The Black List: Ten Things that Irritate Elijah Wood

In this month’s new FX comedy series, Wilfred, actor Elijah Wood stars as an unemployed, suicidal sad-sack who converses (and a whole lot more) with the neighborhood dog. He’ll soon reenter Frodo’s world in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, but here, with a bitch list of his top-10 irritants, Wood proves himself lord of the zing.

1. Remakes and reboots. Have we not the balls to support original material? Why must the vast majority of our unique pieces be relegated to minuscule budgets and poor exposure, while hundreds of millions of dollars are put toward rehashing used ideas? How about we even out the budgeting a bit. Remember when we chose a little-known Polish director to helm a film about the devil impregnating Mia Farrow? 2. Doing the bare minimum of one’s job description. I once had a heavy crate delivered. The delivery man set it on the sidewalk in front of my house. It being far too heavy for one person to move on his own, I asked if he would help move it to my driveway. He replied by saying that he’d done his job, then begrudgingly helped move it as if he were doing me a favor. Nope, not extra. Still your job.

3. Anti-smoking laws that now extend to outdoor spaces. Can we not let the use of free air be determined by the people using it? Should someone have a problem with roving smoke, they could simply ask the offending smoker if he or she would kindly refrain. Most spaces are smoke-free, and I accept that—particularly inside restaurants—but can smokers not have patios and general outdoor areas?

4. Truncated texting. Most of us have full keyboards on our magical mobile devices—use them. It was understandable on numbered keypads and even forgivable with the aid of T9. But now? C u l8r? No, you won’t.

5. Orcs. Ugly fuckers.

6. (Most) clubs. Crowds of people dressed in their finery, standing outside, lining up around the block yearning for acceptance—only to enter a loud space with predominantly awful music, bottle service, and neither the room to move nor the ability to utter words that can be heard without shouting. I’ve often wondered why hordes flock to these overstyled douche cantinas.

7. When people aren’t held accountable for their actions. If you fuck up, deal with it—it’s your responsibility. Somehow we’ve created a world where a person spills coffee on himself, sues the coffee company, and wins.

8. Relationship statuses on Facebook. Breaking up with someone in the real world is hard enough. There’s no need to do it digitally. That there’s some weight attached to changing your status from “in a relationship” to “single” is ridiculous.

9. My printer. It refuses to wirelessly speak to my computer. I’ve tried at various times to get the two to chat and take on basic tasks together, such as printing a document or scanning a photo. It even insists on stubbornly refusing my attempts to start a healthy USB-free dialogue between the two. Bastard.

10. Clutter. Why do you accumulate? I have utter disdain for you, yet I am to blame for your existence. A conundrum. (Oh, and: Complaining. Just shut up and deal with it. No one wants to hear it.)

Boners in HD: Gavin McInnes’s Beach Boner TV

In honor of summer and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes’s new book, Street Boners, we decided to patrol the beach for a Boner-inspired fashion story for our June/July issue. Whilst frolicking around the pristine Coney Island boardwalk, we discovered that McInnes was the perfect on-air personality and decided to capture his professionalism on TV. What follows is proof that McInnes is even more prolific in real life than even his new book, Street Boners: 1746 Hipster Fashion Jokes, or his online “Dos and Don’ts” bible, suggest. The video and some McInnesisms after the jump.

“It bums me out when people talk about the girl’s bone structure or something. Your beef is with god, not her. But the internet is all horny fourteen-year-olds. So you’re fourteen and you can’t get anyone to fuck you, and now you’re mad at chicks.”

“The beautiful thing with Twitter, is you have your notebook anywhere. You can’t lose it. And you can tell if it’s funny from retweets. Like the other day, I said, ‘Park Slope? That’s like the most Korean name ever.’ No one retweeted it. I guess that’s not a zinger.”

“Superman is like brute force,” he says unraveling a long superhero beach towel. “He’s like WalMart. Spiderman is more tenacious, though. He’s like Goldman Sachs. He’ll bundle mortgages behind your back.”

“You’ve got to be careful if you see a hot ass. The trick with wives is to point out hot dudes too. For every three hot dudes you point out it earns you one ogle.”

After the shoot wraps and we’re cruising back to Manhattan in a motorhome, McInnes has the driver pull over at a bodega because he’s diabetic and is going to die if he doesn’t get some sugar quick. It isn’t until he rolls back in with a couple of six packs for the crew that everyone realizes he was bullshitting.

View the full gallery, or take an in-depth look at the method behind this particular brand of madness. Interview by Luke O’Neil. Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya. Styling by Christopher Campbell. Genius by Gavin McInnes

M.I.A., Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie: July’s Key Events

July 1: Eat it, Frederik. American music legend, Prince, headlines the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, which starts today. July 3: The Tour de France kicks off. Lance Armstrong, riding for Team RadioShack, gets caught with performance enhancing batteries. July 4: In honor of Independence Day, at her Atlantic City concert, Lady Gaga exercises her freedom to bleach.

