This Is It…Now Michael Jackson Can R.I.P.

Oct 28, 2009People We Lerve
Michael Jackson looks like...

Michael Jackson looks like...

Last night, Bryan Bantry invited me to the special screening of Michael Jackson’s This Is It, the documentary film, directed by Kenny Ortega, based on “the making of the” This Is It Tour. “It is a must see.” Around the time of Michael’s’ passing, rumors swirled that he was in no condition to do 50 shows and endless other horrendous stories therein. With the non-stop, 24-hour-all-Michael-all-the-time, barrage of media reporting on his condition, from the pundits, people-out-of-the-woodwork, past employees, doctors and even his family members, you just didn’t know who to believe…until now. The reason to see this film (besides the joy of listening and watching his amazing music coming to life, a bit of irony here) is to judge for yourself about Michael Jackson’s condition. My take away is that he was in great voice and stamina and that he could not only polish off the 50 shows, but continue on from there…like the endless Cher goodbye concert series. Imagine: This Was Not It, This Might Be It, This Should Be It, This Will Most Likely Be It, This Definitely Is It.

Judy Garland...shown here the night of Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall.

Judy Garland...shown here the night of Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall.

Michael+JacksonGranted there are a couple of scenes where palladiumpic_2_lghe seems a bit (?) stoned. In one particular, startling clip, Michael is rehearsing a solo moment, wearing a Balmain(like), exaggerated shoulder, cropped jacket, I turned to my friend Demetre and said, “This is his Judy Garland moment”. There was that same yearning and frailty in his eyes that I remember Judy exuded when looking at old footage towards then end of her life. Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall was labeled “the greatest night in show business history”. Had Michael lived, his opening night performance would have taken that top spot. Throughout the film, which is extremely well-edited rehearsal footage, stitched together to magically transport you to a make-believe concert, that you can tell would have been historic. Unlike Madonna’s shows, which are also fantastic, the difference here is, Michael’s music transcends all others. Madonna’s songs makes you wanna Vogue, while Michael’s songs make you wanna cry. Watching the rehearsal performance you observe Michael, the consummate professional at the top of his game. With all the negative publicity that swirled around Michael from the 1990’s on, somehow, with each song, that legacy washes away and you are left with the pure admiration for this mega-talent.

The back up dancers have a collective role that starts off with them sobbing as they talk about what an honor it is to work with Michael. Throughout the movie, you see the dancers when they are not working, watching the rehearsal with such exuberance, that you wish you could be a fly on the wall, or one of the dancers, preferably the latter. The film states that footage was not intended for consumer consumption, but now that it is, it’s delicious. The film sequences that were shot as backdrops for the show are amazing, and the Thriller piece is just thrilling. Michael Jackson’s This Is It is a superbly fitting end to a controversial genius. When he died unexpectedly, I wrote a piece condemning the media for the endless hounding. It is fitting to reread this now, The Convoluted Life and Death of Michael Jackson.

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6 Responses to “This Is It…Now Michael Jackson Can R.I.P.”

  1. Demetre Daskalakis says:

    The more I think about it, Abe, the more I think that our Judy Garland conversation was right on. That obvious fragility he showed could be pushed back for the performer. Amazing sharing it with you.

  2. Immottflumn says:

    Great Article , I considered it special

    I look forward to more innovative postings like this one. Does your website have a RSS I can subscribe to for new postings?

  3. Linda Soiro says:

    I adore Michael Jackson, he was simply awesome. Up to now I still cannot accept the fact that we lost him

  4. Fred Farha says:

    Michael Jackson have lived-up to be the best pop artist of the history, i really admire his talent in singing and dancing ;*,

  5. Emmanuel Occhiogross says:

    I like Michael Jackson songs

  6. Interesting post. Were did you acquired all of the information from… :)

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