Friday, February 23, 2007

Vanity Fair

by jaydro
One of the things to look forward to for many years before the Oscars has been the extravagant Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair. In the past they've featured in-depth articles (that were sometimes later turned into books) on subjects like the making of Eyes Wide Shut, the making of Sweet Smell of Success, the rise and fall of various production companies and Hollywood go-getters, etc. etc. Great stuff. Plus for eye candy there was the cover and then the, uh, elaborate photo essay on the inside.

I can't remember last year's issue off the top of my head, and I didn't even buy this year's after I happened across it in, of all places, the public library. (Aside: if only they'd sell coffee there I think they'd make a real go of it!) After flipping through over 200 pages of ads and filler, I finally got to a real article, a bit of a ho-hummer on the making of A Face in the Crowd, a movie worth seeing for those who don't remember Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts or the Original Amateur Hour, which are the roots of the Idol shows today. Anyway, the article tries to make more of the film than I think was there, and I saw it for the first time less than two years ago. You can look at the rest of the issue yourself, but I thought the film noir theme fell flat, with a bit of a perfunctory essay on the genre and their most over-the-top Hollywood Portfolio yet, which did nothing for me, and didn't look as good as the staged shoots HBO does for each season of The Sopranos. The issue's ad spread for Disney theme parks with Scarlett Johansson et al looked more inspired, and was also photographed by Annie Leibovitz no less. Come on guys, just give us Jennifer Aniston soaking wet in the grotto at the Playboy Mansion again, that's all we want! Wow, everything I've talked about here was photographed by Leibovitz.

Anyway, I came away thinking that it shouldn't help the MPAA's fears of piracy that I found the most fascinating article in the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue to be the long piece on The Pirate Bay. I had no idea those guys were in Sweden, and I thought they had been shut down a long time ago.


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I bought this issue a few days ago (I used to subscribe, but I grew tired of long articles about socialties I didn't care about), and agree with your assessment. I'll read the Face in the Crowd article and the article about Film Noir. The noir pictorial was somewhat amusing and certainly took a lot of work. But I'm tired of magazines that have so many ads that the table of contents doesn't even show up in the first 50 pages. What is this, Vogue?

2/27/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Don't know if they mentioned this in the article but the Pirate Bay guys did start their own political party last summer. Not that they got a seat in the parlament or anything, but they did hold a couple of demonsrations against copyright and government persecution, which they claimed to be a victim of, where over a thousand came (this being Sweden, that's pretty good). First big demonstration was held in front of my workplace. They were handing out vouchers where they promised free stuff if you went to their website, which was wry.

Pirate Bay is pretty lousy nowadays, though. Better sites out there. If one does not that kind of thing.

2/27/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I wonder if someone keeps track of pages before the table of contents or the first real article, and if this year is some kind of peak since, say, 1999 or 2000?

2/27/2007 08:07:00 PM  

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