Michael Jackson’s Final Dreams Come to Life as “This Is It” Film Premieres

October 28th, 2009 by Caryn Ganz and Christopher R. Weingarten Leave a reply »

Photo:Kevin Mazur/AEG Live via Getty Images

There’s a moment near the beginning of This Is It, the concert film assembled from Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his 50-show run at London’s O2 Arena, where the star’s crew of 11 carefully hand-picked dancers becomes an army 1,000 strong thanks to some eye-popping green-screen work for “They Don’t Care About Us.” Audiences in New York gasped at the sight — for the first of many times — of what would clearly have been one of the biggest stage spectacles of all time.

Look back at Jackson’s life and career, in photos.

Everyone knows why Jackson never got to bring his dream show to life, and in the days before his death many doubted he’d be able to pull off the gigs regardless. He was frail, thin, sickly; the opening shows had been postponed because the production wasn’t ready. But in the late hours of June 25th, as the public scrambled to understand what could have killed the star, those responsible for the This Is It production insisted the MJ they knew was fit, strong, persistent. They said rehearsal footage would prove it.

This Is It is proof that Jackson did still have it: the magical voice, the gravity-defying moves (most of them), the clear-headed artistic vision of one of the greatest artists of our time. The film debuted simultaneously in 16 cities last night, including Los Angeles, where Jackson’s brothers attended a screening, and several locations in New York, like a Chelsea theater where fans danced to “Thriller” in the lobby, ushers were outfitted in special This Is It T-shirts, and fans signed a memory mosaic as they shuffled out the door.

The film shows Michael and tour director Kenny Ortega building the show from the ground up — which means lots of descriptions and 3-D models of the incre...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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