October 10, 2010

Days gone by...

From Premiere magazine: A Paul Bartel
AND a Kathy Baker section?
There once was a time when I could open any magazine and find photos, articles or news about a wide variety of my favorite celebrities. From the period of 1991 until about 1997, magazines were an absolute treasure trove for someone like me. It seemed that almost every issue I laid my hands on had all sorts of wonderful photographs and stories about so many of the people I adored.

Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Details, People and even the local newspapers would be chock full of articles about an amazing assortment of personalities that ranged from RuPaul to Roseanne, Divine to Debi Mazar and Cathy Moriarty to Kathy Baker. You could pick up a magazine and see an interview with directors Paul Bartel or John Waters. Or read an interview with Patty Hearst or glance through a Q&A with Mink Stole. I could always rely on the issues from the early days of Premiere magazine, for they most always had some sort of news about John Waters and his current projects or they would review Female Trouble for their home video section. They also had a great section where they would spotlight various character actors like Carol Kane or Joe Pantoliano.

Remember Jaye Davidson?

It seems that those days are long gone. I pick up a magazine now and have absolutely no idea who anyone is. They now appear to be all about reality television stars and their private lives. Or about some new movie where every single person in it is in their early 20s. And there is rarely (if ever) any retrospectives or articles on anything from before 2000. It really depresses me to the very core of my being that all the stars, films and stories I love seem to be part of The Stone Age. The current mass media no longer recognizes, much less prints photos of, unusual and interesting people like Rossy de Palma, Ricki Lake, Kathy Bates, Beverly D'Angelo or Angelica Huston.

Luckily, I had the foresight to collect, arrange and store these clippings in various scrapbooks over the years. I would pore through magazines and cut out every single news bit or photo I could find of my favorite people. And back then there was a lot! Making these collages was a great hobby and a lot of fun to do. I look back fondly through these pages and, at the same time, sadly, because those days when these people and movies were being highlighted are gone forever.

From Entertainment Weekly:
Back in the day when Debi Mazar was actually
on the cover of a major magazine!

From time to time I will come across an interesting profile or photo of a current, interesting topic or personality. Say an interview with Jennifer Coolidge, an article on Amy Sedaris or a review of the new Piranha 3D film - but there is nowhere near as many interesting things as there were back in the 1990s. Today it's Real Housewives, a Facebook movie, Lady Gaga and Twitter. A whole new language and a whole new world where no one will ever remember the genius of a Linda Evangelista fashion spread or an interview and photo shoot with Sheryl Lee on the set of a new David Lynch film.

So until we get more interesting actors and performers and a complete overhaul on popular culture, I'll just keep thumbing through my scrapbooks and daydream about those days gone by when Debi Mazar could warrant an actual magazine cover and people were writing in to their local newspaper asking about that "guy/girl" from The Crying Game!