Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

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Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 08:18:04 AM
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Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012 1:30PM EDT


Filmmaker Spike Lee poses for a photo as he promotes the movie "Bad 25" during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday Sept. 15, 2012. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)

Read more: http://www.cp24.com/entertainment/spike-lee-calls-media-treatment-of-mj-shameful-1.957363#ixzz26dOdVKFL

TORONTO -- Spike Lee's new documentary "Bad 25" captures Michael Jackson in the turbulent time before he crafted 1987's "Bad," a period when the notoriously meticulous King of Pop worked with feverish obsession on trying to top his own megahit "Thriller" while the tabloids vigorously devoured the remnants of his personal life.
 
But even after "Bad" made good and topped charts around the world, the album's release saw the decided shift of attention from Jackson's pristine pop to his apparently bizarre personal behaviour (Chimps! Amusement parks! The Elephant Man's bones!).
 
And for that media-fuelled rubbernecking, Lee says there's plenty of shame to go around.
 
"People, they had the hater-ade. They were drinking hater-ade," the two-time Academy Award nominee said in an interview from a swanky hotel suite Saturday during the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie screened.
 
"Read the reviews of the 'Bad' album. They wrote like this was some piece of (crap). And (they) don't call him by his name -- 'Wacko Jacko?' It's shameful.... Those people should be ashamed what they did to him."
 
And while Lee's reverential film remains studiously focused on Jackson's work, it also reveals much about an intensely private man who really never experienced privacy.
 
"Bad 25" picks up in the wake of the titanic success of Jackson's second album as an adult solo artist, 1982's game-changing stunner "Thriller." The best-selling album of all time, "Thriller"'s sales numbers are still too gaudy to believe -- after all, it's been certified platinum 29 times over in the U.S. alone while going twice diamond in Canada.
 
But Jackson wasn't satisfied with that. Just as he was determined to make "Thriller" a much bigger success than his 1979 disco-informed classic "Off the Wall," Jackson thought he could similarly top the biggest hit of all time. As Lee's film uncovers, Jackson even used to scrawl "100,000,000" on mirrors and notebooks as a reminder to himself of the impossibly lofty sales number he wanted to achieve with "Bad."
 
Of course, that produced an almost unprecedented amount of self-imposed pressure for a pop artist.
 
So Lee's film captures Jackson obsessing over not just the 11 tracks that formed "Bad" but also its ambitious music videos (one of which was directed by film luminary Martin Scorsese), the choreography of the album's eventual epic tour (which included a show in front of 72,000 fans at London's Wembley Stadium) or even bits of promotional minutiae only tangentially related to Jackson's music.
 
(As an example, one of the film's lighter moments arrives in the form of self-shot archival footage of Jackson acting out specific instructions for the animators of a California Raisin commercial that was to feature his image).
 
Lee says Jackson believed that he couldn't stop pushing himself or everything he had worked to build would deteriorate.
 
"He was not stupid," said Lee, clad in a glittering Michael Jackson T-shirt with matching custom Nike kicks.
 
"He saw people, black artists, who were at the top and then broke. He saw many great black artists who were confined to just being black artists.
 
"Michael's about breaking boundaries."
 
Still, Lee can't necessarily relate to Jackson's unyielding eye for detail.
 
"There's nothing wrong with being a perfectionist. Now, me, I'm not going to do 80 takes like David Fincher of somebody picking up a magazine. I'm not going to do that!" he adds, laughing as he picks up and slams a nearby lifestyle mag for emphasis.
 
"But it was his money.... He put his money into his work."
 
And Lee does identify with Jackson in other ways.
 
The legendary filmmaker behind "Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X" was born in 1957, a year before Jackson.
 
He vividly recalls seeing Jackson as the overwhelmingly gifted young phenom headlining the Jackson 5 when they first shimmied across the stage at "The Ed Sullivan Show." Years later, Lee was a film-school student left so enthralled by the videos for "Thriller," "Billie Jean" and, yes, "Bad," that he aspired to helm such clips himself.
 
So when Jackson died in summer 2009 after a cardiac arrest (his doctor, Conrad Murray, was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter), Lee was devastated.
 
"I was messed up for months about that," said the 55-year-old. "I grew up with Michael. I'm a year older than him. When I was 10, he was nine. So I didn't know him, but I saw him grow up."
 
Along with Lee's film, the 25th anniversary of "Bad" is being celebrated with a spiffy new deluxe re-release on Tuesday.
 
The new two-disc set includes a remastered version of the original album, plus a slate of worthy B-sides that were once axed from its concise tracklist. (With characteristic honesty, Lee dismisses a portion of the second disc's new material, screwing his face into a frown as he warns: "Forget about the remixes.")
 
