You’d be hard pressed to find a lot of G-rated moments in the new film Babylon, the latest feature from Whiplash and La La Land director Damien Chazelle. The visceral tribute to Hollywood in the late 1920s embraces the debauchery and chaos that reportedly characterized the industry, with sex, drugs, and jazz music defining what I consider to be one of the best films released this year (to be fair, I called that at the start of the year). But Chazelle’s also a father, juggling a newborn and a three-year-old, so he’s currently immersed in marathon viewing sessions of The Little Mermaid while he waits for the world to see Babylon on the big screen. But Chazelle thought he could show a snippet of Babylon to his kid. A harmless scene he thought the boy would love. (It’s featured in the movie’s trailer!) Only, it backfired.
Damien Chazelle returned to the ReelBlend podcast to talk up Babylon and catch up with the hosts on his previous films and ongoing projects. And in the process, he told a very funny story about letting his 3-year-old son into his editing suite to watch a tiny snippet of Babylon which the director assumed was safe… even funny! Except, it went like this, according to Chazelle:
Only the most well-intentioned parents can completely understand how a harmless task like that cna go south. Even given everything we know about Babylon, the scene Damien Chazelle is talking about – where a still-drunk Brad Pitt waxes poetic about the need for the film industry to innovate if it hopes to survive, seems like something any kid would find funny. But you never know. And Chazelle’s son wanted nothing to do with Pitt’s pratfall. It happens! Quick, put The Little Mermaid back on and make everything right with the world.
Listen to the complete interview with Damien Chazelle on the latest ReelBlend episode:
We hope that Babylon is a movie that audiences discover and continue to talk about. It’s a seedy peek into Hollywood’s underground, documenting the highs and lows of celebrity culture, proving that things that happened in the 1920s are just as prevalent today. Reviews for the film were mixed, with our own Eric Eisenberg landing right in the middle of the conversation. But it should end the year strong, and get people excited for all of the upcoming 2023 movies that will be arriving in theaters soon.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.