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‘Milk’ premieres in L.A.

Jack Nicholson, Hilary Swank attend

While not the major civic event the San Francisco premiere had been, Thursday’s Academy launch for “Milk” drew a formidable crowd including Jack Nicholson, Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Stone, Paul Haggis, Amy Heckerling, Hilary Swank and Woody Harrelson.

Producer Bruce Cohen said the difference between the two preems was “in San Francisco it was seen through the lens of Harvey’s friends, who saw it as political theater. Here it was the film community seeing it through the lens of being a work of cinema.”

For producer Dan Jinks the big difference between the two screenings was that the election happened in between. “Coming after Proposition 8, this had a different emotional resonance,” he said.

Pic got a tremendous ovation over the credits, but in chatter at the after-party there was the inevitable analysis of how a gay-themed film would do at the box office.

“This will play in only the bluest of the blue states,” declared one guest.

“The trick with this movie,” said exec producer Michael London of Groundswell, “is not preaching to the converted.”

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