Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Brad Pitt ponders the future of film

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 12:22 AM
This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Brad Pitt in a scene from “Ad Astra,” in theatres on September 20.
This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Brad Pitt in a scene from “Ad Astra,” in theatres on September 20.

Brad Pitt is unsure if film has a future.

The Ad Astra actor doesn’t think “youth today” have the attention span to watch a lengthy movie, and he is no longer surprised when people admit to not having seen many cinematic classics.

He said: “I wonder about the future of film. I really do. There’s so much content out there, so much disposable content, that a lot can get lost.

“I love a slow, contemplative film. I grew up on the drive-in and whatever movies we could see, and that’s where we had three television channels.

“So I look at youth today, and they absorb so much information and seem to like it more in quick bursts and don’t have necessarily the palate to sit two hours for a film. They would rather watch a series for a quick bit, and then they can follow another one if they want to, or move on to something else.

“So I’m very curious. I’m no longer shocked now when I ask a 20-year-old, ‘Have you seen The Godfather?’ And they say no. ‘Have you seen Cuckoo’s Nest?’ No. And I wonder if they ever will.

“So that’s where I go, ‘Ooh, is there a future to film? What will survive?’ “

The 55-year-old actor thinks it is a “mistake” that so much of a movie’s perceived success is judged by its opening weekend, as he thinks it should be about whether a production will stand the test of time.

Asked how the success of Ad Astra – which his own Plan B produced – will be gauged, he told America’s GQ magazine: “Well, for the financiers, whether it be studio or independent, that will be monetary. And most of our films, which I feel is a mistake, get defined by the opening weekend. They’ll say it’s a hit or it’s a miss. But all of my favourite films, I found them well after the fact.

“I guess that doesn’t answer my fiduciary responsibility....

“But it does! Actually, I disagree with that. Because I’m looking at the film: Does it have anything to say in 10 years or 20 years? Could it still have legs? Could it still be around?

“History is rife with films that we love today that were abysmal ‘bombs’ on their opening weekend. And we find them later, or we catch up with them.”