The Millennium at last--or is it? Depends on how you want to divvy up the calendar. In physics, the act of observation and measurement is at the root of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. In philosophy, it's the old if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods saw. So to hell with millennial bashing--December 31, 1999 sounds like a party to us. For this issue we've pulled out all the stops: a mix of great writers, an assemblage of beautiful women and a new look for a new era. It starts with electric cover artwork by Peter Max and continues throughout the magazine's pages and headlines.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), January 2000, Volume 47, Number 1, Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S. $29.97 for 12 issues 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 (212-261-5000). Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000): West Coast: So Media 2001 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell Road, Suite 102, South Building, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800); For Subscription Inquiries, Call 800-999-4438.
Sexual Healing Department: The Durex Condom Ultimate Feeling contest reported that 80 percent of the 2000 men and women who entered said that Marvin Gaye's music is still the top choice when doing it. Does Barry White know?
Pedro Almodóvar is known for his outrageous comedies, but All About My Mother (Sony Pictures Classics) has a depth and range one doesn't necessarily expect from the Spanish filmmaker. Invoking the Greek aphorism that "only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly," Almodóvar tells the story of a woman who loses her son in an accident, which leads her to renew an old friendship and launch a new one with an actress her son longed to meet but never did. The performances, by the likes of Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes and Penélope Cruz, are uniformly strong, and Almodóvar injects his trademark humor in the person of Antonia San Juan, who plays a transvestite with a big heart. All About My Mother, which pays homage to both All About Eve and A Streetcar Named Desire, manages to avoid sentimentality yet evokes a strong emotional response. It's an exceptional--and original--piece of work. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
Having survived Y2K, we can now look forward to a year free of one other nuisance: movie studio anniversaries. Last year both Columbia and MGM heralded their 75th anniversaries with special logos, video reissues and a certain amount of ballyhoo. At one time, movie fans could make a direct connection with the studios, which had distinct personalities and "looks" and their own contract rosters of stars and supporting players that helped identify their films. But in today's cold, corporate world it's hard to muster a warm, fuzzy feeling about the studios or their milestones.
Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn't care if you like him or not. He's not antisocial; he's just an actor who refuses to shy away from parts that others might find difficult, off-putting or downright unplayable, such as the repressed telephone stalker in Happiness, the gawky gofer who is attracted to Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights and the obnoxious weather freak in Twister.
Which movies get a rise out of Adrian Lyne, popular director of 9 1/2 Weeks, Flash-dance, Fatal Attraction and Lolita? "My favorite references tend to be French," Lyne says. "I thought the sex between Romane Bohringer and Cyril Collard in Savage Nights was extraordinary. I also love what the couple did in Betty Blue. And that shot of Brigitte Bardot walking out of the water in St.-Tropez in And God Created Woman? Un-fucking-believable!" As for his favorite Hollywood bit, Lyne doesn't hesitate to say that it's in--oddly enough--In the Heat of the Night. "Do you remember when that girl is sitting in Rod Steiger's office? She's just sitting in that leather chair, speaking, and her body is making noises as it's moving up and down. It's the sexiest moment I've ever seen!"
Road war: It's hard to knock Easy Rider, the seminal 1969 hippie road movie that has recently been released on DVD (Columbia TriStar, $28, including a making-of documentary). Thirty years later, the music and mythology endure, but the effect of watching this low-budget trip can be like listening to 90 minutes of classic rock. Jack Nicholson's loopy performance is still a delight. The rest, you have to be in the mood for.
With Tim Robbins' latest feature, The Cradle Will Rock, spurring interest in America's communist witchhunts, news that Columbia TriStar was releasing The Way We Were (1973) on DVD ($28) set off a few alarms. Director Sydney Pollack famously excised chunks of a subplot dealing with Hollywood blacklisting from the weepy period piece, against the protests of Barbra Streisand, the film's female lead. In a new 70 minute making-of documentary that appears on this 25th anniversary DVD, La Streisand brings up the issue again, and Pollack responds. It certainly whets our appetite for a 30th anniversary that would restore the footage.
