While Much entertainment news is fluff, we strive to bring you the person inside the celebrity. Take Mel Gibson. Sure, you've seen him wisecrack in Lethal Weapon or glibly chat through TV appearances. But you have never seen him as frank or as brash as he is with Contributing Editor Lawrence Grobel in this month's Interview. Call 1995 Mad Max' year of talking dangerously. From bloody bar brawls to the battle-ax gore of his new film, Braveheart, Gibson candidly describes his fights with a former business partner (he calls her the C-word), an obnoxious biographer ("I'd tear his fucking face right off") and gay rights activists (Gibson's a staunch Catholic).
Playboy (ISSN 0032--1478). July 1995. Volume 42. Number 7. 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 48076. South Zimmerman & Associates 2221 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 10 Atlanta GA 30309. Boston Northeast Media Sales 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace Boston 02109.
Nothing is what it seems to be in A Pure Formality (Sony Classics), a French-language drama written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, who made that marvelously Italian movie Cinema Paradiso. This austere, unexpectedly cerebral exercise co-stars Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski going head-to-head as a famous novelist and an implacable small-town police inspector. There's been a mysterious death near the home of the writer, who is thrashing wildly through a rainstorm when he is taken into custody. He then becomes hostile, absentminded and evasive during the cat-and-mouse interrogation that continues all night. The surprise ending has been done on-screen a number of times, but Tornatore does it again with a stylish intensity only slightly diminished by the air of déjè vu. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
"This always gets people in trouble," says George Lucas when asked to name his favorite flicks. "Once you say it, it all becomes history." Still, the movie mogul and special-effects wizard buckled down and gave us a short list of classics, all worthy of rewind on the VCR: Citizen Kane, Seven Samurai, A Hard Day's Night, Dr. Strangelove, Battleship Potemkin and The Bridge on the River Kwai. "They're all emotionally powerful movies," Lucas explains. "I like comedies, too, but when I think about the films I want to see over and over again, they're not usually the funny ones. Except Dr. Strangelove. Now, that's funny."
Lumivision puts its customary special interest in special interest discs on hold this month by re-pressing the theatrical feature A Taxing Woman. The winner of nine Japanese Academy Awards, the 1987 farce tracks a female tax inspector's obsession with--and efforts to bust--the owner of a Tokyo "love hotel." The movie was directed by Juzo Itami and stars Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki (Tampopo, The Funeral), whom some consider Japan's Tracy and Hepburn. . . . Sensory Overload of the Month: side six of Voyager's gorgeous Criterion Collection edition of The Red Shoes (1948). As Brian Easdale's score backs a montage of sketches for the flick's ballet sequence (drawn up by filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger), on the analog track, Jeremy Irons reads from Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale. Whew.
In Immortal Beloved (see Mood Meter), Gary Oldman's swept-back tresses and arched eyebrow help him portray Beethoven as a well-groomed lover. It's not the first time--actors who play composers usually hit the right notes when their coifs are in the proper key. Check out these other musical poufs:
Motorola's innovative Gold Line Professional Pager (pictured here in actual size) resembles a classic fountain pen and is loaded with impressive features. In addition to a 12-digit back-lit numeric display, the Gold Line has simple two-button operations and announces incoming pages with either a musical chime or Motorola's exclusive Vibra-Page silent vibrating alert system. When not presenting messages, the pager displays the time and can be programmed to sound an alarm. The price: $229. • Does the shrunken keyboard on your notebook computer have you typing all kinds of crazy character combinations? Then check out IBM's latest Thinkpads, the 701C and 701CS ($3800 to $5600). These four-pound 486 notebook computers feature Big Blue's new Track Write keyboard, which expands to the size of a standard desktop model. That means you get 85 full-size keys, spaced just the way they are on your office machine. The 701C/CS Thinkpads also come with an integrated 14.4 data-fax modem, two PCMCIA card slots and infrared technology that allows you to transfer files from your notebook computer to your desktop PC without cables or wires. • Motorola has introduced the first two personal digital assistants with wireless communications capabilities. The Envoy, based on General Magic's Magic Cap software, costs between $1000 and $1500, depending on the package you choose, and the Marco, a PDA that uses Apple's Newton technology, is similarly priced. The latter does require handwriting recognition, but Apple has improved the function considerably since the Newton debuted two years ago.