July 6: Big Boi releases Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, an odd title considering we know for a fact that Chico Dusty never had kids. July 9: Expectations are high for Predators, out today, because the last time Adrien Brody worked with one, he won an Oscar. July 10: It’s the last day of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, no Biggie. July 11: While the rest of the planet watches the final match of the World Cup in Johannesburg, America turns its attention to the horse show at the Christian County 4-H Fair. July 14: Tobias Fünke and fashionistas commiserate over their worst nightmare: National Nude Day. July 18: Experience a brush with greatness when Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917, opens today at the MoMA. July 20: La Dolce Vida: Acclaimed novelist Vendela Vida reads from her latest novel, The Lovers, at New York’s McNally Jackson bookstore. July 22: Comic-Con launches in San Diego. In related news, San Diego reports a massive shortage of Accutane and nacho cheese. July 23: Salt, in which Angelina Jolie portrays a framed granule that must track down and flavor a hard-boiled egg to clear her name, is released today. July 24: M.I.A. celebrates the release of her new LP, ///Y/, with a show at Governors Island. Redheads will be shot on sight. July 26: The Central Park Zoo relocates to Summerstage when The Flaming Lips play a show at the park’s seasonal concert series. July 29: The tanned Jersey Shore kids pale in comparison to their new surroundings, when season two of the hit MTV show debuts in South Beach. July 31: Imagine the prospect of hearing Sonic Youth play in a park. Welcome to Prospect Park! The noise rock legends take the stage tonight for “Celebrate Brooklyn!”

Itinerary: MNDR’s Amanda Warner Takes Us to Chelsea

Electro-pop up-and-comer, laser lover and self-professed sci-fi nerd, MNDR’s Amanda Warner takes us where no man has gone before—on a star trek of sorts through Chelsea’s best-kept secrets.

“Oh my god, I love Battlestar Galactica!” screams New York–based techno-pop juggernaut Amanda Warner. Apparently, she’s a science fiction fan. “You’re planning to write about how nerdy I am, aren’t you?” But the Fargo-born Warner—one half of retro-futuristic dance-pop outfit MNDR, alongside producer and collaborator Peter Wade—isn’t afraid to embrace her fangirl side. Over the course of an afternoon in May, she betrays a fondness for Blade Runner, legendary sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein and, yes, Battlestar. Given the amount of time she spends in Wade’s Chelsea recording studio and the fact that she designed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ synthesizer rig, it should come as no surprise that Warner treats music-making gizmos like old friends. “Different drum machines have their own personalities,” she says. “Some were made to be really synthetic. Some are stiff. Some can swing. I like trying to understand what makes each one special. But machines aren’t my slaves like they are in science fiction stories—they’re my little buddies.”

Warner moved from Oakland, California, to New York a year ago to work as a songwriter for hire. But it was only after meeting Wade that she began to consider fronting her own act. Before long, MNDR was opening for bands like Yacht, Massive Attack and Deerhoof. “It was totally natural,” says Wade of his partner’s career shift. “She was confident as soon as she stepped out from behind the table. It’s like there are laser beams shining on her at all times.” Together, the duo uploaded four tracks to MySpace last year. Glowing word of mouth spread like wildfire, and the songs eventually morphed into MNDR’s debut EP, E.P.E. Mega-producers Diplo and Mark Ronson have already remixed two of their tracks, and the band is currently at work on their first full-length album, tentatively scheduled for release late this fall.

Prior to landing in the Big Apple, Warner had been skipping around the country with the careless attitude of a true nomad. But she intends to stick around Manhattan for a while. “New York has been really warm to me, which has been nice because it’s a really discerning city,” she says. “It makes me a better musician, because everything I do here matters on some level. I have to be good at every show. There’s something liberating about that.”

image This ‘N’ That Jewelry 124 W. 25th Street I got really into loud jewelry about four years ago. When I go home to the Midwest, there’s always hilarious grandma jewelry at flea markets. I have a collection of gaudy peacock broaches that are like that—sparkly and beautiful. It reminds me of my grandmas and my old neighbor, who made jewelry. She pounded metal and smelted stuff. It was totally amazing and not crafty looking, but loud in a way that only grandmas can pull off.

image Black Door 127 W. 26th Street I like a dry, dirty vodka martini if I’m drinking, or bitters and soda with lime if I’m not drinking. When I lived in Minneapolis, I would drink every night. And then I moved to California, to the Bay Area, and I’d be like, Hey guys, let’s go to the bar! And they’d be like, “What are you talking about? What bar?” The next thing I knew, I was doing yoga and running every day. Now that I’m in New York, I’m back on the sauce.

image Ace Hotel 20 W. 29th Street I come here [Stumptown Coffee Roasters inside the hotel] for coffee. Sometimes Peter and I make bets, and if one of us loses the bet, we have to buy the other one drinks at one of the bars at Ace. It’s really expensive here, so you don’t want to lose many bets. We were at South by Southwest recently at this shitty hotel, and we decided to go to the pool. I was like, I’m bringing a towel. He was like, “They’ll have towels at the pool.” I was like, Yeah right, dude. No way. In this shitty hotel? We got down there, and—of course—there were towels at the pool. I bought him drinks at Ace as soon as we came back.

image Madison Square Park We go here to eat lunch because Peter’s studio has no windows. I feel like we don’t get enough Vitamin D. Chelsea is like vanilla, in a weird way. I enjoy how blank it is—you don’t really run into anyone there. It’s just people living their lives. It’s a good place to focus. That’s why I come here, so we can judge people and talk about them.

image Johny’s Grill & Luncheonette 124 W. 25th Street I come here at least twice a week. On Wednesdays, I get the split pea soup because it’s the next level of delicious. Johny is sort of like my best friend. He makes great diner coffee. I haven’t eaten diner-style for so long, because in California I would only go to a taquería or a taco truck. Hey Johny! I think that’s my tuna fish sandwich.

