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INTO THE NIGHT / KEVIN ALLMAN

Fashion a Matter of Poetic License

July 23, 1993|KEVIN ALLMAN

The Scene: Wednesday night's premiere of "Poetic Justice," the Columbia Pictures release written and directed by John Singleton and starring Janet Jackson. The screening and party, held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, was a benefit for Singleton's Dakar Foundation, which supports needy elementary school children.

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The Buzz: The picture is Singleton's sophomore effort, after his big success with "Boyz N the Hood." Industry buzz has been mixed, but the guests seemed to like it. Michael Jackson was a no-show, although brothers Tito and Jermaine made the scene. A radiant-looking Janet took off soon after the film was over. She made a quick appearance at the party as the filling in a bodyguard sandwich.

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The Title Explained: No, it's not an action film about Sylvia Plath. Instead, Jackson plays a poet whose name is--you guessed it--Justice.

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Who Was There: Singleton and Jackson were joined by cast members Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Joe Torry, as well as guests Angela Bassett, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Dana Delany, Laurence Fishburne, David Alan Grier,

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Dress Code: Anything in any combination, from tuxedos to Adidas. Lots of shiny suits and lots of oversized street gear. A couple of Dr. Seuss types. An enormous man named Shorty had the question Y NOT? carved into the back of his hair.

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Fashion Statement: As one man in a particularly gaudy sequined jacket walked by, someone whispered, "Even Ike Turner wouldn't be caught dead in that thing."

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Chow: Hot wings, pasta, potato skins, shish kebab and desserts.

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L.A. Moment: Caterer Yvonne White roamed the room in a high-tech cordless headset. "It keeps me in touch with my supervisors in case we need more hot wings," she said.

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Quoted: Singleton skipped the screening, hanging out in the lobby instead. "I've seen this five times already," he said. "I cut the thing. Anyway I'm pretty confident. The tracking on this thing went through the roof."

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Overheard: Looking around at the buffet stations, filmmaker Michael Moore (the eternally rumpled director of "Roger and Me") wondered, "Where's the hot dog table?"

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Triumphs: If the Academy Theater is the best place in town to see a premiere, the lobby has to be the worst place for a party. Total strangers were complaining about the overcrowding and lack of air. So it was a triumph that so many people stayed as long as they did on such a warm night.

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Glitches: Cross-reference triumphs.

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