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What’s This? October 28, 2009

Posted by Patrick and Paula in Cinematics, Muzak.
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Make and Deux were lucky enough to get tickets last night for an early screening of This Is It, a cinematic tribute to The King of Pop. And when we say early, we mean early. Or late, depending on how you look at it. The film began at 4am, with an introduction by Today FM’s Ian Dempsey.

MJinside

The film, which goes on general release today, is mainly made up of rehearsal footage for Jackson’s This Is It tour. But it is no Live in Concert, straight-to-DVD fare. Even had the concerts gone ahead, the film would have been a must-see for any Jackson fan. It’s a telling insight into how Jackson acted when he wasn’t putting on a face for the press. None of the footage was ever meant to be made public, except some of the visuals for certain numbers.

Jackson’s 50-date tour was due to open in London’s O2 Arena last July. The film is hard to watch without thinking about what a spectacular tour it would have been. From Chicago-style scaffolding to huge CGI visuals and onstage fireworks, the shows would have been about much more than Jackson’s music.

This Is It opens with a short set of interviews with Jackson’s principal dancers. Having travelled across the globe to audition, these dancers are not only the best in their field, they are all die-hard MJ fans. From listening to the interviews, it’s clear that the chance to dance with Jackson is a dream come true for every single one of them. No footage is shown from after Jackson’s death, but just knowing it was going to happen was enough for us.

Though it doesn’t give any concrete details about the circumstances of Jackson’s death, the film still answers a lot of questions about it. In complete contrast to what we were expecting, Jackson was obviously extremely physically fit during rehearsals- his dancing and singing were flawless. Though he struggled to express his ideas coherently at times, Jackson knew his set inside out and was praised by the tour’s musical director for being “really hands-on” when it came to the minute details of each number. There are no obvious signs of the mental or physical deterioration that have been so widely reported over the last few years.

Though the impact of Jackson’s death on his family and fans is obvious, it’s easy to forget how important Jackson was to the hundreds who put their life on hold to help him put together what would have been a spectacular final tour.

[First image from here]

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