Sam Wasson and his former college professor Jeanine Basinger likely had the longest commute to a party hosted by Graydon Carter in celebration of their new book, Hollywood: The Oral History. They drove two hours in the rain, from the middle of Connecticut to the Waverly Inn, in the West Village. Even so, they arrived early.

Wasson is a Hollywood writer—as in, he writes books about the film industry, not scripts for it. Basinger, who founded Wesleyan University’s Film Studies department, was his professor in the first few years of the 2000s. At the party, the student drank a martini, while the teacher drank white wine.

Other former Basinger pupils at the party included Bruce Kaplan, a cartoonist who often contributes to The New Yorker, and Luke Janklow, the president and managing director of Janklow & Nesbit, the literary agency founded by his late father, Mort. Luke and his mother, Linda, his date for the night, sat with Basinger most of the evening.

Jeff Zucker, the former president of CNN, chatted with Carter. Doug Jones, the six-foot-four actor and mime, towered over most guests, including Emanuele Della Valle, the entrepreneur whose father is the C.E.O. of Tod’s; the writer Richard Cohen (not to be confused with the writer Richard M. Cohen, who stood across the room); the veteran journalists Lynn Povich and Steve Shepard; and star New York magazine reporter Shawn McCreesh.

When David Laub, who works on acquisitions for A24, arrived, Wasson dapped him up, giving him an enthusiastic handshake that turned into an even more enthusiastic hug. Shortly after, Wasson did something even rarer at Hollywood-related events: he posed for a picture with his friend Waris Ahluwalia, the designer who has acted in several Wes Anderson films, and smiled as if he were enjoying the party.

Hollywood: The Oral History, by Sam Wasson and Jeanine Basinger, is out now from Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins

Jensen Davis is an Associate Editor for AIR MAIL