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Brad Pitt – Killing Them Softly is “a call for responsible capitalism”

Indiewire points us to the Brad Pitt story in Interview Magazine. Pitt is interviewed by Guy Ritchie.  Here are some choice quotes:

“Well, what Andrew wanted to do with this film was interesting: He wanted to talk about America—and America as a business—but he wanted to hide it within this low-end crime drama. We in America have some grand ideals—and some very strong ideals—but a lot of times, those ideals are used for marketing.

“In a way, [Killing Them Softly is] a call for responsible capitalism. But Andrew wanted to juxtapose that idea with the financial crisis and effects of that because there’s an interesting psychology at play in terms of who we are and what we do when given too much room. It started out in the ’90s, under Clinton, with the good intentions of ‘Everyone should own a house and have a shot at the American dream.’ So you open up doors to make that possible by giving people these loans. Then, Bush comes in and deregulates everything, so there’s no one at the helm, and it becomes easier to take advantage of it because there’s no accountability. And then you know what happened from there—a lot of people got hurt. But it also says something about the nature of greed and what can happen when we don’t look beyond that. At the end of the day, what it says is that we can’t trust ourselves, that we need some governing body. I mean, people knew where things were heading–clearly, we got to the point where banks were actually betting against the very people they were giving these loans to.

“…And, by the way, most people’s daily lives are just about surviving. Their lives are about making the weekly nothing and taking the kids out on a Sunday. Most people don’t have time to really study the issues. And the media could help us, but there’s capitalistic interest in the media outlets as well,..the Internet has done a wonderful thing for us. But democracy doesn’t work unless people are well informed, and I don’t know that we are. People just don’t have the time.”

22 Comments on this Post

  1. Really looking forward to Killing Them Softly, Dominik’s last film was one of my all-time favorites.

  2. Wow…Rastafari Bradd Pitt :) This is pose of Bob Marley.

  3. Tero Heikkinen

    Responsible Capitalism.

    LOL.

  4. AlecFPrice

    The best film I’ve seen this year – and one destined to be overlooked by virtually everyone. In many ways, its such a small, contained work that it may seem slight and many won’t see all it has to offer at first glance. A second viewing reveals so many great moments that slip by unnoticed first time around – and it may be a narrow view of a small world but its a film built to last. Zero chance the Academy will go for it but nominations for script, cinematography, editing and supporting actor (take your pick from Gandolfini, McNairy, Liotta) would not be undeserved. Dominik is right up there with PTA for me after this.

  5. steve50

    ^Glad to see such a positive remark. I really like Dominik (Jesse James, anyway – still haven’t seen Chopper) and it’s nice to hear he’s sustaining the early promise.

    Like Pitt’s comments. He’s a bright and articulate guy – wonder what the future holds when he’s had enough of being in front of the camera.

  6. I think Andrew Dominik achieved what he evidently wanted to with Killing Them Softly, but I don’t think he achieved in ‘hiding’ it within a low-end crime drama. It wasn’t hidden at all – the film was all allegory, I thought. Not a bad film, but lacking in the subtlety it requires. Actually, the more unsubtle moments were occasionally its best – the ending is terrific, for example.

    Brad Pitt has had me convinced of his intelligence for years for many reasons. Reading his words only confirms what I already knew. But, yeah, ‘responsible capitalism’. I’m waiting to see if such a thing is even possible. So is the rest of the world, I think.

  7. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    ‘responsible capitalism’. I’m waiting to see if such a thing is even possible. So is the rest of the world, I think.

    Guys like Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates used to give me hope. But that’s the thing. A handful of benevolent “responsible capitalists” can’t counterbalance millions of greedy irresponsible capitalists.

  8. MerKaBa

    Anyone else get a late 70’s Bowie vibe from the tuxedo pics?! Would be interesting to see Pitt portray Bowie around the Berlin Trilogy era if he dyed his hair blonde.

  9. Jesus Alonso

    There’s not such thing as a responsible capitalism unless looked from an egocentric, selfish, point of view.

    An expert’s opinion. Capitalism creates wealth from other one’s misery. That’s the spirit, Brad.

  10. Matt Newlin

    This is a PERFECT example of how a liberal Hollywood star can be so out of touch with what really happens yet be looked to and even praised for his misinformed comments. I love Brad Pitt as an actor, but he has NO clue what he is talking about here. Bush did not cause the financial crisis. He claims the media is could be more helpful about informing people? About an actor whose every word is held as truth do some research of his own instead of spouting out stump speeches he’s heard from the very media he decries?

    “A lot of people got hurt” because lenders were forced (by threat of fines and penalties) to make loans to borrowers who had terrible credit history and no down payment. They didn’t want to do it because they knew they would lose money. How could they be greedy?

