By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

‘Argo’ Navigates to USC Libraries Scripter Win

Journalist, memoirist, and screenwriter take the 25-anniversary honor.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias; USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan; Scripter Award winner Joshuah Bearman, author of a Wired Magazine article on which “Argo” is based

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 9, 2013) - Authors Joshuah Bearman and Antonio J. Mendez and screenwriter Chris Terrio received the 25th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for their contributions to “Argo.” Selection committee co-chair Howard Rodman announced the winners at the black-tie event on Saturday, Feb. 9, at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.In his acceptance speech, Bearman said “I think that with adaptation you hope another writer can come and take a look at your work and see a new perspective and add insight, which is certainly the case with Chris Terrio.”“Argo’s” Scripter win adds to the growing number of awards for the Warner Bros. film, including the American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year as well as best motion picture in the drama category and best director at last month’s Golden Globes. The film is nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Scripter, established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, honors the screenwriter or screenwriters of the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation as well as the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based. Scripter is the only award of its kind that recognizes authors of the original work alongside the adapting screenwriters.

Terrio based his adaptation on Mendez’s autobiographical work “The Master of Disguise,” published by William Morrow in 2000, and Bearman’s article “The Great Escape,” which appeared in Wired Magazine in 2007.

USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees gathered in Los Angeles Times Reference Room of USC’s historic Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library.

“In the context of the library, Scripter at 25 years old is a young tradition,” Quinlan said. “But it is a tradition that helps our libraries collect knowledge that is far older than 25 years and one that will support discoveries by our USC community far beyond the next quarter-century.”

Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection committee chose “Argo” from a field of 84 eligible films. A tie in the first round of voting resulted in six finalist films this year, rather than the usual five.

The 41-member selection committee included film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Eric Roth, and Robin Swicord; authors Michael Chabon and Mona Simpson; and USC deans Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries, Elizabeth M. Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts.

The USC Libraries also honored Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana with the Literary Achievement Award for their body of work to date. USC President C. L. Max Nikias presented the honor.

“With deep reserves of imagination and intellect, Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana inspire USC’s entire creative-arts community,” Nikias said. “And for this, we warmly salute them.”

Over the course of their writing partnership McMurtry and Ossana have collaborated on dozens of novels and screenplays, including “Brokeback Mountain,”which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the award-winning miniseries “Streets of Laredo,” “Dead Man’s Walk,” and “Johnson County War.”They are currently collaborating on the screen adaptation of Paulette Jiles’s novel “The Color of Lightning.”

This year’s event featured a silent auction, the proceeds of which support the USC Libraries’ collections. Donors to the auction included Bennett Farms, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Hawaii Five-0 and Eye Productions, Hungry Cat Santa Monica, L.A. Saddlery, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Namale Resort & Spa in Fiji, Paperblanks, PGA Tour, Picca Peruvian Cantina, the NFL, Pizzeria Mozza, Pleasant Holidays, South Coast Winery, the Sundance Institute, Terranea Resort, Robbins Research International, Montage Beverly Hills, the Wine of the Month Club, and the USC Thornton School of Music.

In-kind sponsors this year included John and Dana Agamalian and Blue Ice Vodka; Esquire Bar & Lounge of Pasadena, Calif.; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Paperblanks; Penguin Books; and the Wine of the Month Club.

For more information about Scripter—including additional images from the ceremony—visitscripter.usc.edu.

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé