One of the best regular features in Premiere is Libby Gelman-Waxner's film column, "If You Ask Me," in which Cher's tattoos and Daniel Day-Lewis' buns are far more relevant than Martin Scorsese's vision or Robert Altman's cultural criticism.
Ms. Gelman-Waxner, a cosmetically enhanced and militantly superficial New Yorker, submits to an interview with play- and screen-writer Paul Rudnick in New York for Oct. 31, and the result is a big giggle.
Ms. Gelman-Waxner, who says her readers are "people from all walks of life and all dosages of Zoloft," states her credo: "I join with Naomi Wolf and Erica Jong and Shari Lewis in saying yes, I am a woman. I hot-oil, I exfoliate, I crave several of the Baldwin brothers and the Wonderbra." For the record, Ms. Gelman-Waxner denies rumors that she doesn't exist and that ** she might be a pseudonym for another writer, someone like, say, maybe Paul Rudnick.
Band in Boston
This month's Ray Gun, the "bible of music + style and the end of print," has a typically cool-looking but hard-to-read piece on the Boston music scene, or "unscene." As the original location of such acts as the Lemonheads, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Juliana Hatfield, Throwing Muses and Morphine, Boston is certainly a hospitable town for indie rock. But unlike Seattle, there is no Boston "sound," just a "cacophonous plurality of subcultures that isn't easily mass-marketed according to gender, politics or threads."
As a national take on a local phenomenon, the article is worth a gander, though get ready to wrestle: Ray Gun is the magazine you sometimes must hold sideways and upside-down. It's the magazine your parents couldn't read if they would.
* List-o-maniacal Entertainment Weekly features its annual "Power 101," with Rupert Murdoch at No. 1, and in descending order Viacom's Sumner Redstone, Time Warner's Gerald Levin, Steven Spielberg, Disney's Michael Eisner and Ted Turner. Tom Hanks comes in at No. 16, David Letterman at No. 18, Tom Cruise at No. 22, Barbra Streisat No. 31 and Roseanne at No. 60. Also, at No. 101, Mr. Letterman's mom, who lifted her son's ratings and landed an interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
* The Halloween issue of the New Yorker has a short story by Stephen King about a boy who meets the devil himself a year after his brother died. Also, there's a business piece, "Grand Illusion," which looks at the collapse of Whittle Communications and delves into the company's questionable tax and accounting practices. Conclusion: "What few people discuss publicly . . . is the simplest explanation for the failure of Whittle Communications: Whittle himself."
Sink your teeth into this
Who'll suck the most blood from "Interview with the Vampire," the conflict-ridden movie of Anne Rice's moody novel? It may be magazine editors, who have kept the "Interview" drama very undead since Ms. Rice crusaded against casting Tom Cruise as her tall, blond, androgynous hero, Lestat. With the movie opening Nov. 11, a renewed siege of promotion is grabbing hold, and there's no shortage of trendy story possibilities in sight.
There's the youth-market acting trio of Mr. Cruise, Brad Pitt and Christian Slater, who replaced the late River Phoenix. Or the enigmatic director, Neil Jordan, who directed 1992's most-talked-about movie, "The Crying Game." There are also articles on the magic of effects wizard Stan Winston, powerful producer David Geffen and the histrionic secrecy during "Interview" filming, as a covered passageway connected Mr. Cruise's trailer to the movie set amid rumors of his platform shoes.
If you're Movieline, you don't bother choosing one angle. The November issue has three "Interview with the Vampire" features -- a cover profile on Mr. Slater and conversations with Mr. Jordan and Mr. Winston. Furthermore, each piece contains an elaborate, knee-jerk homage to Mr. Cruise. Mr. Slater: "He commands such respect on the set. I loved that." Mr. Jordan: "I've never worked with a better or more willing actor. He gives every possible thing to a role." Mr. Winston: "The man is as hard-working an actor as I've ever worked with. He doesn't phone in a single beat." Take that, Anne Rice!
US for November also goes with a cover story on Mr. Slater, a generic profile that could be exchanged with the Movieline piece, and Premiere, as usual, touches on all the "Interview" angles in its epic November cover story.