Progress and its flip side: the movie for cinephiles by a cinephile

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Progress and its flip side: the movie for cinephiles by a cinephile

The most interesting about evolution and development is that it always happens by a more or less similar scheme, and whatever sphere you take – there are always two sides, and they always go along one to the other. How it embodies in cinema – a relatively new art that found its beginning only in the 20th century – let’s see in the Babylon review.

The general idea

First, let’s talk a little, about what is Babylon. Most of us know the legend about the Babylon tower, where people wanted to build a tower as high as it’s necessary to reach the heavens, so God made all people speak different languages so that one never understands another. And this image is symbolic in many art pieces. Moreover, it will barely ever go outdated, as the ages change though people remain the same – changes only the setting. 

So this is the main symbolic image in the eponymous movie by Damien Chazelle. Generally, the piece gathers stars, people, and symbols in an absolutely marvelous yet chaotic manner: 

  • the setting is the actual beginning of cinema development in the 20s of the 20th century;
  • the stars are those who mastered the play in the silent cinema;
  • and there are even more who wish to become stars. 

We see all types of characters on the screen, with all the qualities they have. By saying “all” we mean both desires for glittering life and filthy streets, attitudes between people of different social levels, and many other aspects that make our life as it is. Regarding the new sphere of life and art started, it is rapidly developing due to inevitable technological progress, and it results in entirely uncontrollable, bohemian, and often disgusting scenes. 

The point is that Chazelle is a true fan of cinema and its history, that’s why it’s made not for a wider public, but for people who can realize the sense, metaphors, and characters just that hyperbolized and sometimes ugly way. 

The public’s reaction

Due to objective reasons, the general public did not appreciate the deep underlying lines, and critics were too harsh towards the piece. It is easily understandable if considering how the movie is composed, and how long it lasts (the story is about three hours long). Moreover, the means that the director used to describe, show and involve the viewers we not really acceptable to the general ethics of more public-friendly films. But, just as we’ve said – it’s not for the public, it’s for connoisseurs. 

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