Lee doesn't think there's room for debate over how the record -- which featured such hits as the title track, "Man in the Mirror," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Smooth Criminal" -- wears its age.
 
"Look at the Billboard charts when 'Bad' was released 25 years ago, and then listen to those songs, and see if they still sound contemporary or dated," said Lee, whose film will air on ABC on Nov. 22 in Canada.
 
"'Bad' still stands up. Those other songs that were on the Top 10 list 25 years ago? Who were they? Thin Lizzy? Are we still speaking about those people?" he asks incredulously. (In actual fact, Billboard's Top 10 the first week "Bad" topped the charts included Whitney Houston's sophomore album alongside the "La Bamba" soundtrack and records by Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Heart.)
 
"The greats will stand the test of time. It's not even an argument."
 
Although Lee has condemned those who eagerly gawked at Jackson's downfall (the film doesn't cover the accusations of child sexual abuse brought against the singer in 1993), he does admit to some level of curiosity about one specific element of Jackson's life: his gradually lightening skin tone.
 
While it was later reported that Jackson's colour was changing due to the skin condition vitiligo and treatments for lupus, Lee watched the transition with some interest.
 
"Black folks were wondering about (that) -- I'm not going to lie," Lee said with a chuckle, pinching his own skin. "Because Michael never came public that he had this disease. I was one of them. Like, 'Wait a minute man. What's up brother?'
 
"I'm not going to lie. That's full disclosure. And I'm not speaking on behalf of 45 million African Americans, but there were discussions about Michael's complexion."
 
Of course, there were discussions about virtually every element of Jackson's life.
 
Lee had access to a deep well of sensational archival footage, supplementing original interviews conducted with Jackson collaborators including Scorsese and director Joe Pytka (as well as such admirers as Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Canada's Justin Bieber) with clips of Jackson in the studio or warming up on video sets.
 
But amid all the shots of Jackson fervently fretting over some seemingly insignificant tone or lyric, there are revealing insights about the strange way he lived his life.
 
This is a man who adopted devious disguises just to meet up with his brothers for dinner, whose every public appearance devolved into hysteria and whose earliest memories of childhood were indivisible from showbiz.
 
"He had to sing and dance to eat since he was six years old," Lee said simply.
 
At one point in the film, a teary-eyed confidante of Jackson's relates a conversation they shared in which the singer yearned to be a fly on the wall at a party, to see what normal people talked about.
 
And one of the bonus tracks on "Bad 25" is the knotted, claustrophobic "Price of Fame," in which Jackson laments the cost of dealing with the demands of a massive audience that's blindly obsessed with him.
 
Lee doesn't think long when asked what that cost was.
 
"Look, he's not here. He's not here. Not in this physical form," he replies.
 
"You get to be the most recognizable person on this planet, there's a price for that.... You could say he paid with his life, really."



Read more: http://www.cp24.com/entertainment/spike-lee-calls-media-treatment-of-mj-shameful-1.957363#ixzz26dNaf500
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 08:19:10 AM by everlastinglove_MJ »
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Offline wishingstar

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 08:55:45 AM
Really interesting article........I would really love to see this film.
I am sure Mr. Lee did a great job with showing the truths
of Michael's life.  The sentence about, "being a fly on the wall"
put a smile on my face.  I can't help but think, he's now that fly. 
I love how open Mr. Lee is so open about the skin lightning......
"Wait a minute, man. What's up brother?" It just shows the
honesty of the moment for millions of people.  The end where it
talks about the price of fame....really interesting.  He paid with his
life, so that others may be entertained.  Was it worth it? Sometimes,
I really wish fame hadn't come to Michael.  Is that bad of me?  I would
just really love to know that his life has always been comfortable and happy.
Thanks for posting the article,everlastinglove_MJ, really great.

Have a most beautiful day!
LOVE

Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 10:17:34 AM
I agree Wishingstar, kudos to Spike Lee for his honesty and openness.

I think that your wish is not bad of you, Wishingstar. I really wish that too. I couldn’t help thinking and asking myself, after reading this great interview of Spike Lee, if the price of fame Michael had to pay was really worth it, same as your thoughts. Especially when I read the lyrics of “price of fame” and although I love to hear the song, it also gave me a sad feeling about him. His fame started at a very young age, you could say life of fame was inevitable, he didn’t know any better, he had no choice. He gave everything to entertain others, always pushing his own wishes and the happy life he really wanted aside till the end (at least that’s what I try to imagine). I would really love to know too if his life has always been comfortable and happy, but even more if he is comfortable and happy now! I really wish that. And similar thoughts: “he is now that fly on the wall” or maybe a butterfly because he’s resurrected in a new life;)

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and I hope you have a wonderful day too!

