December 28, 2009

Spike Lee's New Michael Jackson video

Here's the new video for Michael Jackson's posthumous single This Is It. The video was directed by Spike Lee (something you will be reminded of repeatedly by an annoying scroll throughout the video) and fuses performance viz with stills from Michael's career and footage of his hometown of Gary, Indiana. Lee, who previously directed Jackson's They Don't Care About Us video (check it out here) seems like a fitting choice for this spot, which is essentially just a tribute to Jackson.

Michael, because of his undeniable sway in the industry was able to line up a lot of top notch directing talent over the years, so it's only fitting that this video was helmed by an experienced filmmaker in Spike Lee. Previously Jackson worked with John Landis, who was one of the top directors in Hollywood with Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London and Trading Places to his credit when he agreed to direct Thriller (more on that here) and in the process completely changed the medium of music videos forever. Landis and Jackson would collaborate again on the Black or White video years later. Perhaps the greatest living American director, Martin Scorsese directed the video for the lead single off the eagerly anticipated follow up to Thriller, Bad. Scorsese seemed like a surprise choice for the gig, but he's had a long love affair with music, and carefully selects the soundtracks for his films. He's made some excellent choices too; the scene in Goodfellas where all the bodies are being discovered while Derek & the Dominos piano outro from Layla plays is iconic and he used the Dropkick Murphy's I'm Shipping Up To Boston to great effect in The Departed to name just a few. Scorsese also had directed a legendary concert film The Last Waltz and subsequently did a documentary on Bob Dylan (No Direction Home) and directed the Rolling Stones concert film Shine A Light John Singleton, fresh off his impressive feature film debut Boyz N The Hood was tapped to direct the video for Remember the Time as well so Spike Lee is simply continuing a long line of excellent directors that have worked on an MJ video.

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