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‘A SMALL INDEPENDENT FILM’


As I paged through this piece in the L.A. Times Steven Klein’s 58-page Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie spread in W Magazine, I thought about the movies. In a world where so many movies just don’t deliver, sometimes you have to find cinematic pleasures elsewhere — in music, in a videogame, or in a fashion magazine. And while I wouldn’t have thought to compare the pages to “a small independent film” (“It wasn’t a photography shoot. It wasn’t a celebrity shoot,” Klein said. “We looked at it like a small, independent film, an investigation into the breakdown of a family”), I did find in this spread the artful compositions, sneaking subtext, and yes, celebrity star power of good cinema. If you haven’t seen it, the portfolio, which Pitt co-edited with Klein, features the stars as an all-American couple with family circa 1963 living alienated lives in a cold-war neo-paradise. Having recently watched Antonioni’s L’Eclisse on its new Criterion DVD, I thought back on that film’s fractured couplings in an H-bomb-fearing age as I turned the pages of this strange new form of celebrity portraiture.

No disrespect to Doug Liman, but, in fact, Klein’s W spread is more arrestingly cinematic than anything in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s on the newsstands now.

UPDATE: For our cinematic take on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s star power, check out part three of Jamie Stuart’s

NYFF46

, his short-film re-imagining of the 2007 New York Film Festival. Pitt/Jolie appear about three quarters of the way through.
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