LOVE you
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 10:19:31 AM by everlastinglove_MJ »
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Offline wishingstar

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 10:26:36 AM
I love butterflies.....new life indeed : )






Offline hesouttamylife

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 10:48:20 AM
I’m so happy that the world is finally coming to understand Michael and his wealth.  Michael was unquestionably wealthy and his earning potential was limitless, but he didn’t worship or hoard money.  He used his riches to heal children around the world. He used it to take his art to its highest high. He used it to match wits in business ventures where people thought he simply wasn’t smart enough and he came out the victor. He used it to embellish and equip his surroundings, his home, his personal space with things that made him feel safe, secure and relaxed as well as inviting to others who by chance came to be there for what ever reason or amount of time.  He gave back so much to society that sometimes I wonder if he gave away more than he actually kept over the span of his career. And he did it cheerfully without hesitation and with no remorse.  I have read about people in history who were joyful givers, but never in my life can I even recall any other person who gave and gave not only monetarily but with every ounce of his being, keeping no records and not caring how much so long as it was enough to make a positive difference in someone’s life.  It takes a special kind of human being to do that.  Michael was that special person in my lifetime.  I hate the way the media portrayed him.  I wonder how many of them now are hanging their heads in shame, how many feel differently about their career goals and their successes being earned on the back of a man who would give his last dime to someone who needed it.  I just wonder did anyone quit the business because their conscious would not allow them to go on in an industry where careers are made on destroying others the likes of Michael Jackson.  The world is cruel and hard to live in as a normal 9 to 5 working person.   I cannot even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be MJ and deal with all the shit he had to deal with unnecessarily. 

Wonderful article.  Thanks for posting.
"Don't stop this child, He's the father of man
Don't cross his way, He's part of the plan
I am that child, but so are you
You've just forgotten, Just lost the clue.”

MJ "Magical Child"
Still Rocking my World…
   and leaving me Speechless!

“True goodbyes are the ones never said

Offline RememberHisTime

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 10:55:00 AM
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[...] an intensely private man who really never experienced privacy.

This, for me, exemplifies the extraordinary circumstances Michael had to deal with. Hopefully he is a "fly on the wall" now.
Le roi est mort, VIVE LE ROI !

Offline blankie

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 03:31:44 PM
Is sure a great job and Michael deserves all the best.. :icon_razz: Spike Lee also won the Future festival digital award 2012 at the Venice Film Festival..... :michael_jackson-1135:

Sorry I found the news only in italian   :icon_e_sad:   http://cinemaitaliano.info/news/14520/venezia-69-a-bad-25-il-digital-award.html

The article says  that Spike Lee won with Bad 25 " for reflecting on a central theme of modernity as the redefinition of the individual identity through audiovisual ".


I'm happy for this !!  :icon_razz:  :moonwalk_:
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 03:33:59 PM by blankie »
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Offline sweetsunsetwithMJ

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  • Michael I am looking forward to your BAM!!

Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 05:25:40 PM
Here you have it in english:

Future Film Festival Digital Award
to Bad25 by Spike Lee
Special Mention to Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine


http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/news/08-09c.html
I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE!!

Offline blankie

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 06:17:57 PM
Here you have it in english:

Future Film Festival Digital Award
to Bad25 by Spike Lee
Special Mention to Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine


http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/news/08-09c.html




Great !! Thanks !!!   :bearhug:
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Offline hesouttamylife

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 16, 2012, 07:23:33 PM
 :th_bravo: That is awesome.  Congratulations Spike Lee & Michael Jackson.   :th_bravo:
"Don't stop this child, He's the father of man
Don't cross his way, He's part of the plan
I am that child, but so are you
You've just forgotten, Just lost the clue.”

MJ "Magical Child"
Still Rocking my World…
   and leaving me Speechless!

“True goodbyes are the ones never said

Offline RK

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Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 17, 2012, 11:51:16 AM
I  never get tired of reading good articles about Michael. We need more of them I say.  Bravo Spike.

Wishy said.....
Quote
  Was it worth it? Sometimes,
I really wish fame hadn't come to Michael.  Is that bad of me?

I don't believe it's bad Wishy.....I have that same recurring thought about that catalog

Offline sweetsunsetwithMJ

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  • Michael I am looking forward to your BAM!!

Re: Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ 'shameful'

  • on: September 17, 2012, 04:43:09 PM
Here you have it in english:

Future Film Festival Digital Award
to Bad25 by Spike Lee
Special Mention to Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine


http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/news/08-09c.html




Great !! Thanks !!!   :bearhug:

You are welcome Bella!!
I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE!!

 

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