Hollywood is no longer the drug empire? “Unfortunately it’s true,” quips Brad Pitt

With Margot Robbie, the actor is on the bill of babylona film about the splendor of the Californian studios of the Roaring Twenties.

Hollywood has turned the page on its drug excesses, explained on Monday brad pitt and Margot Robbiestars from the movie babylon devoted to the hedonistic Hollywood of the roaring 1920s and entered the race for the Oscars. The highly anticipated Paramount film, directed by Damien Chazelle(La La Land, whiplash ), was screened to critics for the first time on Monday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles (USA), which awards these prestigious awards each year.

Tobey Maguire and Jean Smart also star in the film, which chronicles the destinies of mostly fictional Hollywood actors and directors trying to make the transition from silent to talkies, but also a lifestyle of disheveled, cocaine-dusted parties and chaotic shootings, images explicit in support.

On the way to the Oscars

“There are a lot less drugs today in Hollywood”said Margot Robbie, when asked during a post-screening debate whether the film made her nostalgic for a so-called “golden age” in the film industry. “Unfortunately it’s true!”joked Brad Pitt.

babylon is one of the latest Oscar nominees to be introduced to the Academy. The film will be released on December 23 in North America – just in time to be eligible for the Oscars in March – before a wider release in January. Reviews remain under embargo.

The Franco-American Damien Chazelle entered the history of cinema in 2017 by becoming at 32 years old the youngest winner of the Best Director Oscar for La La Land, an ode to Hollywood musicals. Previously, whiplash (2014) was nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar.

From silent to spoken

For three hours, babylon recounts the Los Angeles of the 1920s and 1930s, its lavish parties with elephants and bare-breasted dancers as well as its expensive filming in the Californian desert. The film also addresses racism or the devastating effect on silent stars of rapid technological change. Some have been expelled almost overnight.

Damien Chazelle explained that he was inspired by readings about a “strange phenomenon towards the end of the 1920s, with this epidemic of suicides, deaths which seem to have been overdoses of a suicidal drug”. This phenomenon coincided with the transition to talkies in Hollywood and it is what “gave him this brutal face”, according to the director, who created his characters based on several real stars and moguls of the time.

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Brad Pitt explained that he discussed with Damien Chazelle this period during which Hollywood was “the Wild West”. “I kind of brushed off that time, didn’t really pay attention to it – because it’s not a game genre that I refer tohe continued. That’s not what we’re gravitating towards today.”

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