Arts notes

Seventeen films eligible to compete for award

Beverly Hills, Calif. - Seventeen films are eligible to compete for the 2002 feature animation Oscar, including the part live-action "Stuart Little 2."

Among the nominees are four from Disney: "Lilo & Stitch," "Return to Never Land," "Treasure Planet" and "Spirited Away," a 2001 Japanese film released in English this year.

"Spirited Away" is eligible despite its 2001 overseas debut because award regulations allow a one-year grace period for international movies, John Pavlik, spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Wednesday.

"Stuart Little 2" can compete despite its real-life elements because more than 75 percent of it features some sort of animation, Pavlik said.

A maximum of five films can be nominated, but only three made the cut last year, when the category was introduced. The winner was DreamWorks' computer-animated "Shrek."

The horse adventure "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" was DreamWorks' submission this year.

Among the potential nominees were "Ice Age," "Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights," "Hey Arnold! The Movie," "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" and "The Wild Thornberrys Movie."

Others on the list were "Alibaba & the Forty Thieves," "Eden," "El bosque animado (The Living Forest)," "Mutant Aliens," "Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie" and "The Princess and the Pea."

Movie studios target pirated DVDs

Los Angeles - The movie studios are playing Grinch to Internet pirates selling unauthorized DVDs as holiday gifts over online auction sites.

The Motion Picture Association of America filed federal civil lawsuits against people in eight states Tuesday, accusing them of copyright infringement for offering hundreds of pirated DVDs over auction sites.

The lawsuits mark the first time the MPAA has focused on sales over such sites. They were filed against people in California, New Jersey, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Nevada, Kansas and Connecticut.

Many of the DVDs were illegally copied from legitimate DVDs, while others were bootleg copies of first-run films not yet released on video or DVD, the MPAA said.

The MPAA, which represents the seven major film studios, previously has pursued people selling pirated videos and DVDs directly over the Internet. The organization also has targeted people who offer pirated copies of films for downloading over the Internet.

Sales of pirated movies over auction sites doubled this year and account for one-fifth of all Internet piracy, the MPAA said.

The lawsuits were timed to raise public awareness when people are likely to be looking for bargain holiday gifts on auction sites.

The MPAA identified the alleged pirates by buying DVDs offered online and examining the contents.

Stones fans snap up tickets for concert

Sydney, Australia - Some lucky Rolling Stones fans got the ultimate satisfaction - tickets to a concert by the veteran British rockers in a 2,000-seat Sydney theater.

The coveted $33 tickets for the Feb. 18 concert at the Enmore Theater were sold within minutes of going on sale Wednesday by a special phone line.

The Stones also sold out the 17,000-seat Sydney Superdome and the 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne within 30 minutes, said David Morrison, spokesman for the Australian leg of the Stones' "Licks" world tour.

Second arena shows have been announced in both cites, he said, with tickets costing up to $84.

The Stones will perform Feb. 20 and Feb. 22 at the Sydney Superdome and Feb. 25 and Feb. 27 at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena. They'll also perform March 4 at the Brisbane Entertainment Center.

Slain comic gets posthumous encore

Los Angeles - Slain comedian Phil Hartman is getting a posthumous encore with the release this week of a CD featuring lost routines he recorded 25 years ago.

The CD, titled "Phil Hartman's Flat TV," includes parodies of news broadcasts, coffee commercials and audio sketches about a wildly dysfunctional family.

He recorded the album in the 1970s while working as a graphic designer, but the tapes were never published and remained forgotten in storage until this year, said John Hartmann, the comedian's brother.

"I'm putting this out there because I'm dedicating my life to fulfilling his dreams," said Hartmann, who's also trying to revive several scripts the comic wrote. "This (album) is my brother doing what he loved."

Sheryl Crow to perform at NHL All-Star game

New York - Sheryl Crow will perform at an outdoor concert in Sunrise, Fla., Feb. 2 as part of the NHL's weekend festivities for its All-Star game.

The eight-time Grammy winner will sing tunes from her "C'mon, C'mon" album.

The concert at Center Ice Stage will take place after the game, the finale to a weekend that includes a game featuring the NHL's top young players and a skills competition.

Springsteen will perform at Atlanta arena

Lawrenceville, Ga. - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be one of the first acts at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, a 13,000-seat venue 25 miles northeast of Atlanta in suburban Gwinnett County.

The new arena is part of a $90 million expansion of the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center.

Tickets for the Feb. 28 show will be available for $55 and $75.

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