Los Angeles Times

Director Damien Chazelle writes a new love letter to Hollywood in the visually ambitious epic “Babylon,” a story that harks back to a time when silent films were being overtaken by the first “talkies” of the silver screen. Frequent collaborator and cinematographer Linus Sandgren (“La La Land”) developed a visual grammar rich in realism, capturing environments on celluloid with anamorphic lenses. Lighting sources were made to mimic the look of the time period while offering the distinct painterly palette found in Chazelle’s projects. “We took to the extremes a bit more on this film because it needed to have a bit of attitude in the language,” Sandgren says.

Exteriors provided the perfect playground for the Oscar-winning cinematographer to shoot the settings hot and overexposed, which created a contrast with the darker, moody interiors. For a very meta scene that has high-profile actor Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt) scurrying up a hill to kiss a princess (Natasha Kalimada) at sunset, the picturesque moment was shot over five days only in the golden hour. “It’s how filmmaking feels for us,” Sandgren notes.

“Every morning, we thought we were never going to make the day. Then at the end, it’s a great joyous moment that we got it.”

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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Makes First Foray Into Audio Entertainment With Audible Deal

Audible signed an exclusive, multiproject development deal with Plan B Entertainment, the production company led by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, for a slate of audio originals.

Under the worldwide deal — which represents Plan B’s entry into audio entertainment — the production company will create a slate of Audible originals. It’s the latest pact by Amazon-owned Audible with high-profile Hollywood talent to create exclusive audio productions.

Plan B’s inaugural project for Audible is “A Summer Love Thing” from cinematographer Bradford Young. Currently in active development, “A Summer Love Thing” follows a woman who leaves her successful singing career to return to her Southern hometown and pursue her first love, a blue-collar worker, for the second time. Plan B and Audible describe the project as “moody, lyrical and ethereal, as is all of Bradford’s work,” using “Southern soundscapes to evoke a place, space and time.”

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W magazine

The past year has been quite busy for Brad Pitt. After starring in Bullet Train, popping up in Sandra Bullock’s The Lost City, and executive producing the critically acclaimed Women Talking and She Said, he capped off 2022 with the release of Babylon, Damien Chazelle’s frantic, more-than-three-hour ode to 1920s Hollywood. In it, Pitt stars as Jack Conrad, a suave, if somewhat messy, Hollywood luminary grappling with his fading star power. Even before its December release, the ambitious film, over a decade in the making, received nine Critics Choice Award and five Golden Globe nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Pitt. For W’s annual Best Performances issue, the 59-year-old Oscar winner reflects on his extraordinary career so far.

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BAFTA nominees

Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, “Babylon”

Cinematography: “Babylon”

Costume Design: “Babylon”

Editing: “Babylon”

Make Up & Hair: “Babylon”

Original Score: “Babylon”

Production Design: “Babylon”

Sound: “Babylon”

Check out the entire list right here. So excited for Brad and this movie! Some of Plan B’s productions are also nominated!

Courtney Love Says She Lost ‘Fight Club’ Role After Rejecting Brad Pitt’s Kurt Cobain Movie

Courtney Love joined Marc Maron for an interview on the “WTF” podcast and said that David Fincher hired her to star opposite Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in 1999’s “Fight Club.” Love said she won the part of Marla Singer, eventually played by Helena Bonham Carter in the film. The “Hole” frontwoman was fresh off strong reviews for “The People vs. Larry Flynt” at the time. According to Love, she got fired from “Fight Club” after rejecting Brad Pitt’s pitch for a Kurt Cobain movie.

Love said she “went nuclear” on Pitt after he and director Gus Van Sant approached her about making a Kurt Cobain movie. Love and Cobain married in 1992 and they were together until his death in 1994 at age 27. Van Sant eventually made the Cobain-inspired drama “Last Days,” starring Michael Pitt, but Love said this wasn’t the project Pitt and the director wanted her approval on.

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A Two-Hour Version of ‘Babylon’ Shot on Damien Chazelle’s iPhone Exists: ‘It Was a Very Uncommon Situation’

Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is one of the biggest box office bombs of the year, opening to just $5.3 million over the four-day Christmas weekend despite a production budget north of $80 million. Many box office pundits have cited the film’s gargantuan 189-minute runtime as one reason the Hollywood epic failed to connect with audiences. “Babylon” clocks in at three hours and nine minutes long, but it turns out Chazelle has a far shorter and far scrappier version of the film on his iPhone.

During a recent Los Angeles Q&A for the movie (via Entertainment Weekly), Chazelle revealed that he prepared for “Babylon” by filming a two-hour cut of the movie in his backyard. The “La La Land” Oscar winner shot the project on his iPhone. This two-hour version of “Babylon” only starred two actors: Diego Calva, who plays assistant-turned-producer Manny Torres in the film, and Olivia Hamilton, who stars as director Ruth Adler and also happens to be Chazelle’s wife.

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‘Babylon’: A Guide to the Characters and Their Real-Life Counterparts

Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert and Rudolph Valentino

Brad Pitt has said he modeled his character, Jack Conrad, on Fairbanks, Gilbert and Valentino. Valentino exists in “Babylon” (his death in 1926 is mentioned), and unlike Jack, who sometimes pretends to be Italian, Valentino was born in Italy. Fairbanks and Gilbert are commonly cited as great silent leading men whose popularity petered out with sound, but there are sound movies in which they appear perfectly comfortable. (When Gilbert played opposite Greta Garbo in “Queen Christina” in 1933, the New York Times critic Mordaunt Hall praised him as “far more restrained” than in silents.) Both men died young, although their fates differed from Jack’s.

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