Tag Archives: Vanity Fair

DEAD SOUL | Vanity Fair | October 2008 | About Putin…

By Masha Gessen & Stéphane Lavoué, October 2008

Photographs by Stéphane Lavoué

Nearly every weekday morning one of Moscow’s central arteries, the Kutuzovsky Prospect, empties out suddenly, and an eerie, otherworldly silence takes hold. This means that police have sealed all the on-ramps to Kutuzovsky, an eight-lane avenue that cuts through the city from the west straight through to the Kremlin.

Traffic backs up on the ramps for miles, but Kutuzovsky is quiet. Then a low hum can be heard, which quickly builds to a roar. Spread across the 60 yards of Kutuzovsky, a convoy of motorcycles and S.U.V.’s moves at breakneck speed, like fighter planes in tight formation.

In the middle of it, veiled from onlookers by moving vehicles and densely tinted glass, rides Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, in a custom-made black Audi with the license plate 007. He is commuting from his residence in Novo-Ogarevo, a country home that the Russians coyly refer to as a dacha but that a Westerner would recognize as a villa.

My Own Illustration of a Dead Soul…

He races along an avenue lined with enormous Stalin-era apartment buildings constructed for the Communist Party elite, then through the Arc de Triomphe, erected in celebration of Russia’s victory over Napoleon, in 1812, and finally across the Moscow River. In years past, when the title Putin held was that of Russia’s president, the formation would have headed for the Kremlin.

Now the cars roar off toward the Moscow White House— the high-rise building that once housed the Russian parliament, where pro-Yeltsin Russians erected barricades against an attempted coup by hard-liners in 1991. Once, it was the symbol of a nascent Russian democracy. Now it’s the command center of an entrenched Russian autocracy. An entire floor was redone before Putin moved in, claiming the title of prime minister and bringing the power of the Kremlin along with him.

Continue reading DEAD SOUL | Vanity Fair | October 2008 | About Putin…

The Birth of BOND | Vanity Fair | October 2012

October 2012, By David Kamp

Screenshot from article…

Enter Sean Connery, dark hair slicked with pomade, eyes locking hungrily upon a beautiful green-eyed girl.

Her return glance leaves no doubt—the feeling is mutual. His slouch and casual banter exude languor and nonchalance, but there’s an undercurrent of coiled menace to this man, as though he might, at any moment, spring into table-overturning, crockery-shattering action.

Except nothing of the sort happens. Instead, the other fellow in the scene cuts the tension by taking out his fiddle and favoring the room with a jaunty tune learned, he says in a stagy brogue, “in the old ruins on the top of Knocknasheega!” This isn’t a James Bond picture.

It is 1959, and Connery is putting in time in a cornball live-action Disney feature called Darby O’Gill and the Little People. He’s the second male lead, billed beneath not only Albert Sharpe, the elderly Irish character actor in the title role—a kindly farmhand who sees leprechauns—but also the green-eyed girl, the ingenue Janet Munro. Though verily pump-misting pheromonal musk into the air, to a degree unmatched before or since by any actor in a Disney family movie, Connery is still a jobbing scuffler, not a star. He has no idea of what lies in store for him.

Source: The Birth of BOND | Vanity Fair | October 2012

The Superstars Align for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Opening Gala | Vanity Fair

A set by Lady Gaga, toasts by Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman, and more make for a night to remember in L.A

By Britt Hennemuth, Photography by Greg Williams, September 26, 2021

Lady Gaga, Photograph by Greg Williams / courtesy Academy Museum Foundation.

After nearly a decade of anticipation, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open on Thursday, September 30, in Los Angeles.

To toast the occasion on Saturday night, a room of Covid-compliant Oscar winners, history-makers, and hopefuls took a trip down the green carpet, a right past Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and a left under a massive fiberglass shark from Jaws, before crossing over the Barbra Streisand bridge to the top floor of the Renzo Piano-designed glass dome for the Opening Night Gala.

Creative director Lisa Love and Artistic Director Raul Ávila transformed the 360 degree vista into a modern Cocoanut Grove complete with 30 palm trees, a band stand, and a fleet of horns.

The evening recalled the Golden Age of Hollywood, and included toasts by Tom Hanks, Laura Dern, Bob Iger, Annette Bening, Ava DuVernay, Nicole Kidman, and Ted Sarandos. Admission (seats sold for upwards of $50,000) raised money for the museum’s access, education, and programming initiatives, and honored the Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima and Italian supernova Sophia Loren, with help from co-chairs DuVernay, Jason Blum, and Ryan Murphy.

The host committee included industry titans Spike Lee, Brian Lourd, Ralph Lauren, Barry Diller, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Vanity Fair’s own Radhika Jones, as well as the museum’s director, Bill Kramer, and its Chief Artistic and Programming officer, Jacqueline Stewart.

Source: The Superstars Align for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Opening Gala | Vanity Fair

“I Hope the Mindset Has Changed”: John Podesta Is Thrilled That Congress Finally Cares About UFOs | Vanity Fair

By Abigail Tracy, June 22, 2021

From The Washington Post/Getty Images. 

“I saw more eagles than UFOs,” John Podesta joked.

The former chief of staff to Bill Clinton and veteran of the Obama White House had just returned from a trip to Alaska and, speaking with me from California last Friday, shared his thoughts on the highly anticipated government report on unidentified flying objects, set to be released later this week.

Over the past few decades, Podesta has emerged as one of the most prominent public figures goading the Pentagon to disclose information on UFOs—or, in official channel parlance, “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP). In his view the report’s expected release marks a sea change in not only public sentiment, but political posturing around the issue.

“There’s always been tremendous public interest in this, but it was kind of pushed to the fringe. People were viewed as a little bit goofy if they wanted to raise the topic,” he explained. “Now I think that’s changed.”

Source: “I Hope the Mindset Has Changed”: John Podesta Is Thrilled That Congress Finally Cares About UFOs | Vanity Fair