What's On the radio tonight? Melissa Etheridge, Counting Crows, some mouth-breathing sports talker calling from his car, maybe a wry ode to navel lint on NPR. Yawn. But wait--here's a midget kleptomaniac in drag. Here's a mud-wrestling voyeur and a guy who swears his penis is square. Here's José, who wants to blow up his balls, and Steve, a long-distance ejaculator. Here's a sexpert taking stock of "the vaginal barrel" after you've spent years looking for the trigger. It's sex talk radio, riding bare-butt to rescue America's ears from the same old ditto--radio designed to keep you and the ratings up all night.
Portishead's Dummy (Go Discs/London) is dark, sexy and soulful. It was a word-of-mouth hit before the band became an MTV favorite. Coming out of Bristol, England, vocalist Beth Gibbons, keyboardist Geoff Barrow and guitarist Adrian Utley create a blend of brittle techno ambience, dusty hip-hop samples and plaintive melodies.
Once or twice a year, British dance music presents an act that outsiders can relate to, usually a beat-master combo such as Soul II Soul, Saint Etienne, Stereolab, M People or Portishead. Tricky, coming out of the loose collective that spawned Massive Attack, leaves most of the singing to a young woman named Alison Goldfrapp and saves his best tricks for the mix. His debut album, Maxinquaye (Island), maintains a funky, slow groove that owes much to dub, ambient techno, low-fi and several strains of hip-hop. On Hour of Chaos Goldfrapp's unlikely take on Public Enemy's Black Steel should get your attention. So should the racy Abbaon Fat Track.
Oklahoma-born desperado Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote the Jerry Jeff Walker hit Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother, which became the anthem for the Texas outlaw movement of the early Seventies. Hubbard says that song became his jacket and he had to wear it. But Hubbard's Loco Gringo's Lament (Deja Disc) is a coat of a different color, a down-to-earth representation of the detailed folk idiom in which he was raised. Now lifted from a Texas honky-tonk fog at the age of 48, Hubbard presents a dozen songs of spiritual deliverance and measured optimism. The breakthrough track is The Messenger. A disciple of Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Woody Guthrie, Hubbard finds his phrasing in spacious arrangements of cello, dobro, slide and acoustic guitar. One of the evergreen tracks is the sweetly subtle Love Never Dies, but the record's most provocative turn comes in Wanna Rock and Roll, a hard-driving story about sex and sin framed by his empathetic vocals and Terry Ware's sizzling bottleneck guitar. Like Billy Joe Shaver and Mickey Newbury before him, Ray Wylie Hubbard is waiting to be rediscovered. Loco Gringo is a pleasure for old and new fans alike.
At 48, John Prine is one of those guys who haven't lost a step. He's not especially prolific--Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings (Oh Boy, 33 Music Square West, Suite 102A, Nashville, TN 37203) is only his third album in a decade--but he rarely writes a foolish line. And although Prine is a folkie, nobody is more adept at pinning down the day-to-day details of ordinary, fucked-up lives. He's warm, he's sharp, he's funny, he's weird, and his latest release is varied and consistent enough to outsell his 1991 album, The Missing Years. See for yourself.--Robert Christgau
Elmore Leonard has the best ear for dialogue in the crime-writing biz. What his fans often miss, however, is how artfully he builds plot, drama, character and emotional texture through the easy, amusing banter in his novels. In Riding the Rap (Delacorte) he gives enough sinister edge to the chatter among the bumbling bad guys that you never forget they're dangerous, even while you laugh at their antics. Adding a softer element to the story, he insinuates sweet seeds of romance into the suspicious exchanges between 26-year-old Reverend Dawn Navarro--"certified medium and spiritualist"--and crusty middle-aged federal marshal Raylan Givens.
I love giving my boyfriend blow jobs, and he enjoys getting them. The trouble is, I want him to crave them! Do you have any suggestions for fine-tuning my technique? I've always imagined being so good that he would greet me at the door one day after work, weak with desire, begging me to suck him off.--C.T., Rapid City, South Dakota.
