When most of us make a mistake in love, we have the luxury of doing it in private. When it's over, we move on. After going on a goofy lark, Darva Conger found herself in quite the opposite position. She took a trip to Vegas, aced her way through Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire? and--bam--some joker picked her to be his wife. One dry honeymoon later, she tried to tear asunder the ridiculous bond between them. Then the media hit her lawn, her garbage and her place of work. Runaway Bride gets back to the basics in a pictorial by Stephen Wayda. As for Mr. Rockwell, the groom, he's proof that it doesn't pay to be rich. And the superrich have even worse problems. Like parking a Gulfstream jet. Or whomping alimony payments. Millionaires: Do You Really Want to Be One? by Jamie Malanowski is the antidote to today's money fever.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), August 2000, Volume 47, Number 8, 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: SD 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.
What, exactly, is an independent film? Years ago, the definition was clear: any movie not made by a studio. The connotation was a low-budget production that couldn't get playing time in the multiplexes of middle America. The Eighties saw a dramatic rise in funding and an awareness of indie films, fueled by the arrival of Spike Lee and other talented directors. By the Nineties it seemed as if independents might actually eat away at the age-old power base of Hollywood studios.
The idea of director Alan Rudolph being cute is somewhat frightening, but Trixie (Sony Pictures Classics) is the result. Emily Watson is so watchable that she almost--almost--makes the role of a working-class, malaprop-spouting security aide turned detective believable. After routine jobs nabbing shoplifters, she gets a chance to work undercover at a lakeside resort casino. The shy Trixie makes a few friends, including lounge performer Nathan Lane, young Dermot Mulroney and boozy, seen-it-all Brittany Murphy. Then Trixie gets in over her head while trying to pin a spiraling series of crimes on slimy senator Nick Nolte (in a wild, over-the-top performance). Will Patton and Lesley Ann Warren also appear in this messy story, which combines film noir with heavy-handed humor. But Rudolph's film is too stylized. It bears no relation to any truth I could recognize, and while I suspect the actors had fun, there's none left over for the audience. [rating]1 bunny[/rating]
Kyle MacLachlan is reinventing himself. As David Lynch's favorite leading man in the Eighties, MacLachlan went from the big screen (in Blue Velvet and Dune) to the television hit Twin Peaks, where, as FBI special agent Dale Cooper, he made coffee and cherry pie cool again.
[movieTitle]Blood Simple[/movieTitle] (Listed only) The Coen brothers have spruced up and added an introduction to the noir film that put them on the map in 1984. John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh star. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
"I love films like Celebration and all the Almodóvar films, especially All About My Mother," says actress Mimi Rogers. "Then there are Tootsie, The Godfather, The Best Years of Our Lives and All About Eve. Do you know what genre I love? Horror. The Exorcist is one of my favorite films. I didn't really care for The Blair Witch Project, because it failed to work on a psychological level. The Sixth Sense was really good."
The recent arrival of director Arthur Lubin's 1947 New Orleans On DVD (Kino, $30) fulfills a necessary criterion any entertainment format needs to succeed--the availability of Billie Holiday. Lady Day's lone Hollywood feature role came in this United Artists' take on the birth of jazz, playing a maid who sings to beat the band. It's quite a band, too, led by Louis Armstrong, whose duet with Holiday on Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans is doubly galvanizing: The DVD includes two Paramount musical shorts from the period, Symphony in Black (Holiday again, this time with Duke Ellington), plus a Rhapsody in Black and Blue (featuring Armstrong). Quite a euphonic find. A groundbreaking, inner child--pleasing picture getting dressed up for DVD release is Pee-wee's Big Adventure (Warner Bros., $25), the 1985 fantasy that launched Paul Reubens and director Tim Burton. With full-length commentary from Burton and Reubens. You could almost imagine sitting there beside them watching the movie--well, maybe not.
Girlfight, new in theaters, reminds us that Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Moore and Duran are all back in the squared circle--through their daughters. Since 1896, every major boxing match has been preserved on film, even some bouts between women. Here are others that can take a punch.
