More Anything? More Everything! Babylon and Our Favourite Movies about Excess.

Adam Fay,

To celebrate the release of Damien Chazelle’s (La La Land, First Man) ambitious period epic, Babylon (now available express from cinemas in the Movie Store on Fetch) and with thanks to Paramount, we’re lucky enough to be able to share a behind-the-scenes clip of the making of the film to get you excited.

Babylon features a huge ensemble cast including Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, Katherine Waterston, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde and Samara Weaving. Chazelle’s film documents Old Hollywood in the late 1920s during a period of transition from silent to sound films, with a no-holds-barred approach to presenting all of the indulgence, debauchery and excess of the era.

The gargantuan 189-minute runtime and a gluttonous serving of sex, drugs and violence is sure to offer a singular and memorable experience, and it got us thinking of some other movies that capture the whirlwind of full-blown excess.

Here’s 5 of our favourites to watch after you’ve consumed the chaotic brilliance of Babylon…

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

What’s it about?

In The Wolf of Wall Street Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 36 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.

Why We Love it.

Martin Scorsese’s examination of arrogance and consumption is filled with enough off-the-wall craziness and riotous scenes of excess to keep you buzzing for hours. Like Babylon, it’s also not afraid to push the run time to butt-numbing excess as well, clocking in at 2 hours 59 minutes.

Thankfully, The Wolf of Wall Street whizzes by with a cocktail of wild scenes created to shock, outrage and entertain.

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

What’s it About?

Raoul is a journalist who along with his lawyer head to Las Vegas to cover the mint 400 motorcycle race. Soon, pleasure overtakes work and they indulge in a variety of recreational drugs.

Why We Love it.

Anyone who has read Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic book would partly know what to expect going into the movie adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but there is still something special about seeing his words recreated by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro’s performances.

While the film is a fun watch (especially for Depp fans) don’t expect much character development, or even much story. This is a visual feast to be sure, and a fun ride, but falls short of capturing the satirical sharpness of the book, so we suggest hitting the text before the remote.

3. Requiem For a Dream

What’s it about?

Requiem for a Dream exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). The protagonist Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) is your typical heroin junky with an ambitious plan of “Getting off hard knocks,” with help from his cocaine crazed girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connolly) and his long time friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). Meanwhile his widowed mother (Ellen Burstyn) is obsessed with the glamor of television and eventually finds her way to a dietitian who pushes her into the cycle of drug induced enslavement.

Why We Love it.

Considerably darker in tone than others in our list, Requiem for a Dream is nevertheless one of the most intense and powerful depictions of excess ever portrayed on film. The sadness and utter despair of heavy addiction via Jared Leto and Jennifer Connolly’s performances can be a difficult watch, but perhaps the most memorable and confronting scenes in the movie involve the diet pill addicted madness courtesy of Ellen Burstyn’s character. We guarantee you will never see anything like it and may never look at your humble kitchen fridge the same way ever again. You’ll see what we mean…you have been warned.

4. Boogie Nights

What’s it about?

In the 1980’s era of disco and drugs, Porn Director Jack Horner takes the world of film by storm, when he discovers a young man who is born with a humongous asset.

Why we love it.

One of the best films to capture the excess of the 1970s in such a specific and detailed way. Paul Thomas Anderson’s porn industry expose has a wild spirit that makes it look as much fun to make as it is to watch. If Babylon encapsulates Hollywood of the 1920s, Boogie Nights achieves the same spirit of decadence for its golden era of L.A wealth and consumption.

An undisputed star maker for its lead Mark Wahlberg, the movie is littered with amazing performances, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s awkwardly curious Scotty J. standing out as one of the very best.

5. Office Christmas Party

What’s it about?

When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.

Why we love it.

Definitely not be taken in any way seriously, Office Christmas Party is silly, absurd fun that will likely leave your memor by the time the credits roll. Nothing wrong with that, especially with a top-notch cast of comedy actors and a story of insane office-set party madness like this.

With some cheeky scenes that will have you doing double takes, and a few laugh out loud moments, Office Christmas Party is all about the lighter side of excess and thankfully less a cautionary tale than others in the list. A throwaway movie with its heart in the right place.

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