A compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.
|Original Title||:||Michael Jackson's This Is It|
|Release Date||:||October 28, 2009|
|Production Company||:||Columbia Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Casts||:||Michael Jackson, Orianthi, Kenny Ortega, Dorian Holley, Patrick Woodroffe, Bashiri Johnson, Mo Pleasure, Jonathan Moffett, Tommy Organ, Jasmine Alveran|
|Plot Keywords||:||pop star, music, concert, aftercreditsstinger, duringcreditsstinger|
No one has any apology to make about this wonderful documentary, least of all Kenny Ortega. When I heard he intended to take "rehearsal" footage of the "This Is It" tour and market it as a film, I assumed it was an attempt to recoup the investment made in the project. Who could have guessed that this film would stand on its own and also enter the echelons of the "best" documentaries about rock music ever made? No less, Michael Jackson reveals more about himself in this footage than we've ever seen before. It's his premiere moment on film, and I would guess he would not have wanted it shown only because we seefor the first timeJackson without a mask. I won't attempt to characterize this complicated, insanely talented, person, but basically he's painfully shy. And he excelled at one of the most public vocations there is: performing.
What's interesting about the footage is that it exists at all. But since concerts today use video projection for the large venues where they play, it was natural to include the cameras during the rehearsal period. And it's riveting! Nothing is ever less than compelling in large part due to the level of talent in all quarters. The dancers, the musicians, the back-up singers, sets, costumes it's a parade of the best of the best. While Jackson is the center of all of this, if you don't care for him, there's plenty of other things to look at and enjoy.
Any sadness is brought by the viewer. There's not one nod to Jackson's demise or when it occurs. He looks thin, but even in a rehearsal mode, he's electrifying, and I think that's why the film works. We're not at some huge arena (for which the concert was conceived) with 10,000 screaming fans. And rather than missing that electricity, we get intimate performances of familiar Jackson material. But it's re-imagined and you never know what's coming next.
An alert: there is footage throughout the final credit sequence and after the credits end. And if you can, see it in a DP theater...for the sound alone. An amazing experience!