There are good girls and there are bad girls--both are excellent. This month, our vote for the most excellent girl in the world goes to the awesome Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson. We sing the body Ellectric in a pictorial shot by idol-maker Herb Ritts, who enshrined Cindy Crawford on our pages. From nice to naughty: Our Bad Girls package has everything you wanted to know about headline-breaking, man-eating, heart-smashing temptresses but were afraid to find out in person. Be careful--in the Twenties they were called vamps, but these days you might call them sis, girlfriend or even mom. One woman who's both naughty and nice is Lisa Palac, an editor of Future Sex magazine. In How Dirty Pictures Changed My Life, an essay from Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation (W. W. Norton), Palac reveals how she was transformed by her boyfriend's sex vids from a MacKinnon--Dworkin disciple into a pink-shirted porn trooper. Thank goodness, or she might have turned out to be another knee-jerk political correctness clone. The idiocy of PC thinking is amusingly depicted in James Finn Garner's updated fable, Snow White Redux (excerpted from his Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Macmillan). This new epidermally gifted Snow White lives with vertically challenged woodspeople who run a sweat lodge in an arboreal ecosystem. Kinuko Y. Craft did the rather subjective art.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), May 1994, Volume 41, Number 5. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore drive, Chicago. Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada. $43.97 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $45 U.S, Currency only, for new and Renewal Orders and Change of Address. Send to Playboy Subscriptions. P.O. Box 2007. Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please Allow 6-8 weeks for Processing for change of Address. Send new and old Addresses and Allow 46 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy. P.O. Box 2007, Harlan. Iowa 51537-4007 Advertising: New York 730 Fifth Avenue. New York 10019: Chicago 680 North Lake shore drive, Chicago 60611, West Coast; 9242 Beverly Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210: Metropolitan Publishers Representatives. Inc., Atlanta 3017 Piedmont road Ne, Suite 100. Atlanta, Ga 30305; Miami 2500 South Dixie Highway, Miami, Fl 33133; Tampa; 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, Fl 33629.
In the annals of criminal law, the Nineties may go down as the decade of the video eyewitness. This video movement started in California, of course. It seemed at first--at least to this former prosecutor--a welcome phenomenon.
The gist of Sirens (Miramax), made in Australia, is a conflict between laced-up propriety and sexual liberation. Using the life of an actual artist to root his fiction in fact, writer-director John Duigan sets his story in the early 1900s when Hugh Grant as Tony, a young Anglican churchman, travels with his wife (Tara Fitzgerald) to visit Norman Lindsay, a painter (played roguishly by Sam Neill). The churchman's mission is to persuade the artist to withdraw a controversial etching called The Crucified Venus from an art show in England. While the two men discuss religion and artistic freedom, Tony's wife learns a lot from Lindsay's wife (Pamela Rabe) and the three resident models (Kate Fischer, Portia De Rossi and statuesque supermodel Elle Macpherson) who pose nude for paintings and have a lackadaisical attitude toward practically everything. Macpherson (see pictorial this issue) in her major-movie debut is a particularly appealing bohemian, while Grant and Fitzgerald play sexual repression with the right undercurrent of incipient lust. Free-spirited, imaginative and making light of its own Homeric symbolism, Sirens is a wicked pleasure and one of the most erotic movies of the year. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
Britain's Hugh Grant, 33, is all over the silver screen since his stint as the betrothed nephew who gets a birds-and-bees debriefing by Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day. He has top roles in two sexy new comedies (see reviews), plus a turn in Roman Polanski's darkly shining Bitter Moon. Small wonder he has been hailed in print as a Nineties Cary Grant. No relation, but comparisons evoke a smile as he pulls off his "sweaty ski boots" and relaxes while promoting two star appearances at Utah's Sundance Festival. "It's flattering, of course," says Grant, "but also very limiting, since I like to think of myself as fantastically versatile."
Katie Couric's sassy reporter's edge melts when it comes to home viewing. In fact, she becomes a marshmallow. "I don't like violent movies or action films," she says. "Instead, I like sentimental stuff, like Merchant--Ivory films." Favorite rewinds include Enchanted April, Fried Green Tomatoes and My Brilliant Career. "I also like old films like Hitchcock's Rear Window, To Kill a Mockingbird and all of the Fred Astaire movies--especially Top Hat. Oh, and I love The Manchurian Candidate," she adds. "But that's kind of demented, isn't it?" Ah, there's the sass.
Each year, home viewers rediscover silent movie classics, thanks to newly restored prints on tape. From Worldview Entertainment comes The Killiam Collection, whose commitment to film preservation--including proper projection speeds, retinting and newly scored music--shows in these handsome reissues: The Phantom of the Opera (1925): Opulent and scary, its look was aped for the hit Broadway musical. Some judicious humor throughout. Stand back when Mary Philbin tears off Lon Chaney's mask.
