It's not every month that we publish as noteworthy a feature as this month's astonishing Playboy Interview with Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Our Q&A to Z is not only bad Vlad's first in-depth interview for the U.S. market--he has refused to cooperate with most other members of the press--it's also the first three-dimensional portrait of the man who could be the next leader of Russia. Although Boris Yeltsin heads the government, Zhirinovsky is arguably more powerful. Extracting Zhirinovsky's plans and listening to his philosophy--more often tirades--did not come easily for Canadian journalist Jennifer Gould, who conducted the interview. Gould tenaciously waited out Zhirinovsky and insinuated herself into his confidence--to the point where he bared a startling side of himself. Picture, if you can, a Warsaw Pact Packwood.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032--1478). March 1995. Volume 42, Number 3, 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 45 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; One Sansome Street Suite 1900. San Francisco. Ca 94104, Detroit; 2000 Town Center, Suite 1900 Southfield, Mi 48075; South Zimmerman & Associates. 2221 Peachtree Road Ne. Suite 10. Atlanta. Ga 30309, Boston Northeast Media Sales, 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Boston 02109.
Any lingering doubt about Brad Pitt's rise to stardom is banished by Legends of the Fall (TriStar), the kind of rich, old-fashioned family saga seldom seen nowadays. Producer-director Edward Zwick's film, based on a novella by Jim Harrison, spans several decades--from before World War One to well beyond Prohibition. Anthony Hopkins plays Ludlow, a Montana rancher whose three sons (Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas) happen to love the same woman. She's a beauty from back East, portrayed by Britain's willowy Julia Ormond. But it's Pitt as Tristan, the wild and willful bad boy, who lifts Legends from its soap-opera mode. He is a bear hunter steeped in Indian lore who blames himself for one brother's death, seduces the woman his other brother hopes to marry--and keeps coming back from faraway misadventures, like a prodigal son. With each return, the soundtrack soars into grandeur. Is it corny? At times, yes. Hopkins, his character's face contorted and his speech unintelligible after a stroke in later years, occasionally is more comic than tragic. Coincidence has to work overtime to embrace this dysfunctional family's struggles with love, loss, patriotism, sibling rivalry, suicide, gunrunning and murder. Even so, Legends has grand style and sex appeal. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
By the time that audiences see Stephen Dorff as a rebellious American mall rat in S.F.W. (for So Fucking What, his character's motto), they should realize that his imagefixing roles playing young Brits are a fluke. Blessed with an ear for accents, he boosted his big-screen climb as a teenage South African boxer in The Power of One, followed by his stint as an ex-Beatle in Back-beat. In the latter, Dorff has an erotic body-painting scene with Sheryl Lee: "We kept it sort of innocent, natural, sex with a smile--none of that Basic Instinct shit." Dorff frets that some of his fans may know him mainly for his showy bit a year or so ago in an Aerosmith video called Cryin'. In the forthcoming Halcyon Days, he's English again, "with more of an Oxford accent, which I call my Jeremy Irons voice. It's set in France around 1940. Gabrielle Anwar plays my sister. It's not really about incest, though we do have sex--there's a close-up of my butt."
No respect is what Rodney Dangerfield gets from badass screen daughter Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers. But for once, the king of self-deprecation isn't complaining. "Oliver Stone told me, 'I think you're an actor--do this film.' I play the worst guy in the world. And every line in the scene, but one, I wrote myself." At home, Dangerfield rarely rewinds other funnymen on tape ("Laurel and Hardy were perhaps the greatest," he notes, "but I've been writing jokes since I was 15, so it's hard for me to laugh"). That's why his video library is stocked with classic tearjerkers such as The Grapes of Wrath, The Little Foxes and Come Back, Little Sheba. "They don't make 'em like that anymore," he moans. His weepstakes winner? "It's a Wonderful Life. Because it's so contrary to my own."