There's nothing quite so satisfying as savoring someone else's shortcomings. That's why Great Blunders of WWII (VHS or DVD from the History Channel) is such a pleasure. Of special note are sections (using rare and never-before-seen footage) on how the London Blitz was started by accident, why the Japanese were so poorly prepared at the Battle of Midway and Hitler's failure to finish off the Russians at Stalingrad. You don't have to be smug to like this, but it helps.
Did the pope have a Clue it was Lou Department: Lou Reed was among the artists sharing the bill in Rome for the Great Jubilee Concert for a Debt Free World, keynoted by Pope John Paul II. First Bob Dylan, now this. The Holy Father is hipper than we thought.
I work under the strange assumption that most women are fascinating, intelligent, exciting and great fun to play with but are mystifying and deceptive creatures when it comes to manipulating men (almost all of whom are willing to be ruled by the women in their lives so long as they can get laid on occasion--make that on any occasion).
It began as woman trouble often does: a midnight phone call followed by a knock at the front door. Kate had been my best female friend for almost eight years, and we had seen each other through tortured affairs, career realignments and broken leases. We had shared everything except each other. Having long ago acknowledged a sexual undercurrent--and excluding a multimartini-inspired make-out session on New Year's Eve 1993--we proudly had chosen not to act on it. Knock-knock.
The posters hanging around the University of Colorado-Boulder announced our arrival. I would be debating Gail Dines, head of the women's studies program at Boston's Wheelock College. The topic: "Pornography: His and Hers."
At least a dozen people sent The Playboy Forum copies of an editorial that appeared in USA Today last October. Kimberly Palmer, a junior at Amherst College, penned a jeremiad with the catchy title Male Students Flaunt Pornography, Degrading Women and Themselves.
Truth, Justice and The Honorary Hugh M. Hefner Way
Name five famous Chicagoans. Eliminate those who wear numbers on their jerseys, those who made their living with Thompson submachine guns, who went by the nickname Boss or who have television talk shows.
The city fathers of Erie, Pennsylvania had a mission. Concerned about what they felt to be a recent increase in nude live entertainment within the city, they drafted an ordinance that would consign the lap-dancing divas of Kandyland to a life of virtue or, at least, to the imposed purity of pasties and G-strings.
Bill Clinton campaigned for president with the promise to put 100,000 new cops on the streets. With a law enforcement officer on every block, he said, Americans would feel "freer from fear." When Congress made the initiative part of its 1994 crime bill, Clinton extolled the men in blue, saying "there is simply no better crime-fighting tool to be found."
In Paris, where he is starring in a film adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables along with his friend Gérard Depardieu, John Malkovich is being John Malkovich. He is living in a spacious suite in one of the most exquisite old hotels in the city, surrounded by spectacular views, an original Turner oil painting and an abundance of exotic flowers. Fittingly, one evening when Malkovich dines in the hotel restaurant, the only other person in the dining room is Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, who gazes at him curiously. If Gorby thought, I know I've seen you in something, but what? he can be forgiven.
Americans spent most of the last century obsessed about two things: money and sex. These are not exactly the worst fixations. By now, however, the money thing feels more like a bad drug habit--and drkoop.com, a technodollar speedball. During wild market lurches, midlevel managers sit at their desks and calculate how much their 401 (k)s have expanded, or contracted, since lunch. While nobody's talking about dot-com zillionaires anymore, everyone still dreams about the big score.
Twenty years ago, a radiant 20-year-old beauty stood center stage at Playboy Mansion West while Hugh M. Hefner introduced her to the assembled media as the 1980 Playmate of the year. A few months later, Dorothy Stratten was the victim of a homicide. For those who came to know her through the pages of Playboy, her death cut short the auspicious career of an actress People magazine described as "so beautiful she seemed luminescent, as if lit from within." That remark rings doubly true, because it describes Dorothy as a person as well. We offer these photos as a tribute to her enduring memory.
