Michale Korolenko, the nervous award winner, wanted a Valium. Rep. John Brademas (D-Ind.) was just happy to be seeing a movie. And the Hollywood folk? They claimed to be dazed by the Washington stars.
"Senators and congressmen and everything," said Howard Koch, a Hollywood producer who usually hangs out with the likes of Farrah Fawcett Majors and Goldie Hawn. "And gosh, last year I even met the president and Mrs. Carter. She was so beautiful and he was so handsome."
It was Hollywood meeting Washington meeting up-and-coming student talent at a moderately intimate dinner last night.Jack Valenti, the short and talkative president of the Motion Picture Association of America, hosted it at the Madison Hotel for Fay Kanin and Koch. Kanin is incoming president and Koch is outgoing president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known in California lingo as "The Academy."
The early part of the evening was spent over nuts, cocktails and comparisons between life near the Potomac and Pacific.
"In each environment," observed Valenti, "there's a threshold of pain. In Hollywood, it's Farrah Fawcett firing [her manager] Jay Bernstein. In Washington, it's the Russians in Cuba."
"No, it's not," replied George Stevens, director of the American Film Institute. "Its really Hamilton Jordan and cocaine." tions flown in from New York stood on the sidelines. One was Harriotte Aaron, of New York University, who wrote and directed "The Writers," and the other was Korolenko, of Boston University, who wrote and directed "Since '45." Both films won what amounts to student Oscars from the Academy, and both were shown at a private screening after dinner last night.
Korolenko, seemingly calm and collected, confessed he was actually a psychological basket case. "See, the film was at the New York Film Festival Monday night and there I was sweating and scared. Tonight I'm just numb. I feel like I'm facing a firing squad."
The firing squad was fairly arty and snazzy, as firing squads go. It included Livingston Biddle, chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, and his wife, Catharina (who said what with this event and that event, it's been a busy culture week; the only "junky," non-culture things she's done lately, she added, are cleaning the basement and reading Washington newspaper); Daniel Boorstin, the librarian of Congress; Brademas; Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), who goes out running for president; Sen. Lowell Weicker (R-Conn.); columnist William constantly these days now that he's Safire and Jack Grey of A&T, which co-sponsored the student awards.
The politicians present, one of the dinner guests said, were on hand to lend an air of officialdom to the event -- and to convince AT&T that the funding was worthwhile. "We'd like more money for the program," the guest explained. But the politicians just seemed glad to be watching a movie. "I don't see enough of them," said Brademas.
And today, while Brademas is on Capitol Hill, Koch will be sightseeing. Koch has produced, among other things, movies like "The Odd Couple," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" and "Plaza Suite."
"I still get a little feeling in my tummy whenever I see the White House," he said.