Preem pumps politics

'Manchurian' sure to draw attention to election process

NEW YORK — Politics and presidential elections were on everyone’s lips at Monday’s Gotham preem of “The Manchurian Candidate.”

“This is a movie about political brainwashing, and we’re right back there again now,” said director Jonathan Demme. “I hope it has the potential for stimulating people to start thinking about the process because Lord knows we could use some stimulation,” he added.

“It raises lots of questions and gets us thinking about assassinations and other things we went through and were traumatized by in the ’60s,” said Jon Voight, who plays a liberal senator bumped out of the vice presidential candidacy.

Even score collaborator Wyclef Jean and his band, who performed an exuberant set at the swanky uptown Metropolitan Club after-bash, displayed a political bent with his song “If I Was President.”

Also avoiding escape at the Beekman Theater premiere were stars Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Jeffrey Wright and Kimberly Elise; producer Tina Sinatra (whose father starred in the original); as well as Paramount’s Sherry Lansing and Viacom chief Sumner Redstone.

Other guests enjoying the sushi and reggae included Toni Morrison, Kathy Bates, Julianna Margulies, Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel and Phylicia Rashad.

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