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Top 10 MTV Video Music Awards Moments

The MTV Video Music Awards have a well-earned reputation as an occasionally out of control, but always interesting awards celebration. These are 10 of the top moments through the years.

10. 1995 – Courtney Love Disrupts Madonna Interview

Madonna - MTV Video Music Awards interview 1995Video Still courtesy MTV

First she threw things and then, after being invited up by MTV’s Kurt Loder, Courtney Love took over in inimitable fashion.

9. 1988 – Guns ‘n Roses – “Welcome to the Jungle”

Guns 'n Roses at the 1988 MTV Video Music AwardsVideo Still courtesy MTV

For many years, this performance defined rock at the MTV Video Music Awards. This is the glory that was Guns ‘n Roses.

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8. 1990 – MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”

MC Hammer at MTV Video Music Awards 1990Video Still courtesy MTV

I’m not sure if there have ever been more people onstage in a single performance before or since at the MTV Video Music Awards. Few performers did dance spectacle better than MC Hammer.

7. 1993 – Neil Young and Pearl Jam – “Keep Rockin’ in the Free World”

Neil Young and Pearl Jam at 1993 MTV Video Music AwardsVideo Still courtesy MTV

One of the more serious music moments at the MTV Video Music Awards: two generations rock together in a singularly intense fashion.

6. 1994 – Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Kiss

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley - 1994 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

It was really not that big of a surprise to see the newlyweds together, but the kiss was a bit of a shocker. The biggest kiss in MTV Video Music Award history until another pair of kisses almost 10 years later.

5. 2000 – Eminem – “The Real Slim Shady”

Eminem - 2000 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

It was a whole sea of Slim Shadys who started out in the open air and then followed Eminem into the theater to take over the stage.

4. 2001 – *NSYNC with Michael Jackson – “Pop”

*NSYNC with Michael Jackson - 2001 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

What better way to close out a performance of the song “Pop” than with the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Justin Timberlakebeatboxing while MJ dances is a moment to treasure.

3. 2009 – Taylor Swift Wins Best Female Video and Is Interrupted by Kanye West

Taylor Swift and Kanye West at 2009 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Everyone was a little surprised that Taylor Swift, country singer, won the award for Best Female Video, but what Kanye West did next was an even bigger surprise.

2. 1992 – Nirvana – “Lithium”

Nirvana - 1992 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

One of the moments when everything seemed a little out of control. Krist Novoselic tosses his guitar into the air. It lands whacking him in the head and he stumbles offstage. Kurt Cobain starts tearing into the amps and everything descends to chaos.

1. 2003 – Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera

Madonna and Britney Spears - 2003 MTV Video Music AwardsPhoto by Scott Gries / Getty Images
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September 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Josh Hartnett Talks About ‘Bunraku’

Josh Hartnett in 'Bunraku'Josh Hartnett in ‘Bunraku’

© ARC Entertainment

Josh Hartnett stars as The Drifter in writer/director Guy Moshe’s action thriller Bunraku co-starring Gackt, Woody HarrelsonRon Perlman, and Kevin McKidd. The Drifter is a mysterious stranger who’s on a mission to take down the powerful Nicola (Perlman), a vicious crime boss who rules the city with the help of his evil henchmen. Mixing different genres (including old-school Westerns) and drawing inspiritation from Japanese puppet theatre, Bunraku takes audiences into a bizarre new world where guns no longer exist and where gangs rule the streets.

In support of Bunraku‘s release on Video on Demand on September 1st (followed by a theatrical release on September 30th), Josh Hartnett talked about being a part of such a unique project, Guy Moshe’s vision, and tackling some very intense action scenes.

Exclusive Josh Hartnett Bunraku Interview

How does the final cut of the film compare to the vision you had in your head after seeing the script?

Josh Hartnett: “You know, I didn’t know what to expect when I read the script. The script was secondary in the process of getting to know this movie because Guy came out to New York – Guy Moshe, the director – came up to New York and showed me kind of a pre-made digital mock-up of a few scenes. We talked about his references for the film far before I ever read the script. He asked me not to read it before he showed me all these visual things. It kind of reminded me of the way that Robert Rodriguez did Sin City. It was the visuals first, and then he tried to figure out what to do with the script.”

