ORIGINAL SCORE

Collider has the disappointing news that the Academy’s unpredictable music branch has disqualified this year’s scores from three top composers: Carter Burwell, Michael Brook and Clint Mansell.

[Mansell’s] work for Darren Aronofsky‚Äôs Black Swan has been deemed ineligible for Oscar consideration due to its usage of music from Tchaikovsky‚Äôs Swan Lake…

According to Variety, Carter Burwell’s scores for True Grit and The Kids Are All Right (which he composed alongside Nathan Larson and Craig Wedren) and Michael Brook’s work on The Fighter have also been disqualified.

Confounding logic or any readily apparent consistent standards, the music branch says The King’s Speech score by Alexandre Desplat is good to go, despite the extensive presence of classical pieces on the soundtrack.

(thanks, Marshall)

There are a few songs to keep in mind for this year, although this is a very bizarre category, along with Doc Feature and Foreign Film that is almost impossible to guess correctly. Their picks are usually kind of wacky – like snubbing Bruce Springsteen for The Wrestler song….

This list was sent to me by a publicist but I think it’s a pretty good compilation. A couple of things to note – the Gwyneth Paltrow song is here but it isn’t Country Strong (above). There are two songs performed by Paltrow, and Tim McGraw. I’d also like to give a shout out to the Made in Dagenham song which was written by Billy Bragg and sung by Sandy Shaw.

I’d also like to give some major props to the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross score for The Social Network. It serves every purpose a film score is supposed to, in that it forwards the story so much that it’s almost a character in its own right. Many people assume the Academy voters are too stodgy to go for this one but here’s to hoping they can change their minds about it.

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A few weeks ago reader jennybee sent me a link to this incredible look inside Inception composer Hans Zimmer’s lavish creative lair. These vignettes are from a beautiful site called Stuck In Customs, devoted to HDR photography (High Dynamic Range imaging that adjusts the contrast of shots to achieve the full spectrum of light and color perceived by the human eye, often resulting eerily hyper-real effects.)

On another musical note, The Wrap reports on a live concert to be performed at Inception’s premiere.

Composer Hans Zimmer and guitarist Johnny Marr will perform Zimmer’s music to “Inception” at a party following the film’s premiere on Tuesday, July 13. The performance will be backed by a 20-piece orchestra, and will stream live on Ustream.

Zimmer’s score to “Inception,” one of the elements of the film often singled out in early rave reviews, was recorded with the help of guitarist Marr, best-known for his stint in The Smiths. The original soundtrack album, “Inception: Music From the Motion Picture,” will be released the same day as the Zimmer/Marr performance.

The concert can be heard live Tuesday night on ustream. The Inception soundtrack CD drops Tuesay the 13th too, and you can listen to snippets on Amazon’s preview chart. A few more shots of Zimmer’s studio after the cut.

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The Dark Knight Score Disqualified

Rejecting the Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard score for The Dark Knight is nothing new per the Academy’s usual protocol. Anyone with high hopes of bringing home Oscar gold often makes sure their ducks are lined up in a row. But if the film is a bit of a fluke and takes the world by storm it may go to Oscar and find itself not qualified for a few of their bizarro categories. That is why this is happening and that is why, for instance Waltz With Bashir isn’t going to the Docu race. Movies that just happen and aren’t planned to make an Oscar run leave many dangling, unresolved pieces behind – the right amount of screening time in advance, the right amount of producers on board, etc.

But what interests me more about all of this is how the Oscarwatching community is often divided on one big movie. You have people who doubt The Dark Knight will be nominated. I see that Kris Tapley, for instance, even though he’s a Batman obsessive and Nolan fan, doesn’t have Dark Knight in his top five at the Buzzmeter, which has currently launched (more on that in a later post). The Dark Knight is a risky prediction, to be sure. It could go either way. Funny, though, folks are writing about it as a tech-only nominee simply because the score was disqualified. By the way, the Buzzmeter has The Dark Knight at number five currently.

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Kung Fu Panda could be recognized come Oscar time for its lovely score. Violinist Karen Han does great work here and it just so happens that it’s become available for your listening pleasure on YouTube. Have a listen:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJKheeDP2i4[/youtube]

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