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Gold Derby nuggets: Writers' block | Musicians' discord | Director's cut

January 4, 2010 |  5:23 pm

Bright Star posterSteve Pond breaks the news that Jane Campion's script for "Bright Star" has been classified by the writers' branch of the academy as adapted rather than original. As Pond writes, "Although Campion makes use of Keats’ poetry and letters, the writer-director did not adapt any existing material, because there is none that tells the story of Keats and Brawne in any depth." However, as Pond notes, "the Academy’s writers branch is known for taking a hard line on what constitutes an original screenplay, but in the past it has classified as original a number of films based on real characters (and thus drawing from various pre-existing sources). These include 'Milk,' 'The Queen' and 'The Aviator.'" THE ODDS

• Campion could still shine at the WGA as per this item by Alex Pareene who asks: "Did you write a movie for Weinstein Co. and would you like a Writers Guild of America award for doing so?" The answer -- "Too bad: Weinstein's not sending WGA members any screeners. Sorry, 'Nine,' 'Inglourious Basterds,' 'The Road,' and 'A Single Man.'" As Alex notes, "Over the past few years, it's been near-impossible to score a WGA nomination without sending its membership a screener, and last year, nine of the ten nominees had played the game." GAWKER

• Keeping with the subject of adapted screenplays, Sasha Stone previews Tuesday's announcement of the contenders for the USC Scripter award. This kudo honors both the original material and the adapted screenplay. For Stone, "This year, there are a few noteworthy adaptations floating around. The first and most prominent of these is 'Up in the Air.' The Walter Kirn novel may not be on everyone’s list of must-reads (perhaps now it will be). But the film is so good and the adaptation so strong this would have to top anyone’s predictions list." AWARDS DAILY

Roger Friedman reports that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is considering lobbing five years off the eligibility for entry. "That would move up a lot of acts on the ballot that are more current and carry some name value, which would be good for TV rights. Believe it or not, the following would then be eligible for the 2011 ceremony: Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Kid Rock and Smashing Pumpkins. Also a possibility right away: Keith Richards as a solo artist." However, as Friedman cautions, "with these new guidelines, the artists who’ve been snubbed previously will now never get in." SHOWBIZ 411

Where the Wild Things Are posterBrian Eno hasn't made it to the Hall of Fame, and he won't be an Oscar contender this year either. As Steve Pond reports, he took himself out of the running for his score to "The Lovely Bones." Whether it would have been eligible -- as it uses music both old and new -- is unknown. As Pond writes, "Notable scores have been disqualified in the past by the Academy’s music branch, which has strict rules for qualifying in the category." Among those composers who did not qualify this year were Karen O and Carter Burrell for their score to "Where the Wild Things Are." In sum, "only 81 film scores qualified, giving the category by far the smallest field among the 15 categories for which ballots went out last week. By comparison, 274 films qualified for best picture, best film editing, best cinematography and the two sound categories." THE ODDS

• Forecasting this week's Oscar futures, Lane Brown says "Inglourious Basterds" is up -- "it's by no means likely or anything, but with enthusiasm for 'Up in the Air' waning and our own skepticism about 'Avatar''s chances, a 'Basterds' victory seems increasingly not-crazy" -- while "Nine" is down -- "The stinky reviews kept moviegoers away, but couldn't make stubborn Harvey reduce the film's theater count. Let us know when 'Nine's' per-screen average hits $9." NEW YORK

Broken Embraces posterPete Hammond details the difficulties that two-time Oscar winner Pedro Almodovar has with the academy. "I am hugely grateful for both of my Oscars but there's a way in which the foreign film category is thought of as some kind of secondary category like documentary. These are the only (feature) categories where you can't vote unless you are able to say when and where you saw the film. In fact, I'm often unable to vote in these categories because I'm not in Los Angeles where one of these movies is playing, and so I don't see them so I can't vote," he says, referring to the final five nominees." NOTES ON A SEASON

David Ng reports that "the producers of 'Come Fly Away' -- a new musical using the vocals of Frank Sinatra -- said today that the show will open March 25 at the Marquis Theatre in New York. Directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, the musical tells the story of four couples and the various romantic permutations they assume during an evening at a crowded nightclub. The production uses vocal recordings featuring Sinatra, as well as a live 19-piece big band on stage." CULTURE MONSTER

Top photo: "Bright Star" poster. Credit: Apparition

Middle photo: "Where the Wild Things Are" poster. Credit: Warner Bros.

Bottom photo: "Broken Embraces" poster. Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

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