In The Death of Common Sense, author Philip Howard makes an astute observation: For the past 50 years, various regulatory agencies have tried to create a completely safe society. Officials at the FDA, EPA, CPSC, OSHA and countless other alphabet agencies have covered every contingency, every possible accident the human (or at least bureaucratic) mind can imagine. "Our regulatory system has become an instruction manual," Howard writes. "In the decades since World War Two we have constructed a system of regulatory law that basically outlaws common sense. The motives were logical enough: Specific legal mandates would keep government in close check and provide crisp guidelines for private citizens. But it doesn't work. Human activity can't be regulated without judgment by humans."
It's only a matter of time. With Newt Gingrich pushing for a laptop in every poor child's schoolbag, an Internet server in every area code and affordable access for all, cyberspace is finished. The virtue vigilantes have asked the obvious: Before we turn our kids loose in this digital playground, shouldn't we clean up the garbage, chase the dirty old men out of town and find a way to eliminate erotic images?
Anonymous remailers Often located in freedom-loving Scandinavia, these sites allow Internet users (including pedophiles, government whistle-blowers and political exiles) to send e-mail that does not contain a return address. They are not foolproof, however. In February, the name of a poster who used the popular anon.penet.fi site was turned over to Finnish authorities following complaints from the Church of Scientology. the church pressured police to serve a search-and-seize warrant after nameless postings that it claims included "re-created versions of sacred religious scriptures that are protected by both copyright and trade secret law." The remailer owner said he surrendered the poster's identity rather than reveal his 200-megabyte subscriber list.
Mel Gibson is sitting in an editing bay in a small postproduction building in Hollywood, watching three computer monitors, all of which are running clips from his latest film, "Braveheart." Gibson is producing, directing and starring in this story of William Wallace, a 13th century Scottish revolutionary who made a hobby of killing Englishmen and wound up being hanged, drawn and quartered at the age of 35. It's an epic that runs nearly three hours and is filled with bloody battle scenes, a dash of romance and more than a few of the sorts of glib, throwaway lines that fans of Gibson's "Mad Max" and "Lethal Weapon" trilogies have come to expect.
The sort who knows that hanging out is one of summer's most productive pastimes. He gets many of his best ideas when he's not even looking, particularly when with a spirited companion. He treasures his leisure, and relies on Playboy as his guide to recreation. One in seven men who play tennis, sail or go fishing reads Playboy. In any season, his free time is too precious to waste with anything but the best. Playboy is what keeps him swinging--all year long. (Source: Spring 1994 MRI.)
From the balcony of her apartment in Los Angeles, Sandra Taylor has a full view of the Pacific Ocean. But her eyes are headed in another direction now: She has picked out the Hollywood home of Oliver Stone and confesses an ambition to work with directors of his caliber. "I'm not here by mistake," says the model-turned-actress, who arrived in movieland from Port Chester, New York. "I have a goal, a strategy, a plan." Her early fame was based on still photography: Her sexy poster and pin-up calendars were hot sellers. From there she moved on to MTV and a Def Leppard video, then landed a role in Garry Marshall's bondage comedy Exit to Eden. The woman with a plan now moves onward and upward to Steven Seagal's Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. She plays an imperiled bartender on a train who may, or may not, die in the line of duty. "We filmed it both ways," says Sandra. Whatever her character's fate. Sandra's career is thriving.--Tom Green
When It comes to Americana, Hawaiian shirts rank with hot dogs and apple pie. Born out of rebellion, their spirited history dates back to the days when Western missionaries insisted that the natives cover their "heathen nakedness." Rather than copy the drab clothing of their new uptight neighbors, Hawaiians used vegetable dyes to hand-paint Polynesian motifs on work shirts and other garments. The colorful styles soon became coveted souvenirs, with a celebrity following that ranged from Elvis to Eisenhower. Today, authentic Hawaiian "aloha shirts" are valuable collectibles that sell for as much as $6000 each. Of course, anyone who wants to hang loose for less can pick up vintage copies that replicate the originals right down to the coconut-shell buttons. Wear one under a sports jacket for dress-down Fridays or with khaki pants or shorts on the weekend.