One enduring certainty of medical science has been that the maximum human life span is, give or take a few birthdays, 120 years. There is now a growing feeling that the new human biological limit could be 150--or even 200-- and that with the right treatments just about anyone will be able to live that long.
Summer rum drinks bring to mind daiquiris and rum-and-tonics. But there's also a dark side to the beverage--as evidenced by such classic cocktails as the mai tai, which calls for heavier rums. Even the British navy's daily ration of rum (it hasn't been poured since 1970) was a dark rum mollified with sugar and lime. You need sugarcane to make rum, and it was in the Caribbean that the sugarcane really took root. Eventually, someone discovered that the residue from the stalks that were crushed to produce sugar could be fermented. The result? Demon rum, or "kill devil," as it was first called by superstitious natives in the belief it could ward off evil. Prohibited from transporting rum to Europe, where it might interfere with established wine and cognac monopolies, rum merchants were welcomed in the thirsty American colonies. Until the emergence of bourbon, rum was one of the new republic's favorite hard drinks, and soon became an important trade commodity. But its value was even greater in the Caribbean, where it was used as an enticement to keep naval ships nearby to ward off pirates. (Unfortunately, it also lured ships flying the skull and crossbones.) Forget tales of buried doubloons; rum had become the real treasure of the Caribbean. It remains so today, with more than 150 brands that range from crystal clear and sweet to dark amber and meaty. Many distillers classify their rums as light, gold and dark--reflecting the subtly different shades of brown. Most folks simply call rums as they see them, light or dark. The deeper color of darker rums is derived from increased amounts of caramel and molasses produced from burnt sugarcane. Aging, especially in barrels that have been charred, also deepens the color of rum and produces a deeper taste. Most rums are blended to create a specific character; consequently, rums can be as individual as single-malt whiskeys. Different regions of the Caribbean produce rums with dramatically disparate characteristics. One of the best examples is a collection of four distinct blends from Rare Rums of the Caribbean. There is the butternut flavor of 10-year-old R.L. Seale's from Barbados; the deep golden brown richness of Diplomatico from Venezuela; Myers's Legend, a 10-year-old spice-filled Jamaican rum; and Gran Blason, a full-flavored dark añejo from Costa Rica. For mixed drinks, try Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, a 70 proof sweet rum with the flavors of vanilla, figs and apricots. Captain Morgan Private Stock is a darker 80 proof rum with twice the spice. But not all tropical drinks demand sweet rum. Toucano (in a colorful, palm frond-wrapped bottle) is a delicately smooth rum from Brazil. It is made from sugarcane's flavorful first crush, then aged for two years in oak and balsam casks. If you want the flavor of coconut, use Malibu Rum from Barbados. One of the best dark rums for either mixing or sipping straight is the herbal, aromatically elegant Gosling's Black Seal, a celebrated brand in Bermuda since 1806. Originally called Old Rum, it was renamed Black Seal after World War I, when a shortage of bottles forced the distillers to put their rum into champagne bottles, which were capped with black sealing wax. Now the label features an image of a black seal juggling a barrel of rum. Although most rums are around 80 proof, some thunder out of the bottle, such as the 160 proof Stroh Original 80 from Austria and Bacardi's 151 proof from Puerto Rico. Add a judicious splash of either to a mixed drink that needs tweaking. A few unblended cask-strength single-barrel rums can be enjoyed with one or two ice cubes, or cut with distilled water. Cadenhead CRV is a Demerara rum from Jamaica that is given a (continued on page 179) Rum for the Money (continued from page 96) lengthy aging after being pot distilled (pot-still spirits retain more of their original character). Rather than being kept in the Caribbean, where the warm climate accelerates the aging process, the barrels containing Cadenhead CRV are shipped to Scotland, where the cooler climate allows for slower maturation. More years in the cask give the wood ample time to influence the rum. Cadenhead's CRV 20-year-old is a 146 proof rum that tastes of caramel, apples and honey.
