Last night’s Los Angeles DGA screening of The Curious Case at Benjamin Button was stopped after running a half-hour, according to In Contention‘s Kris Tapley. A “color channel on the digital projector” made the image look “washed out,” and so director of photography Claudio Miranda had publicists call director David Fincher to explain the problem, and thereafter the plug was pulled. A makeup screening will happen Saturday.

Tapley says “we liked what we saw. And after just 30 minutes, I’m pretty sure the film will take the Oscars for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects walking away…pure magic.” Spoken like an elite mafia hitman who specializes in quiet kills. Hearing that a film has great technical pleasures is like hearing from a friend who’s set you up with a blind date that “she has a great personality.” The more people talk about Button‘s tech triumphs, the more this film is going to get shunted aside in people’s minds as a “very admirable but no Best Picture Oscar” type deal.

If I was a Paramount publicist working on Button, I would put out a mass e-mail to all journalists, columnists and bloggers saying, “Will you guys give us a break with the technical praisings (visual effects, photography, makeup) already? You’re killing us !”