Helmut Newton is renowned for his signature brand of kinky eroticism. Born in Berlin, he launched his career with British and French Vogue, then earned worldwide notoriety for his edgy portraits and sexually charged fashion photos. A Playboy contributor for more than two decades, Newton was the natural choice to shoot our January 1991 feature on voyeurism. He defined the concept visually with this video fantasy featuring October 1989 Playmate Karen Foster.
When most people think comic books, they think simple pictures and simple plots--big guys in leotards pounding one another while saying, "Feel the righteous sting of my unbridled fury!" After all, 80 percent of the estimated $1 billion U.S. comic book market is driven by testosterone in tights, secret identities and adolescent battles of good versus evil. Then there's the other 20 percent. In the rack that has held the pen-and-ink porn of Cherry or the aging hippie sedition of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, a new breed of illustrated mag--smart, gritty and literate--has reached adulthood. It's a fusion of art and literature: the post-modern comic.
As With many good cop stories, the events unfolded dramatically. Officer Carol Shaya, arguably the most alluring cop to walk the streets of the Bronx' 45th Precinct, logs in a surprise patrol through the pages of Playboy's August 1994 issue. Readers voice their approval, the media has a field day (Shaya pops up in everything from The Times of London to Geraldo's hot seat), but the suits--in this case Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani--decide to show the world just how tough they can get with an "embarrassment" like Shaya. The verdict: New York's sexiest and finest is first demoted to a desk job, then sacked from the force altogether. "Discrimination is something that cannot be pushed aside," says Shaya, who is fighting back with a $10 million lawsuit against Giuliani, the city and the NYPD. "Still, the past year has brought me lots of emotional highs. Thanks to all the support I've received, I've found happiness and joy." Ten four, Carol. We copy that.
Pratt lucked into the road test when he was 24, the first and only time he'd been on the verge of becoming an official fiancé. He and Suzie were suspiciously compatible. The sex was good and so was the talk. They were into the same movies and music. They liked each other's friends. Her family wasn't insane. His family was, but liked Suzie so much that when they were around her they pretended to be bearable.
Come on, let's get out of here," says Heidi Mark, a mischievous grin flickering across her face. Then, in a voice breathy, sultry and suggestive, she adds. "I'll make you happy, baby." A second later the spell is broken. "That is so not me!" she squeals, embarrassed. It is, in fact, Bebe Quinn, the character she plays in a TV movie called Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan. Heidi's character is "dangerous, cool and 24--a total femme fatale," she explains.
Linen is making a repeat performance this season as the hottest choice for a cool summer look. No, we're not talking about the rumpled styles your father wore. Today's linen has a smooth, subtle finish that allows for only the slightest crease. It's also versatile. Because linen sports jackets and trousers are often sold separately, you can wear the former as a suit with a pair of matching trousers (as we've done here) or team it with almost any style of lightweight pants or jeans. We suggest starting with a three-button single-breasted linen sports jacket in a subtle color such as tan, muted blue or pale yellow. For the office, loose-fitting pleated trousers are considered more polished, whereas plain-front pants are the casual ideal. As a rule of thumb when wearing linen, keep the extras light. Choose soft-collared sport shirts (or camp or polo models if you're going casual) in colors that blend rather than contrast. And complete the style picture with a selection of solid-colored or slightly patterned ties with surface luster, and nubuck or woven oxfords or loafers.
When Summer temperatures approach three digits, you could crank up the air conditioner and channel surf--or you could head to the beach. Check out the new breed of toys for the deep pictured here and we bet you'll opt for the latter. In addition to the Sea. Doo Speedster--the hottest jet boat on the water--we've highlighted a radical water-ski spin-off called the Air Chair. A souped-up wakeboard with a cushion seat, the Ain Chair is designed to lift riders up out of the water even. at minimal, five-mile-per-hour speeds. And since you're seated and strapped in, you can learn to perform all kinds of freestyle twists and tricks. There's also a new exercise craft that provides a Stair Master-type workout on the water. And BOB. Short for breathing observation bubble, BOB is an underwater scooter with an air-filled, watertight sphere that fits over your head. You must be a certified diver (or be in the company of one) to drive BOB, as it involves scuba-style breathing techniques. See you below.
