During a 2004 shoot for Vanity Fair, Nick Knight created a number of on-set scenarios for intriguing visual and aural actions for subject Brad Pitt to perform, so as to engage the actor in ‘pique’ performance. ‘Freedom of Love’ is a short film which captures Pitt in action during the shoot, energetically painting onto a huge blow up of his own face, and adding caption, and contemplatively reading surrealist poetry. Pitt reads from André Breton’s poem ‘Freedom of Love’, a one stanza, sixty-line homage to his wife. The poem cites a beautiful litany of comparisons for her physical attributes, deftly playing with language that eludes any commonplace romantic imaging, instead presenting uncanny metaphors. Breton was the provocative, passionate leader of the avant-garde literary and artistic movement Surrealism, who believed in ‘revolution of the mind’, and in the ‘marvellous’ – dazzling combinations of words or visual images, spontaneously created by automatic processes of the mind.

Project credits

Narration: Brad Pitt
Direction & Film: Nick Knight
Motion Image Design and Edit: Adam Mufti
Production: Stardust Visions
Set Design: Bill Doig
Styling: Alister Mackie
Special thanks to Isabella Blow & Cindy Guagenti

Freedom of Love

My wife with the hair of a wood fire
With the thoughts of heat lightning
With the waist of an hourglass
With the waist of an otter in the teeth of a tiger
My wife with the lips of a cockade and of a bunch of stars of the last magnitude
With the teeth of tracks of white mice on the white earth
With the tongue of rubbed amber and glass
My wife with the tongue of a stabbed host
With the tongue of a doll that opens and closes its eyes
With the tongue of an unbelievable stone
My wife with the eyelashes of strokes of a child’s writing
With brows of the edge of a swallow’s nest
My wife with the brow of slates of a hothouse roof
And of steam on the panes
My wife with shoulders of champagne
And of a fountain with dolphin-heads beneath the ice
My wife with wrists of matches
My wife with fingers of luck and ace of hearts
With fingers of mown hay
My wife with armpits of marten and of beechnut
And of Midsummer Night
Of privet and of an angelfish nest
With arms of seafoam and of riverlocks
And of a mingling of the wheat and the mill
My wife with legs of flares
With the movements of clockwork and despair
My wife with calves of eldertree pith
My wife with feet of initials
With feet of rings of keys and Java sparrows drinking
My wife with a neck of unpearled barley
My wife with a throat of the valley of gold
Of a tryst in the very bed of the torrent
With breasts of night
My wife with breasts of a marine molehill
My wife with breasts of the ruby’s crucible
With breasts of the rose’s spectre beneath the dew
My wife with the belly of an unfolding of the fan of days
With the belly of a gigantic claw
My wife with the back of a bird fleeing vertically
With a back of quicksilver
With a back of light
With a nape of rolled stone and wet chalk
And of the drop of a glass where one has just been drinking
My wife with hips of a skiff
With hips of a chandelier and of arrow-feathers
And of shafts of white peacock plumes
Of an insensible pendulum
My wife with buttocks of sandstone and asbestos
My wife with buttocks of swans’ backs
My wife with buttocks of spring
With the sex of an iris
My wife with the sex of a mining-placer and of a platypus
My wife with a sex of seaweed and ancient sweetmeat
My wife with a sex of mirror
My wife with eyes full of tears
With eyes of purple panoply and of a magnetic needle
My wife with savanna eyes
My wife with eyes of water to he drunk in prison
My wife with eyes of wood always under the axe
My wife with eyes of water-level of level of air earth and fire

Andre Breton

External Links
Download video
Official website