When Team USA soccer star Brandi Chastain shed her jersey after booting the winning goal in last year's Women's World Cup, we got to thinking: What if modern Olympians were to borrow a page from their original Greek counterparts and compete with few or no clothes? Maybe it wouldn't enhance performance, but we're certain it would boost ratings.
Gohome, E--i rules. Industrial design changed forever with the introduction of the iMac. With its translucent computers, Apple's message was clear: Don't be afraid of technology. Or color. Now there's even clear plastic joie in joysticks. Sleepless Knights used the implied intimacy of translucence for its iBralor. The vibrator is great for slipping and sliding while surfing the web (i-eee!). All sorts of products now come wrapped in gaudy, iridescent materials. The iCatch turns the iMac's unique mouse into a more familiar one. iCool headphones aren't just eye candy--they fold up into a crystal ball. Intrigo's Lapstation is another excuse to have breakfast in bed. And Radio Shack looks a lot brighter with products like the iPhone. But even Apple chief Steve Jobs probably never envisioned the iCar. It's a prototype created and posted online (at Chris3D.com) by a rabid fan. Guess his imagination ran wild.
Twenty-year-old Summer Altice breezes into LA's trendy Kings Road Cafe for her interview carrying a white puppy. "He's a Maltese I named JD--after Jack Daniel's," she says. It's easy to see why the whiskey-dubbed pooch seems enamored with his fresh-faced owner: She's articulate, educated, unpretentious and an all-natural athletic beauty. As she sips her lemonade, Summer considers each question carefully, her sunglasses unable to obscure her piercing hazel eyes. "Pretty much my entire life until last year was volleyball," says the four-year letter winner from California's Fountain Valley high school. Her long hours of practice landed her a scholarship to San Diego State; she then transferred to UCLA to study communications. Summer admits that her interest in volleyball has peaked. "After playing for eight years, I started to burn out on it," she says. "I didn't have the same love or desire for the game. It had been in my life for so long that it started becoming just a job."
Your Honor, I'm 86 years of age," the old woman testified. "So there I was, sitting on my front porch on a warm spring evening, when a young man came up and sat beside me. He started to rub my thigh and it felt good, so I didn't stop him. Then he began to rub my breasts. Why, I haven't felt that good in years, so I just spread my old legs and said, 'Take me, young man, take me!' And that's when he yelled, 'April fool!' That, Your Honor, is when I shot the son of a bitch!"
Macy Gray sounds like a Muppet with a head cold. But her pipes led to a critically adored debut album, two Grammy nods (she lost both), two Brit Awards, loads of cash and a gig opening for Carlos Santana on his Supernatural tour. People can't stop listening to Macy Gray. She's an addiction. As New Times Los Angeles says, "At a time when popular music is stuck in a rut of cookie-cut teen dreams, rap-metal wanks and one-hit hip-hop wonders, Gray has the chops to stand out like Ricky Martin at a World's Straightest Man Competition."
A friend of ours was golfing when he got a kinky surprise: Everywhere he looked, braless women wielding cans of whipped cream were offering a sexy alternative to hooks and slices. For $25 (going to charity) the women would lift their tops and squirt Reddi Wip on their breasts for the men to lick off. Our buddy's foursome became so distracted that foozles were abundant. But their high scores didn't matter--the longer they played, the more they could enjoy the whipped cream shots.
Aimee Mann fears nothing. Not even a clichéd comparison to David and Goliath. The embattled singer, 39, has taken on corporate entertainment giants Seagram and Universal, labels Epic, Geffen and Interscope, and Svengali music executives Jimmy Iovine and Ted Fields. Despite her waifish appearance, Mann is a survivor in a landscape littered with show business casualties.
