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And You Thought Twisters Didn't Touch Down in L.A.


The Scene: Thursday's premiere of Warner Bros.' and Amblin's "Twister" at both the Village and Bruin theaters in Westwood with a party following at the Armand Hammer Museum. The savage-power-of-nature film was rated PG-13 for "intense depiction of very bad weather." Said a studio exec: "The line speaks for itself."

The Venue: An amazing amount of effort, including sound effects, went into making the Hammer's courtyard resemble a Midwest town hit by a tornado (cheering those who think a little violent wind might actually help the museum's permanent collection). Street lamps and bicycles hung from trees, broken neon signs blinked from the bushes, and askew Coca-Cola machines, smashed hair dryers and other rubble filled the floor. It was, said Hank Azaria, "the creative use of debris."

Who Was There: The film's stars, Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton and Jami Gertz; director Jan De Bont; producer Kathleen Kennedy; and 1,500 guests including Wesley Snipes, Steven Seagal, Keanu Reeves, Rita Wilson, Sandra Bernhard, Sammy Hagar, Rob Lowe, Valerie Bertinelli, Stephen Dorff, Stevie Nicks, Maria Shriver, Randy Travis, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Howard Weitzman and studio execs Lorenzo DiBonaventura, Bill Gerber and Rob Friedman.

Quoted: "'I want to give the audience two hours of almost relentless entertainment," said De Bont, the Dutch director who also made "Speed." "I like to give them as much as I can of adrenaline. So when the movie is over, they need a break. But at least for their $7.50 they have one of the best rides they can buy."

Subject of Conversation: De Bont's intensity. "Demanding" was how one production employee put it. "What can I say? The guy has fallen out of helicopters. He just thinks other people are equally blessed."

Chow: The Midwest (described by one filmmaker as "nice people, culinary nightmare") was the menu's theme. Along Came Mary offered non-nightmarish pot roast, beef pot pies, roasted pork tenderloin and barbecue back ribs.

Fashion Trend: Pirate-style head scarves on men. Wesley Snipes' was black, someone else had one in camouflage. It turns out Adam Ant was just ahead of his time.

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