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Babylon Director Explains The Decision To Not Include An Intermission

Whether it's dancing in the streets or drumming up perfection, Damien Chazelle has a proven track record when it comes to entertaining audiences with well-crafted motion pictures, from "La La Land" to "Whiplash." With his newest offering, "Babylon," the ambitious director offers a bold look at what Tinseltown was like in the roaring twenties. The well-renowned cinematic auteur may not be the first to pull back the curtain on the early days of Hollywood stardom, but there is no denying he is doing so with an abundance of talented players. The cast of the film is nothing short of a smorgasbord worth of recognizable faces with names like Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Diego Calva, Tobey Maguire, Li Jun Li, Jovan Adepo, Samara Weaving, Lukas Haas, Max Minghella, and Olivia Wilde, among many others in the mix. And the trailer for the provocative period flick showcases a fascinating ride packed to the brim with a satisfying blend of Hollywood nostalgia drenched in dreams of fame and a vast array of debauchery, indicating that people are in for a wild experience.

Don't expect "Babylon" to be a brief look at this time period, though. Chazelle has been working on this film for 15 years, and clearly, he has a lot to say — so much so, in fact that those interested in visiting "Babylon" will have to reserve over three hours of their time. Considering the film's roots in a different period of Hollywood, then, perhaps it's no surprise that, at one point, those involved in the production considered putting an old-fashioned bathroom break right in the center of the action.

Chazelle decided Babylon needs to be an uninterrupted experience

During an AMA on Reddit, "Babylon" director Damien Chazelle answered all sorts of questions, including one from a user inquiring about people calling for the industry to bring back breaks in films, especially in regard to his feature, and if those in Hollywood believe that a pause in the action hurts the overall experience. 

Chazelle, for his part, is sympathetic to the calls for intermissions to become part of the cinematic experience again. However, he didn't think having one in "Babylon" would've worked, due to the film's tone and style. "We thought about an intermission on Babylon but ultimately decided it would break the flow," Chazelle responded. "I think it depends on the movie. For 'Babylon,' it's all about the headlong rush, the momentum of a roller coaster, a ride, and for that — no intermission is best. Don't let em off the hook." 

It would seem the filmmaker is confident audiences will be able to hold on for the entire ride the movie has to offer. However, while some will undoubtable enjoy surrendering themselves to the film's length and becoming fully absorbed in its twists and turns, others have already made their voices heard regarding the runtime. When Variety announced how long "Babylon" was on Twitter, some quickly called for change, like one user, @satellitecherry, who wrote, "Bring back the 90 minute movie we are tired." 

In addition, certain critics on Rotten Tomatoes aren't fans of the length, and some reviews would even argue that it is one of its biggest cons. Despite the lack of love for the runtime, those who choose to enjoy the blast from the past "Babylon" offers will be in for a long, memorable trip ... with no breaks until the credits roll.