Photography by Marley Kate Styling by Allison Miller Hair and makeup by Rika Shimada forMake Up For Ever

Bill Murray: The Man Who Knew Too Much

Bill Murray is annoyed. He can’t recall the name of the cinematographer who worked on his upcoming film, Passion Play. “He’s Irish, but he’s from Australia and he lives in China,” says the 59-year-old, Oscar-nominated actor, knitting his brow in thought. “I talk about him all the time. The crazy Tourette’s guy. ”Murray takes a slow sip from a bottle of Brooklyn Lager. “I worked with him on that movie I did with what’s-his-nuts.” Wes Anderson? “No.” Ivan Reitman? “Jim Jarmusch. It was that one called… ” Broken Flowers? “No.” Coffee and Cigarettes? “The Limits of Control,” he says. “The guy wears platform shoes when he’s working. He can’t talk for 16 seconds without going into a rant. He once told me this crazy story about living in Hong Kong, next to the world’s longest escalator. He’d strip naked in front of his window for everyone to see. But the thing was almost a mile long—the escalator—so by the time people got to the end of it they couldn’t remember what building he was in.”

He grabs his phone and dials a number. “Hello?” he says to the woman on the other line. “Hi, it’s Bill Murray and I need your help. What’s the DP’s name?” He puts her on speakerphone. She tells him that the man in question is award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle, but that he refers to himself as Super-Chris. “We called him Sir Christopher,” she says, laughing. Murray, visibly relieved, leans back in an armchair at Manhattan’s Four Seasons Hotel. He is dressed in a black T-shirt and yellow tape-measure suspenders. “Okay, I’ll call you back,” he says, and, excusing his mental block, adds, “I was just eating Froot Loops. And I had a plastic bag over my head.”

To be fair, cereal and auto-asphyxiation were on the menu at our photo shoot, but it’s unclear if Doyle ever flashed anyone during an invective-filled, Tourette’s-fueled rant. The majority of Murray’s stories—from him, but also about him—are hard to believe. They’re also hard to prove. He is quite possibly Hollywood’s most curious everyman, a press-shy movie star who calls Rockland County, just outside of New York City, his home. He doesn’t employ the services of personal publicists, managers and agents. (The publicist for his next film, Get Low, unsure that Murray would even show up for the interview, wrote in an email, “Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.”)


Murray’s aversion to the handler cocoon has affected him in two ways: He has been allowed to live a simple life, largely removed from the public eye, but he has also been unable to temper rumors about his private life and his sometimes notorious behavior. Did he actually show up unannounced to a Halloween party in Williamsburg after spending most of the night with the members of psych-rock duo MGMT? Is there any truth to speculation that he washed dishes for a group of Scottish co-eds at a late-night bash in St. Andrews? How accurate were the allegations that Murray was abusive and addicted to drugs, news that surfaced when Jennifer, his wife of 11 years, filed for divorce in May of 2008? It’s impossible to say. But to meet Murray is to trust, despite the mythology that obscures the man, that he is a decent, if slightly eccentric, guy.

Murray has made a career of playing unforgettable oddballs, from a modern-day Ebenezer in Scrooged to a jaguar shark–chasing oceanographer in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. His latest is an oily funeral director in Aaron Schneider’s Get Low. The film tells the story of a grizzly ascetic, played by Robert Duvall, who spends his adult life atoning, through self-imposed seclusion, for his tragic past. Inspired by the real-life story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale, Duvall’s character enlists the help of Murray’s Frank Quinn to plan his memorial service before he dies, inviting everybody “who’s got a story about me.” Murray, the star of What About Bob?, Groundhog Day and most of the Wes Anderson canon, adds his patented comic levity to an otherwise weighty film about penance and forgiveness in 1930s Tennessee.


Get Low forced Murray to confront his own mortality. “I remember looking at Duvall,” he says. “He’s made up in the film to look much closer to death than he actually is. He’s an amazingly strong guy who could break you in half if he wanted, but when he put on that mask—the beard and the haggard expression of near-death—I couldn’t help thinking, well, that’s just over the hill for me. No matter how great I am in my career or how successful I am, that’s right over that hill. I’m going to ‘get low’ myself.” It didn’t help that they shot the film in the dead of winter in Crawfordville, Georgia, an area with a population of 572. “There wasn’t anyone there and there wasn’t anyone coming there,” he says. “You could call it a dead town and you would be about right.”

