Babylon is an epic tale of old hollywood

Hollywood, 1927. The film industry is adapting to a world of sound and Brad Pitt is there to guide us through the chaos. Damien Chazelle’s fourth feature film, Babylon is a wild, 3 hour ride that explores the light and dark of the film industry’s transition to sound. Chazelle mixes aspects of two of his other films, La La Land and Whiplash. A clear passion for jazz is consistent through these three films, playing major parts in the lives of Chazelle’s leads. In Babylon, this takes the form of Sidney Palmer, a Jazz musician who carves a niche in the growing film industry of the 1920s. The film expertly weaves through stories of washed up actors, up-and-coming stars, and fans of the movies like you and me. 

A transcendent influence in Babylon is the classic 1952 musical, Singin’ in the Rain. Babylon regularly references and follows the 1952 film’s general outline with a much darker tone and a greater focus on the talent behind the screen. The film features stunning cinematography and reflections of old Hollywood that shows a true love for film from Damien Chazelle. Justin Hurwitz, a long time composer for Chazelle, delivers a mindblowing score that deserves a unanimous oscar for best score. Crushing drums, singing trumpets, and a plethora of other instruments set the tone throughout the film, leaving the audience humming for days. 

The three-hour epic is certainly not for everyone, but hardcore fans of cinema (or parties) will not be disappointed. I give Babylon 5 jazz trumpets out of 5.