The Scene: Tuesday's premiere of Warner Bros.' "Contact" at the Village Theater with an after-party at the UCLA / Armand Hammer Museum. This was the rarest of occasions--an intelligent, major Hollywood film debuting in mid-summer. "It's not a typical, formula science fiction movie," said director Robert Zemeckis. "It goes along with what Carl Sagan said when he was asked 'Why do we want to send these Voyager spacecraft way the hell out there?' And he said, 'To find out more about ourselves.' And that's what good science fiction has always done. It resonates about the human experience."
Who Was There: The film's stars, Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Skerritt; producer Steve Starkey; executive producer Linda Obst; plus 1,100 guests, including Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Tilly, Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Heche, Richard Masur, Mark Johnson, David Foster, Ann Druyan (widow of Carl Sagan upon whose book the film is based), and studio execs Terry Semel, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Bill Gerber and Chris Pula.
The Buzz: An industry-wide spirit of support and generosity. Jeffrey Katzenberg called the film "brilliantly inspiring." The Oscars were frequently mentioned. One guest said, "I loved it, but I cry at those McDonald's commercials where they hire the old people."