Buckle Your turnbuckle. Lace up your wrestling shoes. Sable is back, and she's more gorgeous and devastating than ever. Her newest foe, of course, is the WWF itself. Alleging humiliation, she slapped them with a $100 million lawsuit. Raw is war, indeed! In Sable Mania, Round Two, the outraged diva of the ring goes another round with photographer Arny Freytag and, this time, the woman really works her props.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), September 1999, volume 46, number 9, Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 56162. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, e-mail email@example.com. Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know Hef is huge here in the States, but he's even bigger in Europe. His visit to the Cannes Film festival, where he hosted several parties on the Galu (a 176-foot yacht), was the talk of the Riviera.
I Love Eric Rohmer's films, but not everybody does. There's little action and lots of talk. Gene Hackman's character in Night Moves says viewing a Rohmer film is like watching paint dry. I disagree, having been swept up in the sexual by-play and badinage of La Collectionneuse, My Night at Maud's, Claire's Knee and his latest, Autumn Tale (October). This time, the principal characters are two lifelong friends, now in their 40s. One (Marie Rivière) is an independent, moody vineyard owner, the other (Béatrice Romand) a happily married woman who'd like to see her friend find a man. To that end, she places a personals ad in the paper and auditions a suitor. Meanwhile, Romand's son's fiancée, beautiful and self-possessed, wants to match her future mother-in-law with her ex-boyfriend, a professor with a penchant for bedding his students. What glorious fun, what delicious dialogue and interaction. Rohmer pulls us into his characters' lives and takes us on a delightful journey. This is part of a cycle of films about the four seasons; I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. [rating]3 1/2 bunnies[/rating]
For busy Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, getting an Oscar nomination this year for Hilary and Jackie was an unexpected gift. ''I tend to be the kind of person who is embarrassed onstage taking a bow,'' she says. ''Then I thought, Stop that. These moments don't happen very often in life. So I was determined to really enjoy it and have a good time. It was like going to the prom; I was never going to be the homecoming queen, you know? I was the girl no one asked, and I convinced myself that they were all shallow people and I wouldn't want to be there anyway. But for the Oscars, I was like, 'I'm going to the prom and I'm going to wear a pink dress. I'll have the world's best hairdresser do my hair, and I'll go up to anyone I've ever adored, respected, admired or been inspired by and introduce myself'--which I did.''
''My favorite movie is Harold and Maude,'' says Lea Thompson of NBC's Caroline in the City. ''I loved it when I was a little girl and I still love it. I also like Being There. Both are Hal Ashby movies--whatever he did, I like. I prefer uplifting films. I really don't like mass-murder, scary or suspenseful movies. The movies I feel most deeply about are those that enlighten me. I like old musicals--Singin' in the Rain, On the Town and anything else starring Gene Kelly. And West Side Story is a great film.''
The year 2000 is almost upon us, and dire predictions about it are spreading like a virus. When the big Triple Zero hits, as they say in some circles, the world's computers may have a nervous breakdown as they try to figure out which century it is. Is it 1900 or 2000? If the computers can't tell the difference, will airplanes collide, power grids collapse and food supplies disappear? Some Y2K consultants are making such fearful forecasts--often for a hefty fee.
When it comes to individuality and a rich, unblended taste, the single district cognacs from Gabriel & Andreu are right up there with small batch bourbons and single malt scotches. Four cognacs are available, each with a distinctive flavor and aroma derived from its soil of origin. Fins Bois, from the town of Jarnac, was aged eight years in old oak casks. It's pleasantly mild with a whisper of orange, licorice and carnation in its aroma and a good value at $25. Borderies ($45), aged 15 years--a delicious cognac that has hints of violets, pears and toasted nuts--was awarded five stars by liquor critic Paul Pacult in his Spirit Journal. Pacult also liked Petite Champagne ($65, from the subarea of Archaic), which is aged 25 years. He praises the harmony of the Borderies and described the Petite as ''restrained, balanced and stately.'' He also toasted Grande Champagne ($100) that's been aged 35 years, for its intensity on the palate.
What is the penalty if you're caught sneaking Cuban cigars into the U.S.? Does Customs just take the cigars, or could you get jail time? I'm asking solely for informational purposes, of course, not because I intend to violate the 1963 trade embargo.--H.B., Akron, Ohio
The impeachment hearings are long past. Monica has finished her book tour. Now the culture vultures have started to circle, trying to make sense of what happened and to affix blame for the failed coup.
Who knows why he did it, but, politically speaking, sure as shooting he put the barrel of the gun in his mouth and blew out his brains right there on television. South Carolina Governor David Beasley had been a political nobody. He slid into office as a born-again, pro-life, right-wing Republican in the only state in the union to still fly the confederate flag over its statehouse. And then Beasley had to go and cock it all up on television and tell his constituents that after prayer and personal reflection he felt he had to take down that flag. After state senators had denounced him, pro-flag rallies had been held and opposition candidates had sprung out of nowhere, Jesus apparently told Governor Beasley that maybe God could live with that flag after all. Beasley, at least, told the citizens of South Carolina that the flag would remain. What support he had left in the state withered and died. The governor lost the 1998 election. In South Carolina. To a Democrat. Because of that flag.