He quit the ghost town for Zombieland—in which he made a cameo last year—and then traveled to Santa Fe to film his next project, Mitch Glazer’s Passion Play. In that film, he stars as a gangster alongside Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke, himself no stranger to tabloid-worthy exploits. “That guy is complicated,” Murray says. “If you’re a journalist trying to get him to talk at 4:20 in the afternoon, good luck! Not a chance in hell! Mickey has a very roundabout way of rolling into things. People think he’s either not serious or he’s trying to make fun of people who are serious. He’s not an easy person to read—you know when you’re working with a jerk and, with him, you’re not really sure what’s going on. But he delivers the goods when he’s acting. When he throws, he throws hard.”

One night earlier, Murray was dining at a restaurant in Brooklyn, where he can often be found blending in with the locals. Josh Hartnett, an actor he couldn’t quite place, approached him. “This guy shakes my hand and says, ‘You worked on Lost in Translation with my [then] girlfriend. Was she as much trouble for you as she was for me?’ But Scarlett [Johansson] was 17 when I worked with her, so no, she wasn’t,” he says. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I don’t know who the fuck anyone is. I go through US Weekly, and it’s filled with reality stars I’ve never heard of. I don’t recognize anyone. People? Forget it.”

The exchange reminds him of an earlier experience, years ago, when he was in Cannes for its annual film festival. He was known at the time for roles in Caddyshack and Ghostbusters, but his idol, Jimmy Stewart, didn’t recognize Murray, nor did he feign recognition. “I don’t know if anyone feels the way about me that I felt about that guy,” he says, jumping right into his best Stewart impersonation: “Well, thank you, Bill. That’s very kind. But as you can see, I’m trying to cash this check… ” Maybe Stewart had already started going downhill at that point? “Well, he didn’t know who I was,” says Murray, with a deadpan stare. “Dr. Peter Venkman, Jimmy? Ring any bells?”


Although Stewart may not have been aware of Murray’s funnyman reputation, the actor’s comic legend was already beginning to take shape. Indeed, Murray has been the subject of considerable lore—going back to when he first joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1975. But there is one story that gets bandied about more than others: It was late one night in New York City. A man walked alone through Union Square, empty at this hour. The man felt a pair of hands reach out from behind and cup his eyes, blinding him for a moment. Frightened, he turned around to find Bill Murray, who said to him, “No one will ever believe you,” before walking away into the night. When asked whether or not this exchange took place, his expression turns to mock-disgust. “You’re out of line! Even to imply something like that… ” And then, just before exiting the room, he turns back and says, “Besides, if it did, who would ever believe him?”

Bill likes… Roebling Tea Room 143 Roebling Street, Williamsburg, NYC 718-963-0760 “I was in Brooklyn last night, eating at the Roebling Tea Room. My son is a cook there. It’s almost like I enjoy going there too much. The food is great, they’ve got good music and it’s a fun vibe.”

Photography by: Martin Schoeller

Tim Hetherington on ‘Restrepo’ and His Year of Living Dangerously in Afghanistan

On assignment for Vanity Fair, author Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington moved into Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley with a platoon of American soldiers. Out of the experience come these exclusive images and the award-winning documentary Restrepo, a firsthand account from their year of living dangerously. Photography by Tim Hetherington

The small outpost of Restrepo once sat at the furthest point of American control in Afghanistan’s unruly Korengal Valley. It clung to the rugged mountainside, protected on one flank by steep rock walls. It was manned by the soldiers of Second Platoon, Battle Company, Second Battalion of the 503rd Infantry Regiment (“The Rock”), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. I arrived in the valley with writer Sebastian Junger in September of 2007 on assignment for Vanity Fair. The world’s gaze was still firmly centered on events in Iraq, and I had no idea this other place would continue to preoccupy my thoughts for years to come.

Few people were aware that large-scale combat was happening in Afghanistan, and I imagined the assignment would involve a lot of walking, meeting with village elders, drinking cups of tea and perhaps being shot at once in a while. But by the end of October, 16 percent of all combat in the entire country was taking place in that six-mile valley; 70 percent of U.S. military resources in Afghanistan were being deployed in the Korengal; and Battle Company was running a casualty rate of 25 percent killed or wounded.

To say that any part of the Korengal was “under control” was to underestimate an insurgent enemy that, by March of 2010, had killed nearly 50 U.S. soldiers there. Beyond Restrepo was bandit country. As Battle Company’s commander, Captain Daniel Kearney, put it, the southern Korengal was “where the bad guys are at—that’s their safe haven.” Restrepo dominated the high ground and hampered the enemy’s ability to attack the main U.S. base, situated on the valley floor. I imagined it as a game of chess, the outposts as pieces we used to penetrate deeper into enemy territory. Each one needed protecting, but some pieces were left exposed. Restrepo was one such piece.

