But there’s something uncontainable—unmanageable—about Sobchak. She says things she probably shouldn’t say. (Visiting the Sierra Nevada was “like having sex with a condom, like having sex with a prostitute”—very logical, very boring.) She does things she probably shouldn’t do. (There was that recent, not-quite-naked shoot in the Russian edition of Playboy.)
Sobchak gives no hint of her real intentions. Perhaps she has yet to decide. Perhaps she doesn’t know. She is a capitalist, a self-promoter, a party girl, the orchestrator and the orchestrated, the solar plexus of every late-night party in every vodka-soaked mandarin palace with a $10 million view of Red Square. She’s like Nicholas Urfe, the hero in her favorite novel, John Fowles’s The Magus. Urfe, on a desperate search for meaning in the Greek Isles, finds himself gradually drawn into the strange, terrifying world of the wealthy hermit Maurice Conchis. The question—facing Urfe and Sobchak—is who is running this peep show? Who decides what comes next? Is Sobchak a function of the place she comes from, or is she undermining that place, instructing her fans in not only how to dress and speak but also how to think?
The cameras are circling. The director and his retinue snake through the upstairs lounge. Sobchak’s deep stare fades, shifts, migrates to newer pastures. Someone’s cell phone is ringing. The sounds of 10 different techno headaches are drifting through the shadowy recess. Sobchak smiles one more time and says, “We are just about over now.”