It starts out with a long, bravura sequence that will probably impress critics and audiences in the same way La-La Land‘s opening freeway dance number did. Except Babylon is darker, raunchier. The first 26 or 27 pages acquaint us with the main characters (one of whom may be played by Emma Stone) while diving into the most bacchanalian Hollywood party you’ve ever attended or read about. Cocaine, booze, exhibitionist sex, an elephant, the singing of a lesbian torch song, heroin, blowjobs, and a certain inanimate…forget it.

Unless Chazelle embarks on a serious rewrite, the 27-minute opening of Babylon is going to seem like quite the envelope pusher. It’s basically Fellini Satyricon meets Day of the Locust meets the secret orgy sequence in Eyes Wide Shot meets the Copacabana entrance scene in Goodfellas. Plus Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby meets The Bad and the Beautiful meets Singin’ in the Rain meets The Big Knife…that’ll do for openers.

It seems to me that Chazelle wrote Babylon with a jaded, somewhat angry attitude. When a couple of scenes tip into near-porn you say to yourself, “Yeah, I get it — he’s showing this stuff in quotes…as commentary.” Laugh if you want but the audience will be attending this party in the company of a lot of self-obsessed, deluded or ruthless types. Anyway, that’s all.




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Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 09:36:44 AM
His camera had the weight of five elephants in the party scene of La La Land. That movie—if it's funded (the dude did First Man after his Oscar, how ambitious, and is now doing a Netflix series, maybe Oscars mean shit nowadays...)—might be an overlong, dreadfully joyful trainwreck about, what, a producer realizing he needs to leave his wife to be the greatest producer of the universe! Can't wait.
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Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 09:47:03 AM
a certain inanimate... forget it

This wouldn’t happen to be a coke bottle... would it?
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Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 09:58:45 AM
I'm so many people.


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Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 01:05:14 PM
Never thought I'd read fkn Wells on Xixax.


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Reply #7 on: September 15, 2019, 04:46:51 AM
YES. Comparison to Satyricon gets me hyped. I hope he explores more themes in this one though. His first three movies were mostly about ambition and troubled men (and Emma Stone) and how unchecked ambition can ruin relationships and families.
Cast my boy Brad Pitt in this.
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