kottke.org posts about Michael Jackson
Vanity Fair has an article about Michael Jackson and the shooting of the Thriller video, a point in time when he was at the top of his game but already showing signs of his future troubles.
Jackson faced a critical moment in his personal development: would his new mega-success and wealth spur him to grow, becoming more confident and independent, or to withdraw further into his gilded fantasy world? His "Thriller" friends marveled at his paradoxical qualities: simultaneously sophisticated as an artist, canny to the point of ruthlessness in business dealings, and breathtakingly immature about relationships. "I dealt with Michael as I would have a really gifted child," says Landis, "because that's what he was at that moment. He was emotionally damaged, but so sweet and so talented."
Winners in the Michael Jackson Monument Design Competition have been announced. Evan Roth, a noted Michael Jackson enthusiast, came in first. I like the second place entry only slightly more:
A gold-plated wind turbine powers an interactively-lit dance floor and speaker system. Michael Jackson's music plays day and night for the fans that congregate in these remote sand flats.
They're making a new Tron movie. And it
looks like it might not suck! (via @dburka)
Update: The Tron Legacy trailer and Michael Jackson's Beat It match up pretty well, don't they?
This is pretty awesome:
a bunch of videos strung together to make it seem like one long moonwalk. In tribute to Michael Jackson, of course. What's amazing is that for the 4-5 minutes I watched, there was not a single decent moonwalk...just people shuffling backwards. (via vsl)
Update: Matt Zoller Seitz analyzes Eternal Moonwalk and finds much to love about it.
Eternal Moonwalk is also an incidental tutorial in the basic properties of cinema. It returns motion pictures to their origin point, when the medium's core appeal was the chance to watch strangers performing, their bodies moving from Point A to Point B, their familiar or amusing actions serving as an emotional connection point, a reminder that we're members of the same species inhabiting the same small world.
From the NY Times:
L.A. Times Reports Jackson Is Dead | 6:24 p.m. The newspaper cited "city and law enforcement sources." The networks and CNN are also broadcasting the news, citing the Times story.
The LA Times story is here but isn't loading right now. Twitter is melting down a little. RIP, King of Pop.
Update: The LA Times story is loading now. Here's what it says:
Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.
Update: My favorite Michael Jackson performance is from the MTV Awards in 1995.
It's not a groundbreaking performance or anything -- it's like a greatest hits package -- but I had it taped on VHS and watched it many many times, wondering how a person could move like that.
The items up for sale in the forthcoming Michael Jackson auction indicate that Jackson spent the 80s fashioning Neverland Ranch into a cross between Buckingham Palace and Ricky Stratton's house in Silver Spoons. (via clusterflock)
Epic Records/Legacy Recordings is releasing a 25th Anniversary Special Edition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," with bonus tracks including remixes by Akon, will.i.am, and Kanye West.
There's a nice
interview on NPR with Chris Connelly, who reviewed the album for Rolling Stone in 1982.
alternate album cover for the original Special Edition of "Thriller" can be found on wikipedia, for a look at what could have been.
Legendary mime Marcel Marceau died Saturday at age 84.
Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind."
I tried to find video of that sketch but came up empty.
Update: Here's some video of Marceau teaching wind walking to a class...and miming with Michael Jackson. (thx, andy & mike)
Update: Here's a better video of Marceau doing his wind walk, from a Mel Brooks movie no less. (thx, manuel)
The White Glove Tracking site needs your help in finding Michael Jackson's white glove in all 10,060 frames of Jackson's performance of Billy Jean. "Rather then write unnecessarily complex code to find the glove in every frame of the video I am asking for the assistance of 10,060 individual internet users to simply click and drag a box around the glove in one frame." Don't stop 'til you get enough (white gloves located).
You know that patented move that Michael Jackson does in the Smooth Criminal video where he leans and looks like he's going to tip over but then he doesn't?
Turns out Jackson actually did patent that method back in 1993. The drawings are pretty funny.