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Buck Henry / Co-writer, "The Graduate"

March 16, 1997|Steve Hochman

Beginning this week, we'll ask people in the movie biz what's on their screening schedule, their social circuit, their must-read list, their minds--you know, whatever.

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Where would Benjamin, the confused young hero of "The Graduate," be today? Would he still be married to Elaine? And where would he hang out? "I haven't the slightest idea," says the movie's co-screenwriter Buck Henry, on the eve of its 30th-anniversary reissue. OK, so where does writer-actor Henry--who also created "Get Smart" with Mel Brooks, scripted "Catch-22" and "To Die For," and appeared "Saturday Night Live," hang out? Mostly at his L.A. home. But here are a few of his other favorites:

MOVIES: "Deeply fond of 'Fargo,' deeply fond of 'Bound.' And liked the obvious ones--'The English Patient,' 'Portrait of a Lady,' though many of my friends disagree with me on that one. This year I even liked films I'm not supposed to like, like 'Ransom.' "

AREA CODE: "Where 213 is is the fashionable area. Like [early movie actress] Laurette Taylor said, 'Where I'm standing is center stage.' Something about an area code is home. I hate it that they're numbers. I still refer to Crestview 5, and in New York I want Butterfield 8 and Chelsea 3."

RESTAURANT: "Musso & Frank's has always been my favorite restaurant, but since they don't let me smoke, I don't go there any more. I frequently go to the beloved Cuban restaurant on La Cienega, Versailles. I like them big and noisy, but not big and noisy with agents and producers. Not that I don't like agents and producers. I just think they have lousy taste in food."

TV: "I have a [satellite] dish and track news feeds, watch a lot of Canadian programming. I don't watch a lot of entertainment programs, other than Shandling ['The Larry Sanders Show'], 'NYPD Blue' and 'The X-Files.' "

READING: "I don't read fiction while I'm writing, only papers and magazines--The New York Times, New York Review of Books, New Yorker, New York. . . "

SHOPPING: "You can find me in the Good Guys a lot. I have more VCRs than anyone has a right to have. I multi-tape all the time, just to catch up on stuff.

DOODAD: "I usually have a mini-camera in my pocket. Taking pictures is a hobby--street stuff. Especially in L.A. and New York."

GALLERY: "Everyone loves G. Ray Hawkins in Santa Monica. He represents a lot of the world-class photographers, living and dead."

DESTINATION: "I'm going to Hong Kong for turnover week [in July]. I have an informal assignment to write about it. My fantasy is that I'm an internationally known journalist, doing lots of foreign reporting.

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