He's a man at the top of his game. In the high-flying world of venture capital, you have to be. Over 1.5 million Playboy men made business-purchase decisions last year, more than Smart Money, Entrepreneur and Success men combined. They made those decisions looking good. Nearly 2.5 million Playboy men bought business attire this past year, topping the readers of Fortune and Forbes combined. Playboy--for the bedroom or boardroom. (Source: Fall 1998 MRI.)
Vladimir Levin hardly seemed like a successor to legendary bank robber Willie Sutton as he went about his mundane tasks as head systems operator for a software company in St. Petersburg, Russia. But Levin, like Sutton, knew where the money was--and how to get it. It seems he was as adept at turning computers into burglary tools as he was at repairing them. In 1994, using an antiquated 286 laptop, Levin (known online as Vova) penetrated Citibank's wire transfer network and may have diverted millions of dollars to accomplices' accounts in Colombia, Finland, Israel and the Netherlands. Citibank caught it, alerted the FBI and ultimately retrieved most of its money. Levin, now 31, was extradited and sentenced in a U.S. court to three years in prison.
No one believes Denise Luna when she says she rides bulls for a living. At 5'6'' and 120 pounds, she's hardly the person you'd picture atop a rampaging 2000-pound animal. Luna, a former San Diego resident and the world's fourth best female bull rider (according to the Professional Women's Rodeo Association), cites years of surfing as the reason she quickly mastered bull riding. ''Both sports are about balance,'' she says. ''I got tired of watching my friend practice bull riding, so one day I hopped up onto the bull myself and rode it for the required amount of time. Everyone told me. 'You got lucky.' But then I did it again and again.'' When she's not risking her life at rodeos around the country (her injuries have included a fractured skull, a broken sternum, a broken foot and three broken ribs). Denise models for Wrangler Jeans and Double H Boots and touts Miller Lite beer in commercials. ''I'm out to prove that women can be sexy and beautiful as well as rough and rugged. It's the best of both worlds.''
After the plague--it was some sort of Ebola mutation passed from hand to hand and nose to nose like the common cold--life was different. More relaxed and expansive, more natural. The rat race was over, the freeways were clear all the way to Sacramento and the poor dwindling ravaged planet was suddenly big and mysterious again. It was a kind of miracle really, what the environmentalists had been hoping for all along, though of course even the most strident of them wouldn't have wished for his own personal extinction, but there it was. I don't mean to sound callous--my parents are long dead and I'm unmarried and siblingless, but I lost friends, colleagues and neighbors, the same as any other survivor. What few of us there are, that is. We're guessing it's maybe one in a thousand, here in the States anyway. I'm sure there are whole tribes that escaped it somewhere in the Amazon or the interior valleys of Indonesia, meteorologists in isolated weather stations, fire lookouts, goatherds and the like. But the president's gone, the vice president, the Cabinet, Congress and Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chairmen of the board and chief executives of the Fortune 500 companies, along with all their stockholders, employees and retainers. There's no TV. No electricity or running water. And there won't be any dining out any time soon.
What's that you say? You're not a jut-jawed model with a sexy five o'clock shadow and smolderiny eves? Pssst: These guys look great because we dressed them right. We'll let you in on the secret. It's one word: texture. Suits that look heavy, like those itchy old Harris tweeds, but are now made of soft cashmere and lightweight wool. And patterns. Where would this guy be without his pinstripe playing off the subtle dot-check shirt and small-pattern paisley tie? That's right--paisley is back. So are bold-pattern ties with Windsor knots (and--need we say it?--spreadcollar shirts). There's lots of texture, too, in sweaters and jackets. Go for gentlemanly stuff with a quirky edge. Give your double-breasted to charity. And don't skimp on accessories. Pocket squares are back. Invest in a good belt and buy a great watch. Then fold your hands like the guy on the fifth page. Give your mouth a casual but mean curl. Chin up. Squint. OK, you're hired, dude.
If you think guys are pampered to day, wait until the next century. Your skin, hair and even your beard will be treated in entirely new ways. Matt Teri, executive director of global product development for Aramis, foresees that "shaving irritation will be gone. Products derived both from new technology and from nature will exfoliate and renew the skin painlessly." Teri also predicts a cream that will contour and firm the facial muscles, just as liposuction treats love handles, and another cream that will enable you to wipe away your beard. Dr. Stephen Perkins, president of the American Academy of Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, suggests there could be a pill to keep your skin young and another one to tan it. He also believes it's only a matter of time before scientists find a substance that can be safely injected into the skin to permanently solve the problems of lines, hollows and defects. And Dr. Steven Victor, a New York dermatologist, sees no reason why there can't be a laser shaver or a pill that enables you to grow hair.
