Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Further Adventures In Magazine Covers

The May issue of Vanity Fair is the magazine's second annual "green issue." How do they indicate that this issue is about the environment? With restraint and subtlety and, you know, Leonardo DiCaprio standing on a glacier next to the world's most famous polar bear cub:

Illustration for article titled Further Adventures In Magazine Covers


Vanity Fair.com's behind the scenes description:

While the Bush administration hems and haws over adding polar bears to the endangered-species list, the world celebrates the birth of Knut, the darling cub born in captivity at the Berlin Zoo. Now three and a half months old, little Knut has become a powerful (if not controversial) symbol of what this planet has to lose to global warming. Such ecological concerns are familiar to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, so it seemed natural to pair these two handsome boys on Annie Leibovitz's cover for this year's Green Issue.


If there is anything this cover is not, it's natural. Still, the bear is cute and the glacier Leo is standing on looks very, very slippery: all in all it's pretty striking image, if somewhat fake-looking. And, as it turns out, some elements of the photo were, in fact, fake:

In these behind-the-scenes images, Leibovitz and V.F. senior photography producer Kathryn MacLeod capture Knut at home in Berlin, and DiCaprio at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, in southeast Iceland. We brought them together the only way we could, in a photomontage.

So the glacier, which looks kind of phony, is real. And the bear's look of (undeserved) awe toward DiCaprio, which looks kind of real, is fake. Truly, though, nothing says "green" like expending gallons of jet fuel to fly a movie star and a photo crew thousands of miles to shoot on a glacier in Iceland that looks like a fake anyway.

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