Radhika Jones on a Jam-Packed October Issue

Pop Culture

There’s a scene near the end of Olivia Wilde’s new film, Don’t Worry Darling, in which Olivia—a triple threat here, acting, directing, and producing—delivers a line that opened up a whole other dimension of the movie’s plot and also quietly tore at my heart. I was still thinking about it days later, when I read the first draft of Julie Miller’s excellent interview and recognized, in Olivia’s passion and candor, her ability to both see the big picture and to land on the exact words to convey a specific moment, a specific emotion or experience. Olivia appears in all her guises in Emma Summerton’s evocative photographs—playful, pensive, assured, seductive—inhabiting a range that, as a rising director, she is helping make possible for other actors too. We’re lucky to live in a time when more women in Hollywood are taking risks as visionaries behind the camera—even if it’s still rare enough to feel that by doing so they’re breaking the mold.

Clothing by Prada; boots by Marc Jacobs; rings by Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti.Photograph by Emma Summerton; styled by Leith Clark.

Clothing and tie by Gucci; bracelet and rings by Van Cleef & Arpels.Photograph by Emma Summerton; styled by Leith Clark.

LeBron James has been breaking the mold for two decades in the NBA—and it might not be a coincidence that the year before he began his legendary basketball career, he met Savannah Brinson, who has been by his side ever since. It’s a joy to experience this couple holding court at their home in Gillian Laub’s exuberant photographs, surrounded by their three children, their parents, and a whole lot of love (and basketball). The group-portrait shoot is a first for the James family, and one that they embraced out of pride for what they represent (happiness, achievement, the quintessentially American ability to kick back in a swimming pool), as well as out of the desire any parent has to capture particularly poignant moments of transition. In this case, their oldest son, Bronny, a high school senior, is on the verge of starting his own career in the NBA. It would seem, given Bronny’s, Bryce’s, and Zhuri’s abundant talent and charisma, that the next-gen Jameses will light up the cultural firmament on their own terms, thanks in no small part to lessons learned from their parents.

As the war in Ukraine enters its eighth month, we are proud to publish Janine di Giovanni’s first-person account of her efforts, in conjunction with Ukrainian journalists, researchers, documentarians, and her fellow human rights activists, to document evidence of war crimes in real time. Janine has reported (often for V.F.) from other war zones, has borne witness to horrific genocides in Srebrenica, Rwanda, and Iraq, but she notes that in the past, to her dismay, her journalism didn’t always hold up as evidence in international court. “For a lifetime,” she writes, “I had been studying human nature during wartime, but I did not know how the legal system could be used to stop wars or bring justice.” She took it upon herself to learn, and the Reckoning Project now under way in Ukraine reflects her resolve to create a different outcome this time—groundwork not just for peace but also for criminal accountability and eventual reconciliation.

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