Arts & entertainment
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This is it: A morbid marketing tool or a final tribute to Michael Jackson?
This is it , a recently released documentary dedicated to the memory of the late “King of Pop”, is above all made for the millions of Michael Jackson fans around the world, despite the near sordid marketing that defines it. The presentation of final tour to the public is, however, a wonderful occasion to witness the final hours of one of the greatest legends of the twentieth century.
“For the fans”, reads the credits. This is it, a documentary about the Michael Jackson’s final tour, cancelled after his untimely death, put together by Kenny Ortega, is above all else made for his diehard fans. Other spectators, however, risk being blown away by a cynical and sinister cash making machine that reveals itself in the form of a rather morbid post mortem marketing tool.
The scenes from his final rehearsals in Los Angeles could probably have been enough to produce a making of DVD of the tour. But after having witnessed harrowing television reports of Michael Jackson’s lifeless body being transported to the hospital as well as his televised memorial service, fans the world over are summoned into cinema halls to witness the final moments of the “King of Pop”.
Only five days after the film opened in cinemas around the world, it was announced that Sony Pictures had raked in about 104 million dollars (about 70 million euros) from box office sales. Albeit an impressive amount, the five-day revenue is far from the 250 million dollars (168 million euros) Sony expected. The initial two-week showing was prolonged last week and will last until the pending Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. This is it DVDs will hit the shelves before Christmas.
Beyond the controversy, This is it is a reconstitution of rehearsal scenes put together to give an idea of what Michael Jackson’s concerts would have looked like. The nature of the complex research work that that went into the production can’t be missed. A complex and daredevilry trap mechanism, for example, projects Michael Jackson’s dancers on stage. The choreography is particularly emphasised in the whole project.
Some of the memorable elements in This is it include a series of short films that were made to be projected into most of the songs – all the classics. Also much appreciated is the incorporation of the King of Pop in a re-adaptation of several films noirs for one of his greatest classics: Smooth Criminal.
Michael Jackson’s voice was surprisingly flawless: A far cry from his struggle to keep his voice in check at the 2006 World Music Awards in London where his performance was described as a fall from grace after he barely recited a few lines from We Are The World.
It is both a pleasure and an honour to hear him sing again. It is also the most opportune moment for Sony to release a double CD album of his performances. Ironically, while alive, the “King of Pop” bought the rights to another inexhaustible source of revenue, the beetles’ catalogue.