I'm a 28-year-old graduate student who most people would judge to be handsome. Earlier this year, I began noticing a gorgeous student from another department. We seemed to keep similar schedules, and I would often see her in the library or the cafeteria. We have never met, but for a long time we exchanged semiflirtatious smiles and glances. Often, I would look up and catch her staring at me, and then she would quickly look away. Many times she caught me doing the same. A few times we passed on campus and said hello. After several months of this, I waited for the right moment to introduce myself. Then something strange happened: For no reason that I can discern, the smiles and glances stopped. I have a clear vibe about this: If she's aware of my presence, or if she spots me on the street, she makes an effort not to look my way. Naturally, I take this as a bad sign, but some of my friends think her new body language might be good news. Perhaps she feels rejected because I didn't talk to her when I had a window of opportunity. Or maybe she's interested but just nervous. Obviously, she's aware of my presence. Then again, maybe she just thinks I'm a creep and hopes I'll get lost. Is there any way to tell these things before I walk up to her and risk making a fool of myself?--J.M., Boston, Massachusetts
Abolish the death penalty. In the past few years we've witnessed the release of dozens of death row inmates wrongfully convicted by a justice system that falls far short of what it should be. This injustice can result from overzealous prosecution, the withholding of evidence by district attorneys and law enforcement officers, the manipulation of witnesses, or the cutting of deals with criminals and/or accomplices who turn snitch to save their hides. Every time the state executes an innocent man we are all parties to murder.
It has become a common indignity, a ritual sacrifice of privacy, and part of the cost of doing business in the United States. Every day, somewhere in corporate America, people are being asked to pee in a jar as part of the interview process or as a condition of continued employment.
Change the Climate (change the climate.org) is spreading its message of reasonable marijuana-law reform through the Internet. As part of its online campaign, the group offers a selection of banner ads that visitors that visitors can add to their own web pages.
He is everywhere all over again. He is back. There is no escaping the evidence; there is no escaping him. Breathless reports have scorched network airwaves and glutted the pages of every major periodical around the world. He is back, most decidedly, with a vengeance--he is "Back in the Swing," according to Time; "Playboy Is Back as Bachelor #1, Architect of Sixties Sexual Revolution, Flings Open Mansion Doors to Nineties Hedonists," according to The Toronto Sun; "For Hollywood's Young Elite, the Playboy Mansion Is Once Again a Hip Party Spot," according to The New York Times (which duly noted, "Not only is Hugh Hefner back in action, but so is his stately pleasure dome"). Mansion party guest lists alone have been the stuff of boldfaced columns abounding, flush with names upon names--Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Jim Carey, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Steve Martin, Cameron Diaz, Courtney Love, Drew Carey, Pamela Anderson Lee, Liam Neeson, Ben Stiller, Kevin Costner, Bill Maher, Jennifer Lopez and on and on, ad infinitum. "So many young people, male and female, were waiting for me," their incomparable host would explain. "It was like spotting Elvis at the supermarket." Indeed, he has been spotted; he has been out on the town, back on the trail, back on the loose--in Los Angeles, in Paris, in Cannes, in London. From Esquire: "Look at him now! Hermetically unsealed, emerged from the gates, charting the new real world, night after night--he is wearing suits, for God's sake! Oh, yes, the Party is back on! The Party is everywhere! It is a happening most groovy."
From the XXX Files, Office of the Senior Security Advisor, Morality Police. Classified. "Mini-Hef's origins are shrouded in mystery. Various theories attribute his rise to one of many potential factors--errant protozoa fermenting in the spindrift of the Grotto, perhaps, or a poorly timed sneeze during sex, or even a vacuum pump explosion. However, there is no doubt that this shadowy figure served as the inspiration for the character Mini-Me in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Fact: During the past few years, sightings of Mini-Hef have gone way up. (It is no coincidence that Viagra arrived on the scene at the same time.) His existence has been increasingly difficult to conceal. It's obvious he took on the role of a violent psychopath and masqueraded in public as one Verne Troyer, movie star, to throw off the scent. But it's clear he is the randy sensualist who has been wreaking havoc with the morals of America for more than four decades--and we have the pictures to prove it." In effect, this portfolio is everything Playboy stands tall for.
It's a sad commentary on our times--rather, on me--that the word vice had not actually crossed my mind since the TV show Miami Vice went off the air, in 1989. Sinful as I am, I may not be entirely alone. Vice--qua vice, as my colleague in this matching pair of essays would put it--is not a word, or even a concept, that one comes upon a lot anymore. If that tells us something of our time, perhaps it tells us even more about where--God save us--we are headed.
To write in Playboy about the future of virtue! What is the governing assumption? That the old virtues, having lost their virginity, are no longer useful? Well, let's walk daintily around the subject of what one of the old virtues called for. I am a guest here and Hugh Hefner opined on that subject in the May 1998 issue of Playboy: "President Clinton has become a sort of sexual Rorschach. I have been in a similar position for more than 40 years." The founder and principal exegete of the Playboy Philosophy declared his willingness to concelebrate the emancipation: "The sexually charged atmosphere of the White House has lit a thousand points of lust--around watercoolers, on the Internet, in bedrooms, on telephones--and a thousand points of tolerance." Does the future envision a revival of virtue between the sheets, the working, perhaps, of some moral Viagra? We won't speculate on that.
