With his latest film, Babylon, writer/director Damien Chazelle has delivered a bold, intense and often brutally-comedic drama about the rise and fall of different characters during Hollywood’s transition from the silent era to the talkies during the late 1920s. Running at 183 minutes, the Paramount Pictures production was shot entirely on KODAK 35mm film, and saw its DP Linus Sandgren ASC FSF, push the extremes of exposure and processing for an impressively impressionistic visual result.

Written and directed by Chazelle, the star-studded ensemble cast features Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li in a fictional interpretation of Hollywood society during the Roaring Twenties – an epic sweep where the hedonism at glitzy, cocaine-fueled gatherings in magnificent mansions is contrasted against the arid heat of barren desert surroundings and the filthy reality of poverty amongst locals and big-screen wannabees.

The production united Chazelle and Sandgren for a third time, the pair having previously collaborated together on the hit-musical La La Land (2016), which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning six including Best Director and Best Cinematography, followed by the highly-acclaimed astronaut adventure First Man (2018) – both of which were shot on KODAK film. Amongst Sandgren’s other distinguished credits are American Hustle (2013, dir. David O Russell), 007 James Bond No Time To Die (2021, dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga) and Don’t Look Up (2021, dir. Adam McKay), all of which he also originated on analog film.

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