    Again, I love Brad and his movies, but he needs to stop using his celebrity to regurgitate inaccuracies he heard on NPR or MSNBC.

  11. Matt,

    Didn’t you knew Republican Conservative went out of style in the 1990’s?

  12. Matt Newlin

    Jon,

    Agreed. Republicans are aborrhent and as misguided as liberals.

  13. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    lenders were forced (by threat of fines and penalties) to make loans to borrowers who had terrible credit history and no down payment. They didn’t want to do it because they knew they would lose money. How could they be greedy?

    Pity the selfless victimized lenders. Lo, see how they’ve suffered.

  14. Matt Newlin

    Ryan-I’m not saying the lenders should be pitied. My point is that liberals like Pitt just take as truth whatever Obama and his ilk spew. The lenders weren’t greedy. They were just obeying the regulations forced upon them. If someone should be blamed, it should be Barney Frank, et. al who pushed so hard for every person to own a home, regardless of whether they could afford it.

  15. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    The lenders weren’t greedy. They were just obeying the regulations forced upon them.

    Lenders were “forced” to accept huge bonuses called “yield spread premiums” — 75% of problematic loans were brokered by lenders who got filthy rich signing up under-qualified home-buyers.

    Mortgage brokers received bonuses, called “yield spread premiums,” for steering consumers toward loans with the highest available interest rates. The practice, which increased the lender’s profit margin over the life of a loan, also created a monetary incentive for brokers to arrange as many subprime loans as possible, in turn flooding the market with mortgages that borrowers had difficulty paying back.

    I’ll never forget the sad day when all the mortgage brokers had to give back those hundreds of millions in bonuses they raked in. I’ll never forget it because they never gave back a dime.

    Mortgages made by brokers cost Americans nearly $20 billion more than comparable home loans made directly by the lender, as borrowers were socked with both the Yield Spread Premium and the higher interest rate.

    Gosh, I wonder who got those bonuses… Surely not anybody greedy.

  16. rufussondheim

    There’s a lot of blame to go around on what caused the recent crisis. And the Bush Administration needs to be near the top of the list. It happened under his administration and much of his staff came from and went back to Wall Street (as did Clinton’s.)

    To not point at least one finger at Bush is as bad as not pointing any. His administration could have certainly identified and made efforts to stop the abuse, but they did nothing.

    As for “responsible capitalism” I read that as a euphanism for “well-regulated capitalism.” Blaming capitalism for the problems of the world is just plain silly. Yes, many of the world’s problems come directly from capitalism, but so does nearly all of its material pleasures. Could we be sitting here discussing this without the existance of capitalism? I don’t think so.

  17. Tero Heikkinen

    I’m discussing here, and my country is far from Capitalist with Big C (as compared to USA). We like to spread wealth so that everyone can be sitting here and talk.

  18. He’s a good person but it seems a little superior to think that people don’t “study” the issues. They’re living the issues. They don’t need to read about it like he does.

  19. rufussondheim

    Yes, next time I play Angry Birds on my Nokia phone, I will thank the socialists of Finland for giving me the opportunity.

  20. Tero Heikkinen

    Haha.

    Free enterprise we have, but just paying more taxes to help the ones with not so much. Plus equal chances/rights for education and health care are top priority.

    Well, more and more taxes… Middle class citizen pays about the same as you do, actually. But military costs in USA are very high. That’s where your money goes, and that is accepted Socialism, for some reason. But I guess Americans in general have more money to spend due to food/gas and everything being about half the price of ours. I don’t know how much people usually pay for health insurance, but I hear it can be hundreds of dollars each month. Maybe not true. But insurance companies are evil middle hands that should not exist when we’re talking about something as important as health. We only have one life.

  21. rufussondheim

    Well, free enterprise is capitalism. Socialism is accepted here, but we daren’t call it that.

    I am 100% with you on healthcare. Americans spend a ridiculous amount on it compared to ANY country out there. (I think USA is about 80% more than the #2 country) and we have so little to show for it.

    If I had my choice, I’d bring Finland’s economic, education and healthcare systems to the USA. You do it better, I think. But don’t let yourself get fooled. There is capitalism in Finland. Well-regulated capitism is the economic engine behind your intelligently thought out socialism.

  22. Tero Heikkinen

    I know we have Capitalism, I just meant that it’s not as extreme as the American version of it. Capitalism – and add Communism – in their extremes just don’t seem to work properly, but they could be ideal. Communism is just that – an idea only – and that has never really worked anywhere. Or has it? Capitalism tries. So, I think some form from the middle can be better – leaning towards Capitalism, naturally. “Social Democratism”.

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