MTV Movie Awards wants to tap next Christopher Nolan
NEW YORK -- Over its 20-year history, the MTV Movie Awards haven't exactly been the Oscars, or even the People's Choice Awards.
But the telecast known for handing out prizes for such Brando-esque acting feats as “Best Kiss” while playing clips from countless summer movies wants to get more serious.
"We want the show to be a little more of a celebration of why we love movies," MTV President Stephen Friedman said in an interview at his offices this week, noting that he felt the program, for all its fan enthusiasm, was sometimes too irreverent toward the filmmaking process, undercutting the point of a movie-awards show in the first place. "We want people to feel the same sense of awe watching our show like they did the first time they saw 'Harry Potter' or ‘Hunger Games' on the big screen."
(Oddly, the tack follows a similar shift at the Oscars, which under the hand of producer Brian Grazer and host Billy Crystal this year went in a more magic-of-Hollywood direction, to mixed reviews.)
For its 20012 edition, the MTV Movie Awards have brought on Jesse Ignjatovic, the reality/live-event producer who has been shepherding the network's Video Music Awards. We’ll see his handiwork fairly soon — this year's show airs live on June 3 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City.
The awards have long endured the criticism that they are little more than a commercial for studios’ summer movies, whose clips come fast and furious. Friedman said that he could imagine that this year's show will feature fewer plugs for upcoming films by making sure that those that were featured were “really special” pieces of material that viewers couldn’t see anywhere else.
And though the Movie Awards added a few new categories this year, including “best on-screen dirtbag” (now there’s something Brando-esque), they also will hand out a breakthrough performance prize. Unlike the show's many viewer-voted categories, however, this one will be chosen by a panel of filmmakers, ensuring that (for now, at least) Kristen Stewart will not win her 1,325th MTV Movie Award.
Friedman said that the larger mission is to restore a sense of relevance and tastemaking to the program.
“If you look back, this show was among the first places to tell you about Christopher Nolan when he had ‘Memento,’ just as MTV is the first place to tell viewers about a new band that they need to know,” Friedman said. “We really want to go back to doing that.”
Photo: Lindsay Lohan, Verne Troyer and Sean Combs at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images