Brad Pitt, that irritates then for a moment, is slowly approaching sixty. More than thirty years ago, his career began with a lot of hairstyle (as Randy in "Dallas") and without jeans, and before that cinema summer - before "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and this week's launching "Ad Astra" - was to assume that this career would just go on forever. Worldstar autopilot, intermediate side position. A well-toned, aging 20th Century Toy, as the T. Rex song calls it, that underpinned the iconic Levi's advertising at the time. The image of a man for whom it is okay to go into the street without pants (if there is a convertible waiting there).
From this moment emerged a global brand visible over decades, whose stable presence and intrinsic value was fueled not least by the continued interest in a private and family life, which was always controlled in a controlled manner. In between, the news situation at this level was sometimes a little more turbulent: It was heard of in-family abuses in the private plane and learned of the discretion of the relatively anonymous alcoholics in Los Angeles.
11 picturesBrad Pitt: The way to the global brand
Promimaterial was further reliably launched: Angelina Jolie opened after the divorce for a "Vanity Fair" home story all the windows of the newly acquired Beaux-Arts villa in Los Feliz. Pitt, meanwhile, spoke well with competing magazines, hinting at one or the other wrongdoing, and last escorted by the "New York Times" through the Griffith Planetarium on Mount Hollywood - without being recognized by the tourists who had just come to to photograph the Hollywood lettering. Brangelina was finally history, everyone, including the two main victims, were relieved.
Brad Pitt in "Thelma & Louise" from 1991
Pitt has always been there in the last few years, even though his film appearances - in favor of expanded producer activity - became increasingly sporadic and the roles themselves were constantly forgotten. Or does anyone still remember General MacMahon ("War Machine", 2017) or squadron commander Max Vatan ("Allied", 2016)?
That's basically how Pitt has worked with ambitious directors like David Fincher and Terrence Malick on several occasions, but something truly outstanding, enduring, a figure that would be more pop culture-sustainable than the jeans man of 1991, the Ridley Scott in "Thelma & Louise "had once again consolidated film history was not among them. On the other hand, one has to say fair, since the unfortunate long-haired vampire, who wanted to interview no one in 1994, hardly any rashes down, no profoundly embarrassing appearances.
1994 in "Interview with the vampire": new career phase?
Then came the cinema summer 2019 and rang in, if not mistaken, a new career phase. Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" translates that Pitt's career fall into a long late summer, an offensively staged echo of a now exhausted juvenile into a series of almost indiscreet close-ups, art historically considered study images of a well-tanned pleated relief should be remembered.
White stubble on legendary nutcracker chin. Golden sunbeams, but no soft-focus lighting, no digital smoothing and Gemorphs, but departure to the Robert Redford country. Suddenly, Pitt was old, the still-essential coolness now the by-product of a great, lived-in fatigue. Hollywood hoses.
"Once Upon a Time" gathers traces of an acting biography: The scene in which Pitt as an antisocial stuntman Cliff Booth climbs a roof on Cielo Drive for alleged repairs and then - with a side glance that goes far beyond the limits of this cinematic world - even more reasonless, but very demonstrative, the bright yellow T-shirt undresses.
And after this announcement, the body capital is just there, waiting blankly for the movie flap, the end of the shift. The defective television antenna could, one thinks the layman, can also straighten with outerwear, but that was already in Levi's prison, was released from the Pitt in fine rib underwear in the so-called freedom. In addition to the sheer staying-in-form, which is basically dignified by the non-athlete Tarantino, in Pitt's late-summer Posterboy irony, however, something generational also seems to be articulating towards the audience: You have grown old with this body image , here now according to the contract opportunity for a possibly last sighting.
Always mellower, emptier, free of affect
If Pitt comes to the cinemas this week with "Ad Astra", another Hollywood author's film, there can be no talk of a playful-ironic reference to the ultimately insurmountable limitations of one's own role biography. What has remained is in "Ad Astra" - a meticulously staged space movie about sons, who are always looking for dads and yet only find Tommy Lee Jones - especially this career Pitt fatigue. Has seen everything, Moon, Mars and Neptune. Has also survived a couple relationship with Liv Tyler, who almost erratically parodied flashbacks as a cliché of a disappointed "big love" through the film.
And again extensive close-ups, which in Pitts world-famous face, which becomes livelier, emptier, liberated from being alone in this "nothingness", look for readable signs, for a prehistory. Why is this man so exhausted, why does his blood pressure never rise?
In the video: The trailer for "Ad Astra"
"Ad Astra" gives so little of biographical, psychological evidence to this astronaut's son-figure beyond the pitifully conventionally recited father's complex that the search inevitably lands time and again in the story of actor Brad Pitt.
Looking at the largely interchangeable staff that is currently at the center of industry, in the franchise blockbuster segment, it could be almost solemn:
He, Pitt, the Elder, is one of the last of his kind.