MCA has just entered the fancy-disc race with a Signature Edition release of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. The four-sided, letterboxed CAV set ($70) features storyboards, trailers, audio play-by-play from director Rob Cohen and a special intro by the kung fu legend's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell. . . . Was Ed Wood really as rotten a director as Tim Burton's movie makes him out to be? You be the judge. Lumivision's Ed Wood Collection (CLV, $79.95) is a two-disc tribute that includes: Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), Wood's worst and Bela Lugosi's last; Jail Bait: The Director's Cut (1954), featuring restored footage and Hercules' Steve Reeves in his screen debut; and Plan 9's sequel, Night of the Ghouls (1960), which was never released because Wood couldn't pay the film lab.
A triple whammy for music-cinema video archivists: Abkco Films has released Sympathy for the Devil (1970), Jean-Luc Godard's documentary about the making of the Rolling Stones' 1968 platter. The digitally restored flick, with remastered soundtrack, follows the Stones from rehearsals to recording sessions, weaving in images of the Sixties. Spookiest segment: Bobby Kennedy's murder, which occurred during filming. . . . Behind every bloodsucker, there's a good woman--at least according to Anne Rice: Birth of the Vampire (BBC Video and CBS/Fox), a 45-minute ode to the undead's best-selling chronicler. The program traces Rice's life back to her New Orleans childhood and features her family, friends and a few fanged figments of her imagination.
Want to jump in and out of your favorite Sega Genesis games without leaving the couch? Then check out ASG Technologies' Video Jukebox (pictured below) and Infrarad remote control. Priced at $50, the former is a cartridge server that stores six games and has networking technology to link together six Video Jukeboxes. The $30 Infrarad, which features ports for two controllers, enables you and a buddy to toggle between great titles such as Earthworm Jim, Mortal Kombat II and Streets of Rage 3 with the press of a button. Because the remote control is an infrared receiver, there are no cords connecting you to the TV. Couch spuds who are into Super Nintendo can pick up
You Needn't be a prophet to wonder how CD-Rom technology will affect the future of publishing. Will the disc replace the book? Has the Library of Congress been rendered obsolete? Is the novel, once again, dead? Will an optical data retrieval system steal the soul of literature? The answer is a resounding no.
Like a lot of drugs, it is known on the street by many names: moke, crank, forty-weight, mud, java, joe. More than half of all Americans use it every day. In Seattle, where I live, it is common to see queues of twitchy addicts waiting desperately for their morning fix. "Double tall latté, two percent, no foam," they plead as they hand over crumpled bills, speaking in the impenetrable patois of the junkie.
Leading the morning news programs on November 3, 1994 were interviews with Susan Smith and her estranged husband, David. As if they had cloned themselves and could be in several places at once, Susan and David appeared shortly after seven A.M. on ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC, and their pleas for the safe return of their two sons, Michael, three, and Alex, 14 months, touched our hearts. Later that same day, our hearts would be touched again--but this time by an ice pick.
While vacationing in New York I visited several wineries. At one, an attractive steward with whom I'd been flirting for most of the tour motioned me into a room off the cellar, shut the door and began to kiss me. Before long we were both disrobing and she was opening one of the bottles. After some heavy petting and swigs of the vintage, she took the bottle from me and poured the wine over her soft, naked body. As I excitedly licked it off her breasts and tummy, she asked me to slip the neck of the empty bottle inside her. Naturally, I obliged, then finished with my cock. It was the craziest thing that's ever happened to me. My question is this: Is it possible for a woman to contract a yeast infection from wine?--H.S., Akron, Ohio.
It began with an act of generosity. Jennifer Skarie, a 41-year-old mother of three, let one of her ex-husband's relatives, John Byrd, move onto her ranch in Valley Center, California in late 1988. She became alarmed, however, when he used methamphetamine in her house and pressured her to put him in touch with people who would sell him drugs. Then, according to the subsequent court record, "He began to make sexual advances toward her and the women living with her. Byrd was a violent person who threatened others regularly and was usually armed, even in the house."