The outpost was built by hand after a group of soldiers walked up the mountainside in the middle of the night and started digging. They continued the next day, taking breaks every time the enemy launched one of their numerous attacks on their position. For a long time, the outpost was simply a small area protected by sandbags and larger, rock-filled cloth bags. It had no running water or electricity. Soldiers slept out in the open and used red filters on their headlamps at night to avoid being seen by the enemy (red light doesn’t travel far). In the morning, they would clear their kits, ready to fight—and there was a lot of fighting. One time there were seven firefights in a single day. As months passed, the outpost grew: A bunker was added at one end, and later, makeshift plywood huts were erected to protect them from the harsh winter snow.

The outpost was named after platoon medic Juan “Doc” Restrepo, a popular soldier who was killed early on in the company’s deployment. At first, many of the soldiers didn’t like the fact that the “Doc” was being commemorated in this way. They thought it was a dishonor to name such a dirty and ramshackle place after their friend. As time went on, however, and the strategic importance of Restrepo became recognized, the name started to fit the place, and it developed into a point of pride.

Sebastian and I spent months at a time with Second Platoon, chronicling their experiences and documenting their lives. Our work found its way across the media: in magazines and books, on television and now as a feature-length film. It was a profound experience to develop such unusual intimacy with the men, sharing both moments of boredom and intense combat. I eventually left the outpost with the remaining members of Second Platoon when they handed it over to a replacement unit. The guys were happy to see the end of the deployment and keen to get home to their loved ones.

I was tired from the physical and emotional toll of documenting their lives for over a year. Back in New York, I followed news reports as the infamy of the Korengal grew, and this year watched television footage of the Taliban wandering around the debris-strewn outpost after U.S. forces decided to withdraw in late spring. Those images were particularly painful for the men to see. The blood and effort they expended there held meaning while Restrepo still stood.

Similarly, the withdrawal from the Korengal made me consider the film in a new light now that this chapter of the war has closed. And when I’m asked, as I frequently am, what the title of the film means, I say that it refers to an outpost named after a fallen comrade. But it’s also a metaphor for the sense of loss that every soldier is forced to endure.

Restrepo opens in general release at U.S. theaters on June 25th. Chris Boot will publish Tim Hetherington’s book, Infidel, in October. Sebastian Junger’s book, War, is out now.

Summer Try-Outs: The Season’s Best Creams, Bronzers, and Sunscreens

Big news in the world of beauty: there is no big news, at least on the anti-aging front. Despite the appearance of progress—due in part to the recent revamps of reality-androids like Heidi Montag—the products themselves haven’t improved considerably. That $300 bottle of youth serum in your medicine cabinet is about as useless as a virgin Bloody Mary if it doesn’t have the sperm-like power to penetrate the epidermis and dive deep into the skin, where collagen and elastin fibers hang out. But while the science hasn’t changed much, we’ve figured out ways to make it more effective.

A derma roller can help. Its up-to-three-inch-long needles puncture skin repeatedly, forging deep paths into the subcutaneous tissue, so that today’s best anti-aging products can work their magic. For those with an aversion to needles, there’s plankton, which is found in fortified creams and serums like those in the Biotherm Skin Vivo Reversive Anti-Aging Care range. The plant source is full of enzymes and does the work that sad, aging DNA has gotten too lazy to accomplish.

It’s important to remember that wrinkles and sunspots are often our own fault. Just because Diane Lane spent all that time cavorting under the Tuscan sun doesn’t mean everyone else should—unless, of course, it’s with the newest protective sunscreens. Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Sunscreen SPF 30 is an indulgent, non-greasy lotion made especially for the face, and it doesn’t smell like Eau de Doctor’s Office. Chantecaille’s Protection Naturelle SPF 46 is an innovative powder sunscreen for those whose skin is already oily enough. Another popular choice among dermatologists and wrinkle fighters is the well-rounded Neutrogena Spectrum+ with Helioplex360 because of its ability to block UVA and UVB rays while also fighting wrinkles with vitamin E.

One of the more blush-inducing trends to emerge this summer is butt care, which has raised its profile with a barrage of advances in the war on cellulite. Biotherm’s Celluli Laser D.Code is sending everyone with hot-pants fever into a tizzy because it activates cellulite-fighting enzymes usually only triggered by exercise.

Another way to avoid yoga classes is to trick the eye with self-tanners. For the Miranda Kerr effect, try Victoria’s Secret’s Beach Sexy Sunkissed Bronze Instant Self Tan Lotion with Tint, which smells incredible and includes a bit of shimmer. St. Tropez offers a new alternative to self-tanner with its Wash Off Instant Glow Mousse. Better yet, apply Illamasqua’s Powdered Metal in Thalia or Youngblood’s Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint in Golden Sun to hide those unsightly imperfections on the thighs and other areas of the body—and to divert attention from dimples in places they should not be.