Packaged in Hollywood: James Cagney and Joan Crawford are among the latest film legends to be disced, boxed and shipped by MGM/UA. The James Cagney Collection spotlights five of Cagney's good-guy films, including 'G' Men and The Oklahoma Kid. And Crawford's collection features When Ladies Meet, Mannequin (with Spencer Tracy) and three others.... Mummy dearest: Bravo to MCA/Universal for releasing four of horrordom's mummy movies in a special-edition boxed set. Listed at 100 bucks, the three-disc set includes The Mummy's Hand (1940), The Mummy's Tomb (1942), The Mummy's Ghost (1944) and The Mummy's Curse (1944)--as well as trailers and production stills. Despite the glaring omission of Boris Karloff's The Mummy (1932), Tomb and Ghost make up for the loss, thanks mainly to Lon Chaney, Jr., ace of bandages.... Quaymation: Last year, director Tim Burton wowed fans and critics with his weird The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now you can check out Tim's inspiration: From Voyager's Criterion Collection, The Brothers Quay documents the genius of animator-puppeteers Stephen and Timothy Quay with five short films on two volumes. Refreshing twist: no commentary--just the flicks.
Tom Wiener's The Book of Video Lists (Andrews and McMeel, $16.95) categorizes more than 7500 movie titles under traditional vid-store headings (comedy, family, cult, drama) as well as in specialized groupings ("teens in trouble," "spectacular sets," "notoriously sexy"). Our favorite list: Films with Pop Stars in Non-musical Roles.... Why watch James Bond flicks when you can be your own supersleuth? In William C. Dear's Private Investigation Course, homespun detectives can get the lowdown on everything they need to know about being a private dick--from casing the murder scene to trash-can archaeology to starting your own agency. At a formidable $79.95 per tape, the complete package includes ten videos and more than 1000 pages of text. Oh, yeah, and a briefcase.... Pete Townshend's pinball wizardry rocks on in The Who's Tommy: The Amazing Journey (Elegant Films), a video history of the pop opera from its inception to the Tony-winning Broadway revival. Program includes rare Who concert clips and celebrity interviews.
Most Hip-Hop is so male-identified that even man-friendly female rappers such as MC Lyte fail to score the precious-metal album sales of colleagues with less talent and more penis. The sole exception has been Salt-N-Pepa. Commercial presences since 1986's pelvic Push It and the Otis Redding cover Tramp, Salt, Pepa and turntable whiz Spinderella are experts at mining sex and soul for dollars and cents.
Rocking on the Information Highway Department: Rock and roll and CD-ROM have met and mated. First Heart did it, then Peter Gabriel. Soon, Mick Jagger and the Dead will join them. The marriage of computer and CD technology produces hours of entertainment. The future is now.
Most sports fans need to see the game. Can you imagine a roundup of hockey books? That baseball fans just can't get enough is evidenced by the number and diversity of books written on the subject. This year's crop is particularly rich. Exhibit A: Keith Hernandez and Mike Bryan's Pure Baseball: Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan (HarperCollins). Ah, we said, the advanced fan. We have never seen the game scrutinized with such care and detail. Hernandez, who won 11 Gold Glove awards while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, provides commentary on two ball games in the 1993 season: a Phillies--Braves matchup and an extra-innings battle between the Tigers and the Yankees.
Getting fit is a long, sweaty process. There are no instant results, no magical machines or diets. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And when you finally do whip yourself into shape, it's astonishing how quickly hard-won muscle fiber, given half a chance, reverts to flab.
Karl Benson is a man who has done everything right. He is 39 years old, stands 5'9", weighs 135 pounds and is a devout vegetarian. He never smokes, never drinks and is a believer in sexual abstinence. He is a former marathon runner and a student of Zen Buddhism. According to the actuarial tables, Karl should live until approximately five minutes before forever.
Do you know how many women have been genitally mutilated in Africa? Does it make the front page of any newspaper? Does anybody, any man, even care? No, no. Way too combative and guilt-tripping. Probably a lot of men do care, and just like me, they sit staring into space trying to figure out what to do about it. Go to Africa with an attitude? Then what?
My husband and I are in our 40s and have swapped partners with another couple for four years. He and I tell each other everything that happens. My husband even knows that the woman and I have something on the side. However, her husband doesn't. Recently, she and I got caught when her 22-year-old son came home unexpectedly. She was a wreck because she doesn't want her husband to find out about us. I told her I would talk to her son. The next day he appeared at my front door. We talked for about an hour; he said he wouldn't tell his father about his mother and me. Then he asked if I would sleep with him. I did what he wanted and got really caught up in it. He hasn't told his parents, and I don't want my husband to find out because our rule is that we always discuss what we want to do before we do it. I have been sleeping with this kid three times a month ever since and would like to continue.--L. S., Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"There is no doubt by now that more guns mean more violence. Either we stop it now, or this insane domestic arms race will continue. Knives don't ricochet, people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives and you have to catch someone before you can stab him. It will be a better world, and guys, I promise, Lorena Bobbitt is a real fluke." --Molly Ivins, Columnist
"I will put focus in terms of sex, so you can better understand it. Focus is like sex. You seek a target. You zero in on your subject. You move from side to side. You close in on the subject. You bracket the subject and center on it. Focus connects experience and language. You and the subject become one."
Denis Leary first captivated us with his one-man show, "No Cure for Cancer," a high-decibel diatribe on tobacco, meat and masculinity. Leary minced neither words nor music. The show's leadoff song was titled "Asshole." And through it all, he puffed butts and swigged from longnecks. "The New York Times" pronounced his efforts "terribly, angrily funny. "After its stage run, "No Cure for Cancer" appeared as a Showtime special and was issued as a CD and as a book.
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can cantact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 26, 28, 108-111 and 163, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Once again, let us pay tribute to Charles Dillon Stengel, the legendary figure behind the Casey Awards, who said, "If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to stop thinking we're as good as we think we are."