Last spring the papers were full of editorials that warned about the dangers of pedophiles lurking in cyberspace. The new medium gives creeps complete anonymity. Predators can cruise chat rooms looking for innocent kids with confused notions of sexuality. They can explore the target-rich bulletin boards on America Online, Prodigy, Compuserve and Genie, then pull unsuspecting youths into the dark shadows of e-mail, ply them with porn, set up meetings and work their magic.
In 1973 the Supreme Court established the reproductive rights of women, ruling that a woman has sole control of her body, with the right to choose if and when to bear a child. Subsequent decisions elaborated: She could terminate an unwanted pregnancy without consulting the biological father.
Bill Clinton should just sit back and smile. The voters have spoken. It's time for the president to stop being a frenzied activist trying to fix intractable problems and instead assume the what-me-worry attitude that worked so well for Ronald Reagan. Played right, the Newt Gingrich revolution should be just the tonic Clinton needs to look strong without doing anything. Just hold the Republicans to the contradictory goals of their contract with America and say, "OK, fellows, you're so smart, show us how to cut taxes and balance the budget. Both."
He was an unknown lawyer from the provinces, a political amateur with a tainted past, living in a country accustomed to grayhaired career Communists who die in office. So, when Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky ran for president in 1991, in Russia's first free elections--promising cheap vodka for men and flowers for women--no one gave his campaign a chance.
They get shot, tossed out of planes, trains and automobiles. And unlike stuntmen, stuntwomen usually have to look good doing it until the director gets the shot. "We love directors who use the first take," says Dana Hee, who did Sandra Bullock's bullet-dodging in Demolition Man. Those flames and explosions are real, says Dana. Movie magic often means no more than getting the stars out of harm's way and putting doubles there. Still, there are benefits. Sometimes a stuntwoman gets a job nobody else could do quite as well. Just ask Alisa Christensen, now appearing in The End. "I kill a man with a shotgun blast," she says, "and I do it topless."
She noticed him because his mouth, like her older son's, had sharply defined lips, and because during the entire auction he watched her openly, as though she reminded him of someone he knew but couldn't place. During a break he brought over a cup of tea and introduced himself. He had deep-brown eyes set in a thin, pale face, a straight, narrow nose and dark hair. Except for his paleness, he looked Italian; the name Ricardo fit him perfectly. She wasn't surprised when he called her the next day about a painting in a private collection. She wasn't even surprised when they got together and there was no painting. He apologized awkwardly, they drank a glass of wine together and the next day she barely gave him a second thought. He tried to lure her to galleries again and again, which only confirmed her suspicion that he was trying to sell her something, and it was quite easy to say no. But then he sent her tickets for La Bohème at the Met, after she had mentioned to him that she liked opera. She went with her husband and pretended not to notice Ricardo's face in a box to her left.
Jeffrey katzenberg is seated in a spare office at Steven Spielberg's enclave at Universal Studios. It's only three miles from the Walt Disney Studios, where Katzenberg ruled for ten years until he left last August after a bitter dispute with Disney's chairman, Michael Eisner. On this day, Katzenberg couldn't seem more content. He's leaning back in a leather chair, his feet crossed on the oak desk. He's wearing a loose white cotton shirt, jeans and sneakers--a pointed contrast to the buttondown conservative style at Disney. He's drinking a Diet Coke.
To hear Stacy Sanches talk is to hear pure Texas issuing from the mouth of a babe. Born in Dallas, Stacy relishes her place in the most devotedly nuclear of families, with Mom and Dad sticking together through 32 years of marriage and the whole gang (including a brother and a sister) spending time in the family business. She describes the arrangement as "awesome," but it sounds more like a throwback to a simpler time, when families hung together at home and on the range.
Two attractive roommates, aged 21 and 25, were amazed that their 61-year-old neighbor went out on dates night after night while they sat at home watching television. One finally asked the older woman how she accounted for her popularity.
