Nicolas Cage, 57, and his new wife – wife number five, to be exact – Riko Shibata, 27, appear on the cover of the latest issue of Flaunt magazine, a fashion and culture publication that once asked me to interview a C-list actor for free. For the piece, titled “The Yolk of Imagination,” Cage and Shibata posed for photographer Noah Dillon on the Las Vegas Strip, in the desert, and at Zak Bagans’s Haunted Museum for paranormal and cursed objects, where the couple explored Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s death van, aka the “mercitron.” Cage also fried some eggs on the sidewalk.
I am personally a fan of all the sparse, Juergen Teller-esque imagery, and was even open to the argument that Cage’s “surrealistic metamorphosis over time is unequivocal to anything in Hollywood.” But all of that pales in comparison to what comes next, when the cover story builds to a gorgeous crescendo with this work of art:
Behold Nicolas Cage, surrealistic metamorphosis complete, delivering a monologue in verse with a digitally-altered Jigsaw voice, straight into a spinning fan.
When people ask me “where do I live”
The Mojave Desert
Because I think it’s more romantic
But the reality is –
Or the crude way of saying it is –
I live in Las Vegas
I’ve lived here for 12 years.
And it warms my heart to think of the Joshua Tree and the Sonora Cactus
They only exist in a hundred-mile radius
Those are the things that make me stay, that make me stay in the Mojave Desert.
Cage also asserts that the Mojave is the hottest desert in the world, but, with apologies to Death Valley, the Lut Desert in Iran actually beat it this year.
The monologue is followed by shots of Cage and Shibata in the desert over some thumping club beats that would have made for an excellent soundtrack to all the hot tub scenes on The Real World: Las Vegas.
Cage has dubbed his acting style “nouveau shamanic,” which certainly would apply here. I have watched this video four times now. I do not want to go to Las Vegas.