Damien Chazelle thinks it’s good that ‘Babylon’ is polarizing
Chazelle has also said that he doesn’t pay attention to the critical reception of his films after release because he believes it will be a film for the “audience”.
Damien Chazelle has been a critical favorite since breaking out with the psychological jazz drama Whiplash in 2014, and his films La La Land and First Man have been praised by experts and received tons of accolades. However, his latest film ‘Babylon’ is a completely different story as it was hailed as a masterpiece by some critics and an unmitigated disaster by others. And according to Chazelle, while making the film, he knew it would provoke a polarized response.
“It’s good to have something that encourages conversation and debate, and a lot of heated opinions on both sides. We all knew the movie was going to ruffle some feathers and make some people mad, and I think that’s good,” Chazelle said. Insider in an interview ahead of the film’s January 20 UK release. “More movies should do this.”
Currently, “Babylon” has a 55 percent share on Rotten Tomatoes, although the film has also won several awards, including the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The old Hollywood romp starring Margot Robbie and Diego Calva also bombed at the box office, grossing just under $15 million on a $78 million production budget.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a mixed review, calling it “a sleazy Caligulan ode to Hollywood’s early days” that “reminds us that movies have been dying for more than 100 years, and then — through its heart — bursting, mesmerizingly galaxy-brain’s prayer about the finale—interprets it as uplifting proof that they do indeed live forever. You just have no idea how the movies are going to do that or where the hell they’re going to go from here.”
However, Chazelle probably didn’t read IndieWire’s review, as he also told Insider that he prefers not to pay attention to the reaction to his film after its release, but rather to make it an “audience” film.
“It’s interesting where you make something, and then I think once the filmmaker finishes the film, it becomes the audience, and that includes the critics. And everyone perceives the film differently. And I think they’re all right, Chazelle said. “In a way, it becomes the world’s film. That’s why I don’t really believe—although I’m fine with people doing it—that filmmakers go back and fiddle with the facts and stuff. I mean, that’s fine, but I think a movie represents a moment in time and history at a certain point.”
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