Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This is it

This is it. Michael Jackson's swansong. You should see it. Just so you can pop it into the encyclopeadic archive in your head marked 'just what all the fuss was about'.
Am not and have never been an avid Jackson fan, but I grew up with his music. I remember, while babysitting, watching the thriller video over and over trying to follow the dance moves. Say what you like about him, what he became, it can't be denied by anyone who watches this just what a musical phenomenon he was. How he danced, how he sang. How he combined the two, effortlessly moonwalking to pitch perfect rhythm that never failed to cut through.
Watching this I mourned the concerts that never happened. They promised to give new meaning to spectacular - the theatre, the backdrops, the pyrotechnics, the musicians and the dancing. Formation dancing like you rarely see, the kind that leaves your heart in your mouth and steals your breath away. There's something about people getting into formation and dancing in unison...(citing brilliant current Strictly ident) if it doesn't generate some stirring or swooning of the soul you're not human. And that's just the watching. Oh, to be part of it. Maybe that's what it is, that feeling you get, an irrational urge to join in.
Anyhow, for all his genius, I couldn't help feeling that a man of his frailty, of his state of health, however amazing he was in the snippets we saw, was not up to sustaining the effort required over 50 consecutive days. The concert format was a feat of engineering and choreography that would have required marathan training to get through 50 dates (wish I'd been a fly on the wall when news of MJ's demise reached Kenny Ortega), not a personal doctor administering elephant doses of sedative.
I read the reviews of the film after I'd seen it, still bowled by its energy. Needless to say a little sneering and deflating from all... 'we didn't gain any more knowledge of the man, there was little conversation' blah blah but grudgingly accepting of his talent. Hmm, well, you were never going to get much conversation or anything 'normal' out of a man who's done that to his face. That wasn't the point of the film. we know he wasn't normal. we knew he was fundamentally damaged, but there was one aspect of him that remained intact throughout his life, his talent which can only be described as supernormal. Frankly, thrilling.

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