Counter Intelligence Tanning the old-fashioned way can be a death sentence. But there are plenty of innovative cosmetics one can use to achieve that sun-kissed shine this summer without wrinkling into a California raisin. Makeup artist Walter Obal sheds light on how to get the glow while avoiding the look of a 75-year-old chain-smoker. —Christopher Campbell

SkincareLancôme’s Flash Bronzer Tinted Anti-Age Self-Tanning Face Lotion creates an even, gradual tan with a healthy glow and also helps to promote beautiful, ageless skin. For a bronzed body, use L’Oréal’s Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist. This tan- in-a-can provides an even mist and allows sunbathers to target all those difficult-to-reach spots without having to bare it all in front of a salon worker.” Face “On photo shoots, I oft en opt for Temptu SB Foundation to even out skin tones. It’s a lightweight foundation that allows the skin to radiate from underneath while providing the perfect finish. Lightly powder the whole face with Bare Escentuals’ bareMinerals SPF 25 Mineral Veil for extra ray protection.”

Cheeks “For a pronounced, chiseled effect, add contour underneath the cheekbones and along the temples with Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze. Finish this structured cheek by highlighting the upper cheekbone with Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer. It can also be used along the collarbone.”

Lips “For a nice burst of color, apply MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo to the lips. Since the overall look for this shoot was a healthy, bronzed glow, I wanted to use a product that would make a statement. That’s why I chose a bright red matte lipstick.”

On Model: Body Suit by American Apparel, Headband by Charlotte Ronson, Shoes by Christian Louboutin. Stylist: Christopher Campbell Makeup: Walter Obal for Temptu Pro Hair: Anthony Nader Manicurist: Dawn Sterling Studio Manager/Digital Tech: Jennifer Thomas Photo Assistant: Aaron Muntz Model: Hartje Andresen @ Trump Model Management Exercise Equipment: Paragon Sports

Sarah Polley: The Black Sheep

In the strangely sexy thriller Splice, Sarah Polley plays Elsa, a brilliant scientist whose intelligence is matched only by her ambition. Together, these attributes lead her to defy her partner and lover, Clive (played by Adrien Brody), by secretly adding her own DNA to the human-animal embryo they were developing together. The result is a bizarrely beautiful creature named Dren, who quickly blossoms from scientific curiosity into a humanoid monster with thoughts—and a libido—of her own. It’s a case of science run amok, a cautionary tale that, from Polley’s perspective, does not ring true in today’s world. “I have quite a bit of faith in the scientific community,” says the 31-year-old Canadian actress and filmmaker. “They are pushing boundaries and experimenting with things that could lead to disastrous consequences. But I do believe that most scientists are people who have invested that time and energy for the good of humanity, and not for their own personal gain.”

It’s a strikingly optimistic, some might argue naïve, position for a fiercely independent artist who has spent the better part of her life questioning and opposing the status quo. But Polley has mellowed since her earlier days of hard-core political activism.

Though she had risen to fame as a child actor on the hit Canadian series Road to Avonlea, Polley chose to abandon her budding career. She dropped out of high school and rallied against the newly elected right-wing government in Ontario, and while on the front lines of a protest in 1995, had two teeth knocked out by a riot cop. “I was just responding to the world around me,” Polley says. “I felt like it wasn’t an option to not become politically active. It’s ultimately unethical to not be proactive about voicing discontent and trying to organize around it. How can you sleep at night if you’re not doing everything in your power, every day, to fight against injustice: social services getting decimated, people being forced to live on an unlivable welfare diet and seeing the homeless rate skyrocket?”

Amy Millan, lead vocalist for indie rock group Stars, felt the same way. Along with Metric singer Emily Haines, she founded a disarmament group, which Polley joined. “She was at the youth rally I started, and she got up and spoke when she was just 12,” says Millan, still visibly amazed. “She knew exactly what she wanted, what she believed in and what she stood for.”

What Polley didn’t want was a career in Hollywood. Her portrayal of a school bus accident survivor in Atom Egoyan’s acclaimed Canadian indie, The Sweet Hereafter, not only earned raves, but also transitioned her from juvenile parts to more mature roles. But even after her return to acting, Polley turned down what, for Kate Hudson, became a career-making role. Poised to star in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous as super-groupie Penny Lane, Polley quit after months of rehearsal. As if the title of the film was prophetic, she cites the grandiosity of the production and distaste for the fate of whoever played Penny as reasons for exiting the film. (Indeed, Hudson’s considerable talents are often squandered on bland romantic comedies.)

“I do think you can make really good movies that end up being commercial, but it’s hard to set out making a commercial film and have it end up being good. So, generally, I gravitate toward independent films,” she says. As it turns out, Almost Famous was a critical success and fan favorite, but her decision to turn down the movie nevertheless set the tone for the rest of her career. Polley christened herself an actress who would have complete control over the choices she made, and that meant a zealous loyalty to small-scale filmmaking, as well as complex and compelling stories. With the exception of the zombie remake, Dawn of the Dead, Polley’s films don’t play at a theater near you. “The less market interference, the more likely it is that a movie will have some kind of merit or quality,” she says.


In 2006, Polley put her philosophy to the test with her feature directorial debut, Away from Her, based on a short story by Alice Munro. In it, she explores an elderly couple’s struggles with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. “In my imagined best-case scenario, the film was going to play in one theater in Toronto for a week,” she says. “I would have been happy with that, as long as I was happy with the film.” Instead, Away from Her garnered Oscar nominations for its star, Julie Christie, and for Polley’s screenplay.

