Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT!
I don't want to argue anything about what happened to Michael Jackson after the 80's or why he became the Wacko Jacko character of tabloid notoriety. Whatever happened to him is a sad story to be told elsewhere and is certainly part of what caused his demise. Today I want to recognize Michael's last great contribution to his legacy as a great pop performer and the great film that has been left as a testimony to his genius.
THIS IS IT! is a milestone in concert film making. Though technically not a concert film, nevertheless it serves as history's record of a concert tour that never happened and a concert that may have been one of the greatest of our time. In the film we see rehearsal footage of some of Michael Jackson's greatest hits as they are readied for the massive stage production that was to set out on a world tour. This film is proof that Jackson was in top form at the time of his death and that he had assembled a top notch array of entertainment that would have blown us away.
In the film, we see many aspects of Michael the entertainer, the craftsman, and the idol who cared about his cast, crew, and fans. We watch as he works with the dancers, the musicians, the singers, and even the stage crew as they put together what would have been a most amazing show. This is a fascinating behind the scenes look at what goes into putting a giant production such as this together. We watch Michael working with his excellent musicians as they hone the arrangements of the songs. We see Michael following the progress of filmmakers and effects artists who are assembling the stunning visuals that will make the show a dazzling sight to behold. Michael is documented as he is hands on with every phase of the production.
The world missed out on one great concert tour when we lost Michael Jackson. If the tour had gone as planned, I'm quite sure there would have been a concert film made of it. The superb cinematography and sound in the rehearsal film attests to the fact that they were getting it all down for the record. What we see in THIS IS IT! may have eventually ended up as a making of documentary film or maybe just extras on the DVD of the concert film, but thank goodness someone had the foresight to film as much as they did.
THIS IS IT! , in my opinion, ranks as one of the best music films ever. We are reminded of what it was that made us love Michael Jackson in the first place. We see the talented human being that he really was and not the bizarre figure of media sensationalism. This is the Michael Jackson that I want to remember.