Archive for W magazine

Brad’s “Angelina” Portrait has Gentle Bedroom Intimacy

Posted in Art & Culture, Cinema & Filmmaking, Fame & Celebrity, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Movies & Movie Stars, Photography, Psyche & Sexuality, Romance & Relationships, Style & Fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2008 by alphabetfiend
older than me now, more constant more real,
and the fur and the mouth and the innocence
turned to hair and contentment,
that hangs in abasement, a woman now standing where once there was only a girl.
–The Cure
****************************************
Angelina Jolie’s expression is sweetly victorious; her gaze, joyous. Three tiny digits reach for the starlet’s nipple. She smiles softly at the man behind the camera — father of her newborn twins and stolen soul mate, Brad Pitt. The actress who once wore a vial of genuine redneck blood around her neck is now the picture of maternal triumph. Blood’s washed away by milk. Milk reigns now; the new symbol of life-essence and vitality in this next page of Jolie’s open book.

angelina jolie

 The photo is hailed as “an astonishingly intimate portrait” and a  “stunningly candid moment” by The Daily Mail  (Donna McConnell and Natalie Trombetta.)

 “The Hollywood star sits with brunette locks tumbling over her shoulders, with the top of her blouse pulled down to expose her breast – which is somewhat covered by the tiny fingers which just reveal the presence of one of her suckling twins.” (Daily Mail)

Jolie seems to be developing a new ease of being that once eluded the frenetic actress. Insulated by the family she’s built with Pitt, Jolie knows a new comfort and sense of safety. She’s more at home in her own bones. Her skin has become a record of family and future: tattoos mark the latitude and longitude of her children’s birth places; scars & stretchmarks speak of pregnancy and birth. For such a renowned beauty, it’s a welcome escape from the vanity of Hollywood.

‘I’m with a man who’s evolved enough to look at my body and see it as more beautiful, because of the journey it has taken and what it has created. He genuinely sees it that way.’

It’s this evolved eye that found her fulsome face in the viewfinder. With a decisive click, Pitt captured a butterfly in the net that so many transitory moments escape. Photography has long been a passion of Pitts, along with architecture. Pitt is clearly interested in shape, form, structure — this comes through in the spectacular photo which graces the cover of the forthcoming issue of W. Jolie’s pillow lips look comfy, at home in this scene of domestic bliss.  Angelina looks to be wearing a classic cotton nightgown, a “Laura Ingall’s nightie” in cotton as soft as grannie bed linens. The black and white portrait has a dreamy quality and a purity that is due, no doubt, to the privacy of the moment. 

The Camera Man

For his birthday, Jolie presented Pitt with a Littman 45. Lucky man. He’s also fortunate to have such a stunning face as a subject. It is Pitt’s first time shooting a cover. In W‘s July 2005 issue, Pitt collaborated with Steven Klein to create a series of photos that cast him and Jolie as a married couple in the cozy turbulence of the 1960’s .

In Filmmaker magazine’s filmmaker blog, Scott Macaulay described the evocative cinematic experience of the Klein-Pitt project:

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, 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 Wspread is more arrestingly cinematic than anything in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Not everyone loved the 58-page spread. Newly dumped Jennifer Aniston found it hurtful and in poor taste. Of Pitt’s horrendous timing, Aniston told Vanity Fair,  

“There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”

I bought that issue of W but, unlike Macaulay, I was never able to savor the spread. It was just too sad. I’m not a big Jen-fan but damn that had to hurt. If strangers were thinking of Aniston’s feelings, it must’ve crossed Pitt’s mind. Or should have. For Pitt, Angelina and art came before Aniston’s heartbreak. But the hurt is old and time has told. This issue of W should be less guilt-inducing and thus more enjoyable.

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