Suddenly, she found herself on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, surrounded by box office powerhouses, armies of handlers and a tidal wave of screaming fans—the kind of Hollywood maelstrom she once tried to avoid. This time, however, she was there on her own terms. “It was thrilling,” she says. “One good thing about not needing or expecting a great response is that if it does come, you can just have a ball with it and treat it like a shiny new toy. Who wouldn’t have a lot of fun at the Oscars? I’m really relaxed about all that stuff at this point. I don’t take it too seriously.”

This summer in Toronto Polley will begin shooting the dark comedy Take This Waltz (named after a Leonard Cohen song), starring Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman. The script she wrote, which centers on a love triangle, made the 2009 Black List, studio executive Franklin Leonard’s annual compendium of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Polley, who was wracked with self-doubt while shooting Away from Her, is approaching this project with the confidence of an auteur. “I know what to expect now. There’s a lot to think about, certainly, but I realize now that it’s just part of the process. It’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing, which is what I thought before.”

Her newfound authorial confidence has filled the void left behind from her days as an activist, but sometimes Polley wonders if it’s enough. “I’m perfectly able to live a life outside of political activism,” she insists, “but I feel nostalgic for the clear-headedness I had then. I don’t think my politics have mellowed at all, but my activism certainly has. I constantly ask myself, Is what I’m doing now enough? That’s the thing about any kind of activism, and it’s also the thing about making art: you can’t ever measure the difference you’re making. You might be making none, but it’s better to do something rather than nothing—to have a little bit of faith that even one percent of what you do makes a tiny difference. That’s enough.”


How ‘The Killer Inside Me’ Made It to the Big Screen

It’s taken more than half a century for someone to successfully transform Jim Thompson’s hyper-violent noir classic, The Killer Inside Me, into a feature film, which raises the question: Why are we now ready to watch Jessica Alba’s face get beaten beyond all recognition?

Stanley Kubrick, no stranger to the blood-soaked hallways of the human psyche, once called Jim Thompson’s noir shocker, The Killer Inside Me, “the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered.” Published in 1952, the novel became a crime genre cult classic, entering the cultural milieu as a delicately vicious piece of Americana packed with voyeuristic kicks.

Now, after an arduous, decades-long trek from the printed page, The Killer Inside Me finally gets the big screen treatment it deserves. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the film stars Casey Affleck as Lou Ford, a murderous Texas sheriff ’s deputy, Kate Hudson as Amy Stanton, his ill-fated girlfriend, and Jessica Alba as Joyce Lakeland, his equally ill-fated mistress. The film has already provoked intense reactions, most notably from audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, many of whom objected to its graphic depictions of violence against women, which forms the disquieting core of both the novel and the movie. The movie-going public will either soak up its chilling portrait of a twisted lawman, or recoil in disgust.

The incredible brutality of the film, jarring because it exists at the intersection of a Larry Holmes fight and a Revlon commercial, readily accounts for its long path toward adaptation. Within the first 10 pages of the book, the presumably law-abiding Lou, all low-key Southern charm, goes on a routine call to the home of local prostitute Joyce Lakeland. Once inside, the following transpires: “[I] jerked the jersey up over her face and tied the end in a knot. I threw her down on the bed, yanked off her sleeping shorts and tied her feet together with them. I took off my belt and raised it over my head… ” The ellipsis is Lou’s, who revels in the orgasmic sadism—personal and perpetrated upon the trusting soul—to come. On screen, all ellipses are filled in and Joyce becomes tinder for Lou’s reignited “sickness.” After he finishes with her, Alba looks like freshly ground USDA Prime. The close-up camerawork places us inside the brutality; the nuanced nature of Affleck’s performance, often in serene voice-overs, communicates the fragility of Lou’s internal state. Tension is built and ratcheted up as his “No sirs” and “Yes, ma’ams”—and victims—multiply. But why are we watching this madness? What is wrong with us?

Torrential violence aside, The Killer Inside Me has become infamous for the number of times dream casts were assembled, and then dismantled, as productions fell apart. Only one of those many adaptations, the first of which began 10 years after the book’s publication, came to anything: a 1976 rendition starring Stacy Keach, of all people, in the leading role. That version, laughable and ham-fisted, has since been exiled to the VHS bins. What this new one proves is that casting and timing are everything. The film’s production company, Muse, spent 14 years developing the script, presumably waiting for a moment when the stars—to say nothing of the director, money and cultural appetites—were aligned. It is a collection of elements that has bedeviled the adaptations of other literary classics, most notably, On the Road, The Catcher in the Rye and A Confederacy of Dunces. Good luck, Infinite Jest.


But The Killer Inside Me is not The Catcher in the Rye. As a nation, we did not wait breathlessly for the silver-screen vision of Thompson’s maniacal deputy sheriff. Even Winterbottom and his longtime producing partner, Andrew Eaton, came across it by accident. The pair was looking for something by another mid-century noir novelist, David Goodis, who wrote Dark Passage. Once they started working on the adaptation, Eaton says, “Michael and I got to the point of no return.”