In a quiet moment late in the tranquil year of 2999 four men are struggling to reach an agreement over the details of their plan to blow up the Louvre. They have been wrangling for the last two days over the merits of implosion versus explosion. Their names are Albert Einstein (1879--1955), Pablo Picasso (1881--1973), Ernest Hemingway (1899--1961) and Vjong Cleversmith (2683--2804).
The nude female's silhouette can release and inspire a male's creative drive. Try it. I have. When seeking an exclusive image for the climax of my first novel, long ago, I happened to thumb Playboy open at DeDe Lind's Centerfold, and--shazam!--the metaphor was suddenly there. My mind, entranced by DeDe's national anthem of a face and form, had suddenly flipped from the logical and boring to the creative and unconscious. Where magic lives. Let this maxim stand: Confronted by a pair of luscious, shapely front-end loaders, no normal Joe can sustain rational thought for long. Your unconscious travels along the optic nerve, engages the sensual, and produces an alpha wave (text continued on page 230)Centerfolds of The Century(continued from page 107) of imagination. Ever since then, I write with a Playboy open on my desk.
The most important thing to understand about the future of the workplace is that a person can't have sex with a fish. I know what you're thinking--what about the blowfish? Technically, that's not sex, because it won't produce offspring, thanks to a little thing called evolution. Evolution works at such a leisurely pace that humans haven't had to worry about it much. But thanks to genetic engineering, the pace of evolution will accelerate in the new millennium. And it will have a big impact on the workplace. I'm here to tell you how.
The moment Playboy told me I could tackle any subject for its millennium issue, I immediately chose pornography. Now, you may assume that I picked pornography because I believe Playboy is pornography. Far from it. Playboy is erotica.
Darlene Bernaola and Carol Bernaola, Miss January, 2000
Darlene Bernaola is scanning her date book, shaking her head at page after page of appointments. "I am so busy," she says with a grin, "I have no life." She's selling herself short: At the age of 23, Darlene and her twin sister, Carol, have led extraordinary lives. From the jungles of Peru to the beaches of Miami to the pages of Playboy, they've overcome poverty, isolation, terrorism, language barriers and physical calamity to become our first Playmates of the new millennium. Now the twins are enjoying the whirlwind and taking pride in the drive and determination that got them here. "After the lives we've led, with all the hard work, everything has paid off," says Carol. "This is our dream."
Prince Charming walked dejectedly into a tavern. The bartender asked what the problem was. "I was riding through the Enchanted Forest," the prince began, "when suddenly I saw Snow White fast asleep on a bed of straw. The dwarf next to her told me that she had eaten a poisonous apple and could only be revived by a kiss from me. I gave her a peck on the cheek. Nothing. So I gave her a real deep kiss while running my fingers through her hair. Nothing. So I started making passionate love to her right there in the woods. Suddenly, she moaned, 'Oh yes, ohhh yes.'"
The Draco Tavern isn't just a pub. It's how and where humanity interacts with at least 28 sapient species throughout the galaxy. Somewhere among these trillions of alien minds are the answers to all of the universal questions.
At the dawn of the 20th century, a prophetic W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." At the century's midpoint, Martin Luther King Jr. came forward with a dream for the betterment of everyone, including justice and equality for all. As this century ends, one wonders what Du Bois or Dr. King would say today. Would they say that racial equality and justice have progressed? While both men would likely acknowledge some movement, they would be disheartened.
The pace of life in America at midcentury was infinitely more languid than it is today. The population of the U.S. was just 151,325,798 in 1950, compared with 248,764,170 in the latest census. In both its demographics and, perhaps far more important, its self-image, America 50 years ago was dramatically whiter.
It's Been 44 years since we published Playboy's Penthouse Apartment, a design plan for the ultimate bachelor living quarters. That feature spawned the expression "Playboy pad," a phrase that became synonymous with convenience and luxury for the urban male.
Is it simply a given that economics and future trends have to be so complicated that you could never hope to understand them? The answer is no. The most important fundamentals that drive our economy are incredibly simple and can be forecast decades into the future with a high degree of reliability.
It's been a challenging century, to say the least. Another lies ahead. What better way to keep your neurons firing than a few classic brainteasers? Puzzle master Jonathan Schmalzbach jumped at the chance to create a crossword based on his favorite magazine, as well as a sexually charged word search. Solve the latter and you'll be on your way to winning a 100-year subscription (details on the next page). We can't say where we'll be a century from now, but we know Hef will still be partying.