Don't think for a second that this is kid stuff. Today's sports video games are so realistic that even superstar jocks such as Greg Maddux, Joe Montana and Shaquille O'Neal are diehard fans. "Rarely does a month go by that we don't host several pro athletes at our company," says Dave Dempsey, a spokesman for Electronic Arts Sports. "And we have a tough time getting them to leave. We have to peel their fingers off the game controllers." Like the real deals, the best sports simulations feature top athletes, multiple camera angles, detailed stats and stadium renderings so accurate you can launch a deep fly ball and have it sail over the ivy at Wrigley Field. In fact, just about anything that occurs in sports can now be duplicated in video games. Want to ski or snowboard in Val-d'Isère? Trade a couple of second-string hockey players for a scoring ace? Try to hit a Charlie Hough knuckleball? Then check out Tommy Moe's Winter Extreme: Skiing and Snowboarding (by Super Nintendo Entertainment System), NHL '95 (Sega Genesis and SNES) and World Series Baseball (Sega Genesis).
Baseball:World Series Baseball--If there were ever a game in which you could simulate standing in against a Randy Johnson fastball, this title is the one. Complete major league player rosters, play-by-play announcing, a fullscreen batter's-box view and a battery to save your statistics are just a few of the reasons why World Series Baseball is a grand slam (Sega Genesis). Honorable Mention: Tecmo Super Baseball (Sega Genesis and SNES), Hardball '94 (Sega Genesis) and La Russa Baseball '95 (Sega Genesis).
How could it have come to this? Peter McWilliams and John-Roger's best-selling Life 101 series of books was the sort that could make a nation of self-help addicts bounce about in weepy hugging frenzies. You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, with its uplifting aphorisms for health, happiness and harmony, had sent Oprah's audiences into book-buying rapture. The authors even adorned their We Give to Love tape package ($19.95) with painted hearts and the question: "If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
<p>He is so determined to distinguish his show from the glut of talk programs that he stripped to his underpants for a publicity poster that appeared on walls all over New York. Jon Stewart admits the parody of a Calvin Klein underwear ad was embarrassing ("I'm not exactly buff"). And in it, the man who confesses to preferring women who look like Cindy Crawford posed with a waif model, no less. But the talk show experience hasn't been too painful for Stewart. Crawford herself appeared on "The Jon Stewart Show," which debuted on MTV in the fall of 1993 and was syndicated nationwide--and expanded to a full hour--on broadcast television last September. Stewart's hallmarks include cutting-edge bands and guests who relax on a bench seat salvaged from a car. Shortly before his move from MTV, the furniture was upgraded to classier British Rover bucket seats. And Cindy Crawford has returned.</p>
I'Lladmit It: I am suspicious of anything that touts itself as the technotoy of the future. When I hear the words interactive or multimedia, a little red flag ripples in my peripheral vision. So when a bunch of CD-Rom publicists bombard me with raves about how much fun I'm going to have with their products, I purse my lips and squint suspiciously at the telephone receiver.
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 17, 22, 78--81 and 157, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
There are a few criteria to keep in mind when purchasing a CD-Rom drive. First and foremost is speed: How fast does the sucker spin? Speed determines how quickly your drive can transfer data to the screen and how smooth your video will be, although, increasingly, speed can also be determined by software. The first CD-Rom drives transferred data at 150 kilobytes per second. This was adequate for text and sound but sucked for animation. Videos on single-speed drives were the size of postage stamps and played with a herky-jerky, stop-motion, Charlie-Chaplin-in-cyberspace effect.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Sharp Electronics must be feeling good. Its Viewcam, a compact camcorder featuring a liquid crystal display viewscreen instead of a viewfinder, has inspired Sony, JVC and Minolta to bring similar products to market and reportedly has designers from RCA and Panasonic at the drawing boards as well. Available in compact-VHS, 8mm and Hi-8mm formats, LCD camcorders offer two advantages over viewfinder models: They make it easier to frame shots (what you see on the display is what you get) and they allow you and your subjects to enjoy instant showtime on the color screen. Sharp, JVC and Minolta even offer optional tuners for watching and recording TV shows when your own footage is a major snooze.