No return from what, exactly? In many respects, The Killer Inside Me should have been a no-brainer. Thompson’s books have long provided the raw material for bracingly perverse and successful films, such as the 1972 Steve McQueen–Ali MacGraw romantic crucible, The Getaway, and Stephen Frears’ 1990 film The Grifters, which earned four Oscar nominations, one of them for Donald E. Westlake, who adapted the screenplay. With a cult pedigree, scads of A-list interest, lots of juicy parts and dialogue lifted right off the page of a poetic, surreal and highly intelligent work, Killer might have, could have and goddamn well should have been turned into a movie more than 50 years ago. Instead, it arrives this June, in the words of its chilling protagonist, “like a wind had been turned on a dying fire.”

Thompson’s crime novel was originally optioned as a vehicle for Marilyn Monroe, who was meant to play Joyce, the sweet yet complex call girl. The starry cast was to be rounded out by Marlon Brando as Lou and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy. There was also a mid-’80s version with proposed stars Tom Cruise, Brooke Shields and Demi Moore. In the mid-’90s, a post-Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino was rumored to be corralling Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis and Uma Thurman for his re-imagining. In 2003, Andrew Dominik, who directed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, also starring Casey Affeck, conceived of a cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Drew Barrymore. There were even more recent rumblings that Maggie Gyllenhaal would play Joyce, with Reese Witherspoon as Amy, the part that eventually went to Kate Hudson, who embodies the character with surprising maturity.

But to look at the original dream team of Monroe, Brando and Taylor—and each of the subsequent proposed rosters—one wonders what took this thing so long to get legs. “There are a number of moving parts that have to come together in any movie to make it good,” says Alba, when asked about the process of bringing the film to life. Indeed, one of the most critical moving parts is casting. “The three actors that we cast were amazing,” attests Eaton. “If any one of them had stepped away, I think the whole thing would have collapsed.” Casting exits have felled many an attempted film adaptation, and The Killer Inside Me is no exception: the first big-screen treatment was shelved when Monroe died suddenly, in 1962. For Winterbottom’s adaptation, the cast was firm, committed and compelled by the text. “I fell in love with the book, as dark and twisted as it is, and that was my primary reason for doing the film,” Alba says. “I was also excited about working with Casey Affeck.”


Affeck’s voice is the heart of the film. Voice leads to character, character leads to action and, in the case of The Killer Inside Me, all three led to Affeck, a slender man with a speaking voice as fragile as fresh pie crust. The match between the first-person voice of the novel and Affeck’s tenderly inflected Texas accent, via his almost flute-y register, creates sonic harmony. Brando might have pulled it off, but his was not a climate that could have depicted the novel’s sadistic savagery as graphically as Winterbottom’s production does.

For purists, this version of The Killer Inside Me is a lesson in faithfulness to text. Because the novel reads like a screenplay, it doesn’t take a censor to understand why earlier adaptations couldn’t have been honest re-creations of the novel: Before the ’70s, any director under the aegis of a studio would have likely had to excise or defuse much of the novel’s graphic language and violent images. Take, for instance, one especially grueling scene in which Lou has Joyce reined like an attack dog, yanking her around by a collar he’s fashioned out of a thick belt. This is not popcorn-movie material that goes down easy with an ice-cold soda.

At Sundance this year, Robert Redford commented to Eaton that America has trouble dealing with brutality. But, in truth, we are a violence-obsessed culture, and our movies externalize that aggressive instinct. Kill Bill, anyone? Scarface? Natural Born Killers? Every Halloween-season release for the past 40 years? But what makes The Killer Inside Me so uncomfortable to watch is the personal nature of the violence. We are inured to raging death machines, but having to watch someone’s face get pounded by the knuckles of their lover closes the distance between fiction and fact. Banal violence is often much more frightening than its operatic equivalent. In any case, it is not surprising that what was once underground in the form of a 1950s pulp novel is now decidedly above ground in our post-Tarantino, post-Iraq-and-Afghanistan era.

Given the book’s savagery and the tortured history of its adaptation, Winterbottom and Eaton aren’t exactly sure why their version got off the ground. Maybe it was simply the right time. Or perhaps all that former star wattage was too overpowering for what the text could bear. If we can solve this mystery, there’s a MacArthur genius grant to be had for the person who figures out why Jack Kerouac’s beat manifesto, On the Road, has not yet been transformed into a movie.

I remember going to a casting call for that lm in New York City in the early ’90s. It was a snowy day. For what seemed like endless blocks, the actors lining up outside the studio had their thumbs slung into their chino pockets, posing like the perfect Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise, turning Kerouac into a verb. Seated at a table was the then-attached director, Francis Ford Coppola. It seemed as if the wheels were truly in motion. The coolest book, the novel people most dreamed of living, was about to be envisioned for the screen. And by a Hollywood demi-god, no less! Cue the hard bop music. Shoplift a candy bar. Fall for a girl who will come along with you. And then… nothing for nearly 20 years.

Until now. The Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles is reportedly bringing the book to life. It is the right time. Just like marriage. We were simply waiting for the perfect person to show up.