As Historians look back on the innovations that shaped and influenced our lives this century, television, radio and the automobile will get plenty of play. Those were big things. A few people's lives were affected. Likewise computers, X rays, the telephone--you can't imagine the past 100 years without them.
In the early Eighties, Rupert Everett made his reputation playing handsome brooders in films such as Another Country and Dance With a Stranger. If the script called for a chiseled profile and a sullen disposition, Everett topped the list. But a sharp left turn into comedy changed all that. After roles in the The Madness of King George and the madcap Dunston Checks In, Everett nearly stole the show as a gay editor and Julia Roberts' fake fiancé in MI Best Friend's Wedding. Since then the 40-year-old actor has made the most of his second go-round, co-writing screenplays (one reteams him with Roberts; in another he plays a gay secret agent) and publishing two novels, Hello Darling, Are You Working? and The Hairdressers of San Tropez. He's working on a third, Guilt Without Sex: A Jewish Bestseller. He's also featured in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Inspector Gadget (with Matthew Broderick) and The Next Best Thing (which he rewrote) opposite Madonna. Contributing Editor David Rensin met with Everett over lunch in Beverly Hills. Says Rensin: "Rupert is quick, opinionated, articulate and doesn't hesitate to tell an interviewer when a question bothers him. Even more unusual, particularly in Hollywood, is that he wasn't afraid to admit that he didn't know the first thing about programming his new cellular phone."
Conflict and disorder around the globe seem constant, and all too often each new event comes as a surprise to national leaders. No wonder. Policymakers are caught off guard because of a Western conceit that the Cold War's end was definitive for everyone and therefore should have produced a peace dividend. For much of the world, this is not a post-Cold War era but rather a postcolonial one marked by continuing struggles to throw off the social, economic and territorial bonds forged earlier by Western masters.
Freaks (1932): This spooky horror classic revolves around an aristocratic circus dwarf named Hans (Harry Earles) who falls hard for a full-size trapeze artist. When the big gal stabs him in the back, the freaks unite against her. The moral: Little men can have big tempers.
Bebe Buell just recorded a four-song demo with producer Don Fleming. It's called Free to Rock. Her autobiography (which has the working title Rebel Heart) will be published by St. Martin's Press in 2001. . . . We bet you didn't know that Heather Kozar is a stellar volleyball player. She proved to be worth her weight in bumps, sets and spikes at Playboy's Annual Sand and Suds Volleyball Tournament. . . . Carrie Stevens (carriestevens.net) appears in two new movies: Jack of All Trades with Antonio Sabàto Jr. and Head Games with Mekhi Phifer. She has also been signed as the George Killian's Irish Red spokes-model for the year 2000. . . . Sorry, guys, but Jenny McCarthy is off the market. She recently married John Asher, director of her forthcoming movie Diamonds. "When I introduced him to my friends and family, they all said, 'Oh my God, it's Jenny McCarthy as a man,'" Jenny told People. The wedding took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel. . . . Marlene Callahan Wallace, who appeared in front of the camera as Miss November 1957, is an accomplished photographer. Twenty-eight of Marlene's photos (including the self-portrait shown below) were featured in a show at the Local Heroes Gallery in Kittredge, Colorado. "I even had a small image of Hef in the show," Marlene says.
New Year's Eve 1999. The last time the world partied this hard, Leif Eriksson had just discovered North America. Sure, your bar is stocked, but this is a night to embellish it with a few special bottlings pictured here. Consider Distillers' Masterpiece, a superb 18-year-old bourbon finished in cognac casks, saffron-flavored 110-proof Old Raj gin or an apple brandy that's smoother than silk. A lot of the noise you'll hear that night will be champagne corks popping from Anchorage to Zamboanga. For the occasion, we suggest Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1988 (a robust bubbly inspired by its namesake), iced in an electric Vin Chilla bucket that does the job in minutes once you've filled it with ice and water. A battery-powered Midnight Cocktail maker helps take the work out of mixing drinks, and Padrón's Millennium humidor filled with 100 individually numbered cigars will keep your stogie-loving friends puffing happily long past midnight.
Two silhouetted figures--a man and a woman--stand in an airplane hangar, poised to disappear into a netherworld shrouded in fog. It's a scene from 1955's Big Combo, and it's quintessential film noir--shadowy bars, dark streets, deadly females and doppelgängers setting the mood for sinister goings-on. Alain Silver and James Ursini's homage to the genre is The Noir Style (Overlook), with smart text and great stills from the classic period (Maltese Falcon) through the neo-noir films of the Nineties (Romeo is Bleeding). Perfect for rainy nights.