Sunday, January 8, 2012

Angelina: actress, wife, mother, diplomat, and now, filmmaker

It was unexpected for her, unexpected for Brad and unexpected for us, but when Angelina Jolie rolled the last page out of the typewriter she had a script in her hands. It was about the Bosnian War and had come right out of her stomach, putting in fiction an already publicly acknowledged activist conscience. She stepped into the director's chair months later, after a hard financing dwelling and after shooting with local cast, both in English and Bosnian, released her first film as an author: In the Land of Blood and Honey. During battle, a soldier reunites with a woman he once was in love with and when captive in a camp they'll both have to deal with sweet memories and a painful desolate new reality that changes their connection. And then we've got two women firmly wheeling independent provocative war dramas (with Kathryn Bigelow).

I've always been an admirer of Angie. Out of the movies, celebrity considered only, she flew from media badass, tattooed brother french kisser, slutty rebel without a cause, to ground as one of the most beautiful, finest women in the world, happily married and caring mother. She affirmed her political and social concerns and used her name as a diplomatic weapon and along with Pitt doesn't need her donations to be dependent upon any kind of broadcasting. Inside the movies, I regard her as one of the most underrated actresses of our times, as her fame and looks continuously drag her into high-concept empty summer blockbusters, specially after she started carrying the stamp of Lara Croft like. In the last ten years, there's Salt (2010), The Tourist (2010), Wanted (2008), Bewulf (2007). And then there's the forgotten A Mighty Heart (2007) and the extraordinary performance in Changeling (2008), for which she got Oscar nominated. She's now aiming for Robert Stromberg's dark version of The Sleeping Beauty, as the main character Malificent, and I'm predicting great things. There have also been some talks on David Fincher and its Cleopatra but it's still too far-foggy-away. But there's this huge dramatic and sincere charisma she can imprint like very few which I feel is flattened by the press and the industry over and over again.

Recently she gave an interview to Collider about the first film she helmed. It is one of the best interviews I've read in 2011 and only served to augment my admiration for this incredible woman, who reveals a sheer passion for films and filmmaking, a truthful wish to tell important and relevant stories and a personal and genuine plight on the side of love and peace against war and death. I strongly encourage you to read the conversation here and formulate your own thoughts.

"I didn’t intentionally make people feel guilty, but I have had that response from a lot of people – that they feel guilty that they didn’t do enough. I feel guilty. I didn’t know enough. So, I think we all should feel that way about this particular war, and we should wonder what it is that we’re going to look back on, in 15 years, and feel that we also didn’t do, that’s happening today. It’s extraordinary. It’s so strange. What were we doing?"