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“Babylon”: Hollywood without limits

This text contains slight spoilers for the movie.

In the chaotic and eccentric we find beauty. That’s how it is hollywood: a jungle of passions and debauchery that harbors honor, many millions of dollars, and some dark secrets. With three Oscar nominations – although excluded from the main prize – “Babylon”, the most recent film of Damien Chazellearrives as a love letter to the seventh art, one that extols its greatest virtues and recognizes its fatal flaws.

The decade of the 20s marks the beginning in the history of a group of characters embodied by a luxury cast, who represent the icons of the time and the journey that each one goes through to make a name for themselves in the midst of harshness and harshness. of an industry that rewards, but also hits. Inspired by the famous –although banned– book “Hollywood Babylon”, Chazelle uses the plot of the film to demonstrate what it means to make movies: an emotional assault.

From beginning to end, one as a spectator does not stop living sensations that oscillate between dramatic extremes of laughter and tragedy, between situations with which, despite being mere mortals, we cannot help but feel identified: the foreigner who migrates in search of of a promising future, the stranger who dreams of seeing herself on the big screen at all costs; and the tragic transition of a global star awaiting the inevitable arrival of oblivion. And it is that fame is ephemeral but transcendence and glory are eternal.

Although at times Tarantino-esque touches are perceived that can lead to confusion and saturation -with excessive blood, unusual violence and even images that are erroneous- the Franco-American director’s stamp is everywhere: fast camera movements, sounds and rhythms strong that grow in crescendo with the viewer’s anguish, up to fragments of compositions previously used in the soundtrack of “La La Land” – also set to music by the award-winning Justin Hurwitz -. And since we mentioned the latter, it is natural to compare both “cities of the stars”. While, in the first, it is the perfect place for dreamers, in “Babylon” They present it to us as an odyssey of fame and fortune in which to make a name for yourself the price to pay is very high. Chazelleafter having given us Andrew in “Whiplash”, Mia and Sebastian in “La La Land”, invites us once again to the claim of the ambitious artist who opens a space in a world in which he seemed not to fit and suffers the effects of perfectionism.

At the same time, it is an ode to the film industry wherever you look at it. The arrival of talkies, the use of color, and even musical films, are some of the moments that marked great milestones over the years, and that, with “Babylon” we can feel a little closer. The use of a clip towards the end of the film – for some brutally unnecessary – condenses the new techniques adopted, recognizes important figures in the medium and praises historical box office successes. This is an exciting film, if you ask me, as a spectator, as a cinephile, and as a communicator who admires and knows this dedicated and rewarding art.

The final scenes are a beautiful reminder that cinema is for everyone. A slow pan around the room shows us a diverse audience hooked on the film that is being projected, ending with a very close-up of who, I consider, has been the absolute revelation: Diego Calva, his eyes glassy with tears. to see his life materialized on the screen, and a moving gesture that perfectly sums up what it is like to live through the movies.

Source: Elcomercio

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