Damien Chazelle's new film, "Babylon," is set to hit theaters this December. It's a wild tale of the early days of Hollywood as the industry moved from the silent era to talkies. The story follows several characters. One is Manny Torres (Diego Calva), a Hollywood assistant entranced with cinema, and another is Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), a cocaine-addled starlet about to break in. And then there's Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), an aging Rudolph Valentino type who is beloved by everyone (except his numerous ex-wives) in the silent film era. He has a string of broken hearts, a noticeable drinking problem, and very few people willing to tell him the truth.

Early on in "Babylon," there is a wild scene where we see a silent film set in the middle of the desert. Several movies are filming simultaneously, and it's absolute chaos. (Noise didn't matter because none of it ended up on film.) There are wild battles with hundreds of extras, some taken directly from Skid Row. There's a journalist in a wild hat (Jean Smart) sitting under an umbrella overseeing the chaos, lamenting that she knew Proust but was writing a Hollywood gossip column. Careers are made and destroyed, and cameras and lives are broken in the maelstrom.

In the middle of it all is a beautiful moment as Jack and an actress playing Isabella of Castile in a fictional movie (performed by an uncredited Natasha Kalimada) kiss as the sun sinks below the horizon behind them. It's a moment of silence in absolute chaos, illustrating the incredible amount of work that goes into even the simplest of scenes.

I recently attended the red carpet for "Babylon," where I spoke to producer Matthew Plouffe about capturing that moment.

'We Were Chasing The Real Sun'

Plouffe, who first talked with Damien Chazelle about the idea for this film 13 years ago, likened the scene it to what really happened back then, long before CGI sunsets or the Volume. He explained:

"We were chasing the light the same way they were chasing the light, so there was this incredible meta moment happening. And that felt really spiritual. That felt like we were doing this thing that they've been doing for 100 years. And we weren't chasing a visual effect sun. We were chasing the real sun as they were. And then they start cheering, and then we start cheering, and then we're all looking at each other, hugging and crying and going, 'Oh my god, we did it.' You feel really connected to something, then. That was really crazy."

I get the spiritual thing. In a film that is frenetic and non-stop, full of parties and excess, it all comes down to that one moment. In the middle of the clanging of swords, the personal struggles, and the insane pace of moviemaking in the silent film era, this one moment stops everything and reminds us that film is there to make us feel something. At that one moment, audiences (both fictional and real) can experience the same thing through the magic of cinema.

"Babylon" also stars Li Jun Li, Jovan Adepo, and Tobey Maguire. The film will hit theaters on December 23, 2022.

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