"Vice" screens at the Newseum on Jan. 9. (Daniel Swartz)

Filmmakers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner have tackled politically loaded topics both arcane (the financial crisis explainer “The Big Short”) and opaque (the Dick Cheney biopic “Vice”), and it seems there’s no shortage of similar fodder for future projects.

So what topic is ripe for the pair’s expository-yet-entertaining lens? “Climate change,” according to Gardner, who, along with Kleiner, attended a screening Wednesday of “Vice” at the Newseum.

The duo also shook off the criticism of their on-screen depiction of former vice president Cheney, which flared after star Christian Bale used his Golden Globe acceptance speech Sunday to thank Satan for inspiring his performance. “It isn’t a consensus film,” Kleiner said. “And it was never meant to be,” Gardner chimed in.

As for showing the film to a jaded Washington audience — many of whom were journalists and other political hands who experienced the ex-Veep IRL — they seemed humbled. “It’s great that people could even make the time,” Kleiner marveled, and rightly so: The day’s news cycle had been a frenetic one, even by Trump administration standards, with attention whipping from the White House to the Capitol, where the president met with lawmakers over the government shutdown.

Good thing breaking news held off for a few hours — the showing was attended by what seemed like half the city’s press corps, including CNN bureau chief Sam Feist, CNBC correspondent John Harwood and USA Today bureau chief Susan Page. Congressional business seemed on pause, too: We spotted Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) working the room, and seen among the audience were Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Robin L. Kelly (Ill.), Marc Veasey (Tex.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) — all Dems, natch.

The town’s Fourth Estate clearly needed a night of sort-of distraction (yeah, the movie was about politics, but it was still popcorn-worthy). Our evidence? The mob at the bar. Overheard from a gaggle of White House reporters bellying up for glasses of cab: “I needed this — it’s been that kind of day.”


From left, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), "Vice" producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) at the Newseum's "Vice" screening on Wednesday. (Daniel Swartz)