Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Actual Letters To Interview Magazine

The best part about Interview magazine is not the stylized portraits of starlets dipped in wax, or the philosophical debates between movie stars and music weirdos, or even the occasional one-page feature on snowflakes made of diamonds. No, the best part about Interview is the Letters section, which seems to increase in both wordiness and palpable reader loneliness every time I read it. Now, I've never really understood the impulse to write a letter (or, as is the custom nowadays, write an electronic letter, or "e-mail") to a magazine. I guess readers do it for the same reason that people yell at the indifferent characters on a movie screen, or why a dog will roughly place its paw on you when you pet it: they want to feel involved, even though they totally aren't. (Either that, or they've seen Summer School too many times, and are hoping to get something totally rad in return for their efforts.) But, as part of an ongoing investigation into the matter, and after looking through several back issues of the magazine, I've identified four additional reasons why readers write in to Interview. They are: 1. I totally get what you were going for in that issue, FYI. I'm as smart as you are. "What prize do I win by identifying Matthew Rolston's September cover portrait of Kirsten Dunst as a restaging of a classic 1934 Screen Romances magazine cover of Jean Harlow? Nice channeling!"—Michael Barson "Love the Lichtenstein-inspired portraits of Ziyi Zhang in your July issue–they're fresh, fun, and totally Interview."—Steve Suskind 2. It's exciting to look at pictures! "One of my favorite things about your magazine is the way you use photography to play with your readers' perceptions or to offer up another side of the subject you're featuring." —V. Samuels (in response to photos of Kirsten Dunst that were retro-slutty, as opposed to present-day slutty) "Bravo to Max Vadukul for those stellar portraits of an incandescent Kate Bosworth–I way prefer this va-va-voom version of the star to the chilly Grace-Kelly-esque perfection so many of your competitors have opted for." —A. Mazzano (in response to photos of Kate Bosworth with big, non-anorexic hair.) 3. I miss Old Hollywood glamour! "My goodness, what a pistol Bette Davis was! Razor sharp, inspiring, glamourous, and strong as ever–even in her final years. Too bad more of today's big stars aren't as willing to say what they really think about things." —H. Bender (in response to a previously unpublished interview with Davis in which she said "that's a terrible question" twice.) 4. I over-thought something in your magazine, now me go crazy. Bye Bye. "In today's motion pictures there is such a fine line between actual and simulated sex. However, even in a film featuring real sex, the actors are still playing a part. Thus, technically speaking, the male cannot ejaculate for that would be breaking character." —Marc Krasnow (in response to an article on Shortbus, naturally.) "For quite some time now, I have noted that any time a man between the ages of 18 and 50 is photographed, be it for an editorial picture or a ad, he sports an eighth to a fourth of an inch of stubble. I am told that this is because women find this denotes sexiness. Whatever the case, it has always irritated me. Now, however, the patterns of behavior seem to be changing, and I suspect there will be less and less stubble on the male models in the months to come."—Walter Barlow (in response to looking at every photo in Interview with a magnifying glass, and the voices in his head.)

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