The talk of the town

HBO preems 'Boffo!'

NEW YORK — HBO threw a socko fete for its Variety docu “Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters” — which follows the highs and lows of Hollywood’s big gambles — Monday night at the Time Warner Center, giving any A-listers who missed the pic when it preemed in Cannes this month a chance to get in on the act.

Eclectic aud at the screening included HBO’s Jeff Bewkes, Sheila Nevins and Chris Albrecht, helmers Bennett Miller and Taylor Hackford, thesp Helen Mirren, playwright John Patrick Shanley, producer David Brown and Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart.

Before the screening Bart joked about how pic’s director, Bill Couturie, got involved with the film.

“When Sheila heard that I was pecking away on this book (“Boffo!: How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb”), she said, ‘I have the perfect director for a movie about Hollywood,'” Bart said. “He just finished a documentary about Iraq. I knew that here was a woman who had a keen understanding of war zones.”

Couturie explained what the film had in common with the book.

“What the film shares with the book is Peter’s sensibility and his Rolodex,” Couturie said. “When I agreed to do the film I said, ‘OK, I will make this movie but I am not going to make any calls. Peter has got to make all of the calls. When he gets them to say ‘yes,’ then I will take over.’ Just think what would happen if I tried to call George Clooney. Nothing!”

A dinner followed at Le Cirque that saw Harvey Weinstein stopping by to work the room, along with gossip doyenne Liz Smith.

(Ian Mohr contributed to this story.)

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