“I really respected Guy’s obvious enthusiasm and his excitement and his ability to push himself to the point that most people would kind of stand back and say, ‘This may come across as totally absurd.’ He just pushed through it. And I think he accomplished something that’s unique and definitely something that other people aren’t doing. I’m proud to be able to work with him on this.”

“I read the script before I actually said yes, but the first thing I saw and the thing that stuck in my mind were the references he had. He referenced a lot of French new wave films and Kurosawa films, of course, and Sergio Leone films of course. And he was looking to do something that was kind of ’60s-centric, you know, and yet he wanted to bring in new technology to create this world. The reason that I think that he titled it Bunraku is because he wanted it to be an obvious staged world that you’re involved in. Do you know what Bunraku means?”

I do now, but I didn’t before this film.

Josh Hartnett: “Okay. Well, puppeteers are onstage with these life-size puppets and they’re performing melodramas and mysteries. It’s a traditional Japanese form of theatre, and Guy wanted this to be just as far removed from reality, in that he’s telling a parable. And it reminded me a lot when I read the script of something like Star Wars, actually, orHidden Fortress – the Kurosawa film that Star Warsis based on. It has this sort of little guys versus an evil empire storyline and the little guys all band together in a hilarious way and are guided by a sage, in this case Woody Harrelson’s part as the bartender. In Star Wars‘ case, the Obi-Wan Kenobi part with Alec Guinness. It had a lot of similarities to it.”

Do you believe, knowing all the references that Guy was intending to work off of, that’s what actually comes across on the screen?

Josh Hartnett: “You tell me.”

I think so. I think he captured it.

Josh Hartnett: “Good. Being so close to it, I had certain expectations before I saw it. But I saw a lot of the visuals before we finished because they were cutting together these little short reels with music. You could kind of get a sense of how it’s going to look and how it’s going to feel.”

“They talk about special effects all the time these days and how you can heighten things and create these fantastic superhero movies where some of the characters will do things that are just physically impossible at every turn. I liked that this was pretty much all the stunts, all the fight sequences, were in camera and that it was just the background that was heightened. It’s more of an art piece, really, surrounding these spectacular fights than it is a CGI-infused over-the-top action films.”

Your fight scenes look really brutal.

Josh Hartnett: [Laughing] “I was in pretty good shape.”

Was it difficult for you, because this is not the type of film you normally do?

Josh Hartnett: “I was getting a little fat before this film. [Laughing] But it whipped me right in shape. It was a challenge for me, for sure. Before I did this film I was sitting on my ass all the time and they made me go to the gym and learn some brutal fight moves. We had a good time – nobody really got hurt.”

“We worked with these terrific stunt guys and they were all trained in MMA. They got me a month and a half before we started filming, and I mean the first day I couldn’t do 20 sit-ups. I was not in good shape. They got me to quit smoking. I started really going to the gym three or four hours a day with them. You can see some of it, I’m sure, when the DVD comes out. I’m sure that they’ll have some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. We just did a lot of choreographed training. It was not so much about being bulked up but being ready to do some pretty interesting moves.”

Were there any mishaps during the action scenes?

“The only time I really got hurt on this film was doing that jump from building to building. Obviously I wasn’t jumping from building to building, but I was jumping quite a long ways to a pad. I was supposed to jump to a pad but I kind of leaped over the pad because I was playing a little game with the camera operators, seeing how close I could get to the actual camera. I think I did something to my hamstring and that swelled up, and then my sciatic nerve started to pinch. My whole left leg turned into a mess for about three months.”

“But the training was just kind of stage choreography, really, combined with a lot of physical, twice a day physical training. But it was mostly focused on the choreography because everybody had to be doing it exactly right, especially for the sequence in the prison. I mean, it’s a long, uncut sequence and the timing had to be correct. It had to be that way, and you don’t spend five days doing it. I think we did that whole scene in like three hours or something. We just shot it really quickly. We didn’t have a lot of time on this film. It’s not a huge budget, so we had to make sure that our choreography was all pre-planned and worked out to the end.”

Not only do they put you through a lot of physical stunts, but you also hold your body very differently in this movie. Was that something that just came with the character?