Within a decade, digital technology will rule the wired world. We'll outfit our homes, offices and automobiles with digital audio and video gear that's faster, brighter, clearer and smarter than anything we're accustomed to today. Two enhanced CD formats--DVD Audio and Super Audio compact disc--will be introduced later this year to appeal to purists still committed to the warmth of LPs. For guys who like to create music mixes, there are recordable compact discs, minidiscs and MP3, the digital compression technology that allows you to download tunes off the web. Which of these audio formats will reign supreme is anyone's guess, but one thing is certain: The days of analog tape are numbered. Likewise, interest in VHS tape is fading fast. Lower prices on digital camcorders have resulted in the camera's status being upgraded from appliance for doting dads to tech toy for budding filmmakers. At least one film at this year's Sundance Film Festival was shot with digital video camcorders. And George Lucas assured the future of digital filmmaking by announcing his plans to shoot the next Star Wars installment on digital videotape. Other digital products to look for in 2000: cellular phones that can surf the web and receive e-mail, home telephones capable of the same, DVD interactive movies, CD players that store hundreds of discs, components that record TV shows to a hard drive, and high-definition television. The bad news regarding HDTV: Broadcasters have been ordered to pull the plug on analog television by the year 2006. That means unless you have an HD converter box or a new digital set, your TV will go blank. The good news is that we've seen enough variations on converters and HDTVs to know that early (and exorbitant) prices will drop fast. Besides, there isn't much to watch in the way of high-definition programming. It's available in only 30 cities nationwide and on a single DirecTV pay-per-view movie channel. So by the time the technology goes mainstream, an HDTV comparable to the Pioneer pictured above won't cost as much as a new Beetle. And what a way to watch TV. The Pioneer model is four inches thick, weighs less than 100 pounds and has a resolution nearly three times better than that of a DVD movie. Of course, the benefits of HDTV go far beyond great picture and sound. You'll be able to watch the Super Bowl, for example, and use your remote to choose camera angles while also calling up sports statistics and ordering a championship sweatshirt off the web. In fact, the digitization of television, coupled with the promise of high-speed Internet access, may actually make armchair web surfing socially acceptable. Now all we need is a robot to bring us a beer and pretzels.
The first time that I went there, I was so anxious,'' says Kristi Cline, riding through Beverly Hills on the way to her new home-away-from-home, the Playboy Mansion. ''But it was amazing--they really know how to treat you like you're family.'' And for our 19-year-old Miss September, family is important: This self-described country girl still gets homesick thinking of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spent much of her childhood and where her father and sisters live, and of Snyder, a small town in west Texas where her mother lives. In fact, she's about to introduce her family back home to her Playboy family: Tomorrow Kristi heads to Albuquerque to shoot photos for her pictorial. ''I love the Mansion,'' she says, ''but I am so ready to go home it's not funny.''
A government employee was cleaning out a filing cabinet when he came across an old brass lamp. While he dusted it off, a genie appeared and granted him three wishes. ''I'd love an ice-cold beer right now!'' Poof, a beer appeared.
Women today cringe at the sight of muscle-bound frames a la early Arnold Schwarzenegger. And the ''no pain, no gain'' mind-set of the past two decades is being replaced by a demand for exercise that entertains. That's right--workouts can be fun. Treadmills now feature Internet access, video monitors and slot machines. One of the hottest fitness classes is called Recess. And personal trainers are offering buddy sessions and borrowing drills from soccer, basketball and other sports. Here's how we expect the future of fitness to play out.
<p>Jeri Ryan burst into television prominence by wearing a formfitting costume on Star Trek: Voyager that many male fans pray she'll one day burst out of. Cast as Seven of Nine, Ryan is a no-nonsense Borg who is returned to her human form after the Voyager crew's encounter with the Collective leaves her stranded on the Federation starship. It's a challenging role that Ryan accepted only after the producers promised her that Seven was no intergalactic Barbie doll. In return Ryan has created a complex young woman trying to understand and regain her humanity even while Borg notions of efficiency and perfection linger in her head. And there's still the babe factor. It didn't take long for TV Guide to recommend that the producers rename Seven of Nine ''Ten Out of Ten.'' Ryan grew up as an Army brat, trained at Northwestern University's drama department, is the mother of a young son and has serious career ambitions. We asked Contributing Editor David Rensin to go where many men would love to go and meet with Ryan. Rensin reports: ''We hooked up midafternoon in a nearly deserted Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. In contrast to her stern TV persona, Jeri laughs easily. Each time she did, she kicked my leg under the table. I thought briefly of moving out of the way but decided I would rather get my kicks.''</p>
When our first pictorial of Sable hit the newsstands in April, she was the hottest champ in the ring, the World Wrestling Federation darling who aced Dressed to Kill contests and pummeled opponents with her fabled Sable Bomb. What a difference a few months make. As we write this, Sable and the WWF are in a knock-down-drag-out battle that has all the extravagant trappings of a WWF match--only this time, the real-life drama is not scripted.