Some trends we endure, this one we love. Things Brazilian--especially the women--are the rage. It started with the new crop of models. New York's fashion week was electrified by Brazilian beauty when drop-dead gorgeous Gisele Bündchen (above left, above center and left) made her way down the Ralph Lauren runway, barely contained by her gold mesh bikini top. Leonardo DiCaprio certainly took notice; the two are seen in deep canoodle all over the place. Other Brazilian models are emerging, such as Fernanda Tavares, Caroline Ribeiro and Fabiane Nunes. Let us also welcome those arresting Argentinian beauties, such as Ines Rivero (top right and right). What's so special about South American women--except the obvious? Well, they are tall, with turbo bodies, but they don't conform to the usual glamazon template. They are sultry and devastatingly sexy. Just ask Mick Jagger--and his attorney. And now that these women have our attention, there is new interest in Brazilian food, music and design. Catch up, so you will have some conversational ammunition at the ready when you meet one of these goddesses.
How can cartoon calligraphies be so obviously sexual, yet so exuberantly soap-behind-the-ears clean? How can mankind, meaning mostly men, be exhibited in a pen-and-ink Kinkajoy Museum with his outdoor plumbing sparsely or fully rampant yet cause no censor's outcry nor feminist's slur?
If utility and comfort were what shoes were all about, we'd all be wearing shoes from Foot Locker. Shoes are about sex. Especially women's shoes. Do you think they would spend all that time shopping for them and spending that kind of money on them, if something very serious weren't at stake? Shoes are sometimes the last element to an outfit. They can say, "Don't let the suit fool you. These sling-back, fuck-me heels are the real, smoldering me." High heels make a woman fundamentally different. They curve the arch of her foot; they tighten her calf muscles. Her legs appear to be longer and her pelvis tilts, which arches her back and makes her rear end stick out. All these transformations, we believe, are good things. Shoes can make an otherwise obvious message suddenly ambivalent and flirty and fun. Shoes can be sexy in a number of ways. They can be subtle, allowing a peek of toe cleavage through the open front of a sandal. Or shoes can be blatant, like the ones on this page. These shoes have special messages--some naughty, some cruel and some improbably funny. The screaming-red dual-padlock bootie (top, left) might be a bitch to get off if you're in a hurry. Next to it is a black patent leather ballerina-toe boot that defies practicality. The relatively tame red-and-black stiletto at top right comes with a gag strap--a head harness that accepts the toe of the shoe in the strap-wearer's mouth. All three styles are from Dream Dresser (www.dreamdresser.com), an outfit that specializes in unique fashions and accessories. Above is the Spike-Dom black patent leather number with an array of spikes on the vamp and across the strap, and a chrome spike heel. In the center is the Bohemian Rhapsody, a superhigh platform in fuchsia Asian brocade. Both of these shoes are from Style Surfing Shoes by Claudia Carlson in Los Angeles (323-967-4599). Center left is an eight-inch spike-heeled black platform with an open toe and heel. At left is a tongue-in-cheek garter-belt design by Thea Cadabra-Rooke from the amusing and scholarly book Shoes: A Lexicon of Style by Valerie Steele (Rizzoli). Forget utility. If the shoe fetish fits, wear it.
Below is 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 40, 49--50, 96--97, 126--129, and 185, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
The best camping trip is a tented safari with you sipping sundowners while someone else cooks dinner. If that's not an option, communing with mother nature can still be comfortable. Start with the Kelty Riverbend, a tent that is not only easy to erect, but also features Eclipse Photochromatic windows that darken in response to ultraviolet rays. Kelty also makes the Light Year, a $150 down-filled sleeping bag that's warm enough for fall hunting trips and adds only two pounds to your pack. A cozy camp-fire is just a click away with the Brunton Helios Stormproof Lighter, designed to withstand both rain and hurricane-strength winds. Man does not live on hot dogs and marshmallows alone, so we recommend Mountain Safety Research's line of camp chow cooked over their Superfly butane stove. The meals are easy to cook and surprisingly tasty (especially pasta primavera and curried lentil bisque), and the packaging can be disposed of in your fire. The Superfly stove's matchless autostart will help get soup cooking in seconds. No 21st century camping trip would be complete without a global positioning satellite gizmo in your backpack, and we like Garmin's eTrex model for its portability and variety of features. The system's TracBack mode will reverse your route once you've reached your destination. The bad news is that you'll be at your desk again on Monday.