Josh Hartnett: “No. I mean, there are little tricks, you know? You can make the shoulders of your jacket too tight or you can wear a lot of heavy, restrictive garments. Or you can put some sort of pebble in your shoe which I think Dustin Hoffman did in Midnight Cowboy. You can do all sorts of things to give yourself physically a different demeanor. But with this, it just came organically through all the training and the fighting. His mentality is just so straight line; he doesn’t beat around the bush, so I just wanted to be up front and center. He’s not very sly. He’s no-holds-barred.”

I always find it really interesting when a character doesn’t have a name. You’re just known as ‘The Drifter’ in Bunraku. Did you, in your own mind, give him a name?

Josh Hartnett: “Harold. [Laughing] No, I didn’t. I let him remain a mystery. Okay, so, we came up with this whole backstory which I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want to spoil it, but it had a lot to do with his family being taken away from him and who he was raised by. And, what we decided is that he was raised by gypsies and he traveled a lot. All the while he had this idea in his mind that he was going to avenge his father’s death and find out who he really is. But he got caught up in this training and this world…and maybe there was a little bit of fear. The idea that we had was that he was never really given a name – that he had a name as a young boy, but that he lost it over time in a sort of fantastical way. It’s not meant to be strictly…obviously this movie doesn’t even take place in the real world and I don’t want to be Freudian.”

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 ways to revitalize your spirit

Tip #1: Practice Mindfulness

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, summed up mindfulness when he said, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment and not thinking about what someone said to you this morning, talking on the phone while replying to an email, or worrying about the future.

Once a day from now on, I want you to put sincere effort into being fully present. Give your undivided attention to what you’re doing. If you have a lunch date, enjoy being with that person, rather than thinking about that client meeting you had in the morning or stressing about the pile of work sitting on your desk. Even the most mundane tasks, like making dinner, can come alive. Notice the smells, tastes, textures.

Here is a description of what mindfulness is, adapted from Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindfulness is…

  • Being yourself.
  • Not judging yourself, over-analyzing what you’re going to say, or getting caught up in your thoughts.
  • Accepting and appreciating what each moment offers.
  • Allowing things to be the way they are, without getting caught up in expectations, hopes, wishes, and experiences.
  • Being patient with yourself and other people. Not being impatient or anxious for certain things, pleasant and unpleasant, to happen.
  • Trusting yourself and your feelings.

Tip #2: Read Books That Inspire You

What are you interested in? What inspires you, motivates you, moves you? For example, you may dream of having a life coach to keep you on track with your goals. If you can’t afford the $300 to $500 per month fee, go to the bookstore. There are plenty of helpful books to help you assess where you are now, where you want to be, and learn from people who have done it. These are some books I’ve read and enjoyed:

  • The Best Year of Your Life: Dream It, Live It, Plan It, by Debbie Ford
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Anatomy of the Spirit, by Carolyn Myss

Tip #3: Give Thanks at Meals

See if this scenario is familiar – you’d love to go for lunch but you have too much to do, so you grab a sandwich to go and bring it back to your desk. Within minutes, your sandwich is gone, you’re still hunched over at the computer, and you can barely remember how it tasted.

Instead, start each meal with a pause – take a deep breath and give thanks for the food your about to eat. Or, say a prayer, whatever has meaning for you. Buy a beautiful plate, placemat, mug, or food container to use.

Tip #4: Book a Monthly Massage

Once a month, treat yourself to a relaxation massage. If it is out of your budget, consider going to a massage school student clinic in your area. Treatments by massage therapists-in-training are often 1/4 of the regular cost.

Tip #5: Forgive 

Forgiving yourself and others can be liberating. Many people carry past hurts inside them and are unable to let them go. Start by forgiving yourself – if something you say or do causes misunderstanding or may be interpreted as hurtful, don’t let it sit and don’t beat yourself up over it.

Give a sincere apology and then do something to psychologically cleanse, such as taking that thought and imagining yourself throwing it in the garbage can or taking a warm shower when you get home. You can also try these affirmations:

  • “Life is too short to beat myself up over what’s done in the past. I choose to forgive myself and forgive others.”
  • “I know how much it hurts me when other people are mad or hold grudges at me. I don’t want to be the one who makes other people feel that way.”

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment