Damian Chazelle welcomes Babylon’s split opinions on eve of UK release

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Damian Chazelle claims that ‘more movies should do that’ in an interview about how his new film, Babylon, has split the crowd.

Damian Chazelle has been chatting about Babylon, his grand epic that takes on the excess and outlandishness of early-era Hollywood. The film has sharply divided critics and audiences in the US and was not a commercial success either. With Babylon’s global platform release meaning that it lands on UK shores, and with all of those responses firmly out in the world, Chazelle finds himself in the interesting space where he is promoting a film which has already been rejected by many.

On the surface at least, the filmmaker seems sanguine about the process, telling Insiderthat “once the filmmaker finishes the movie, then it sort of becomes the audience’s, and that includes the critics, includes everyone and everyone’s going to have a different take on the film, and I think they’re all legitimate. Then it becomes the world’s movie, in a way.”

Chazelle strikes a philosophical tone about the film, and rightly so. Babylon wouldn’t be the first film to find itself rejected upon release then reappraised some way down the line but the filmmaker is adamant that he isn’t tempted to reshape it post-release to play to those who are less than keen.

Chazelle goes on to say “it’s good to have something that stimulates conversation and debate and a lot of fierce opinions on either side. We all knew the movie was gonna ruffle some feathers and get some people mad, and I think that’s good. More movies should do that.”

If that is indeed the case, and Chazelle knew that some of his choices may not be well received, then at the very least he deserves credit for making the film that he wanted to make. If nothing else, Babylon looks like a wildly-ambitious swing and we’re all for directors taking chances, even if they don’t always land.

You can judge for yourself how you feel about the film, featuring the likes of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, when it arrives in UK cinemas on Friday.

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