Heidi Becker, Classic Cover and Centerfold, Miss June 1961
Miss June 1961. Our cover, a playful nod to Noah Webster, proved that Playboy belonged in any sophisticated man's vocabulary. Hef and Art Director Arthur Paul designed the "dictionary cover" to look like the real thing. It characterized a playboy as a lover of life, and we'll stick with that definition today. The Playmate in that issue was the already well-defined Heidi Becker. Heidi played the cameo role on the cover as a reminder that words sometimes fail us.
Another day at the office for Liz Masakayan and Karolyn Kirby, and they look a little tired. It's 8:30 on a Sunday morning at the end of August. Their motel wake-up call was late, so they had to hurry breakfast, hustle to the grandstand court on Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, peel down to two-piece swimsuits, slather themselves with sunscreen and, against a light breeze, under perfect sunshine, start bumping a volleyball back and forth to each other. They are warming up for their semifinal match in the Reebok Nationals, the finale of the Women's Professional Volleyball Association tour. Across the net, Dennie Shupryt-Knoop and Deb Richardson are working on their serves.
A Couple of Hours before the sight of his naked, middle-aged fanny began filling television screens across America, Dennis Franz sat in his trailer on the Twentieth Century Fox lot in Los Angeles replaying a cassette of the soon-to-air footage. The actor had filmed the scene without makeup after convincing himself that a tiny scar from a spider bite was dramatically plausible. (His character, Detective Andy Sipowicz, had been shot in the wallet in NYPD Blue's pilot episode.) But now that the moon, so to speak, would soon be rising, Franz was less sure, and he kept scrutinizing the image of his nether region, searching for that pinprick of red until the absurdity of it all dawned on him and he asked: "What kind of guy am I? I've got a beautiful woman in the shower with me, and I'm rewinding the tape to look at my ass?"
In department stores, they're called petites. In school-yards, they're short stuff. In the business world, they're little dynamos. At amusement parks, they're "below this line," in Texas, they're little ladies and in bed, they're, well, highly mobile. But have you ever heard one described with the kinds of adjectives--statuesque, striking, bombshell--heaped on the Naomi Campbells and Christy Turlingtons of the world? Not likely. Face it, in this bigger-is-better era, little women tend to get short shrift. Until now. "We were talking about the hundreds of pictorials we've done in the past," says Playboy Senior Photo Editor Jim Larson, "and we suddenly realized that we'd somehow overlooked petite women. We knew we had to fix that." Larson put the word out, and before you could say Lilliputian, an army of bantam beauties lit upon the Playboy shores. "The truth is, they were all completely adorable," Larson recalls. "But they were also extremely sexy." Think he's telling you a tall tale? Look for yourself.
As a child growing up on the New Jersey shore, Kurt Loder would tuck a radio under his pillow at night and tune in to a Tennessee radio station that played black music. "It was like something from another planet," he remembers. "A planet you would like to visit and perhaps establish residency on. I've been able to do that."
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 24, 28--29, 70--73, 100--101, 103--105, 126--127 and 161, chuck the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Home entertainment isn't the only thing going digital these days. Digital cameras, which take electronic photographs that can be downloaded onto a personal computer, have become the coveted toys among techies. How do they work? Basically, these cameras capture shots on a light-sensitive silicon chip rather than on film. There's no processing time involved; you simply point, shoot and then hook the camera up to your PC to view the images. Some digital cameras, including Casio's QV-10, can be connected to video printers to produce instant wallet-sized and portrait shots. Although the digital photos won't have the extra-crisp resolution of those taken with a traditional 35mm camera, the turnaround time can't be beat.
Vladimir Nabokov's "La Veneziana" Appears for the first time in English--at a Strange party in an ancient castle, young simpson is told that to appreciate a fine painting he must become a part of it. Newly translated fiction from the master