Video Digest: November 10, 2006

Sarah and Brad Pitt, sitting in a tree: The many faces of Pitt, from Dallas to Pringles commercials, with a little Fight Club ditty thrown in; Bernal and the girls who love him; Faith Hill turns upset at losing; The perverted history of cinema can't compete with Growing Pains.

In eighth grade, at one of those slumber parties where you try to make each other levitate but only make a gallon of ice cream disappear, someone asked who was the best-looking guy I’d ever seen. I had an answer and, to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t Johnny Depp or Billy from World History: It was this guy I’d seen on an episode of Growing Pains, and I’d been gobsmacked by his beauty. No one had ever heard of him. His name was Brad Pitt.

In addition to the Growing Pains episode, Pitt and his pouty, heart-shaped lips made appearances throughout the ‘80s on Head of the Class, 21 Jump Street, and Dallas, where he played a hunk not so subtly named Randy.

If Brad Pitt is pissed at Vanity Fair for running an art photo of him on their cover this month, it must seriously rattle his chakras when losers post clips of him in a Pringles commercial and getting his hand chewed off by a tub full of piranhas. The drag is that, when he’s not being profound and meaningful, Brad Pitt is one of the most underappreciated comic actors around. I wish he’d do more Snatch, and less Troy. Here he is cutting up with Edward Norton on the set of Fight Club, turning Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” into its obvious Freudian counterpart.

This Friday, Pitt’s movie Babel opens. These days, I’m far more interested in Pitt’s co-star, Gael Garcia Bernal. Had I grown up in Oaxaca instead of Dallas, I might have had some serious flan binges mooning over Bernal, who spent much of his life on several Mexican soaps, like El Abuelo y Yo. Of course 14-year-old girls were in love with Bernal: He looks just like them!

In a week that included an election, Britney dumping K-Fed, and Anna Nicole’s televised caesarean, the best clip came from the—say whaa?—Country Music Awards. I don’t know why people are giving Faith Hill such a hard time for this. It’s how I feel every day.

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is less pervy than it sounds and far more cerebral. In this Sophia Fiennes documentary, which has been making the festival circuit, Slovenian philosopher and psychologist Slavoj Zizek sounds off on classic films in fascinating ways. It’s no Growing Pains, but it’ll do.

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