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Michael Jackson tribute documentary 'Bad 25' premieres in Venice

The late singer is bathed in light, his arms outstretched and head back, as if crucified, at the end of the 55-year-old director’s documentary, which he calls 'a love letter' to Jackson.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson. Pic/Santa Banta

“I think it’s amazing that here we are in Venice for the world premiere of ‘Bad25’ on the exact date 25 years ago the album was released,” Fox News quoted Lee as saying.

Lee had been commissioned by Sony and Epic records to make a documentary for the anniversary, gathering interviews with collaborators on the album: dancers, choreographers, song writers, short film directors, back-up singers, sound technicians and friends.

“‘Bad’ has been overlooked because it is the album that immediately came after Thriller, which is the best selling album of all time. “Also ‘Bad’ was when Michael really started to flex his muscles creatively. He wrote nine of the 11 songs,” he said.

The collage of recollections has lifted the lid off mysteries like who was Annie, as in ‘Annie are you O.K.’ in ‘Smooth Criminal’ (Annie is the name of all CPR dummies) and why Jackson sang ‘Shamon’ on the ‘Bad’ title track (a tribute to blues singer Mavis Staples.)

The documentary also revealed that Jackson never used the term “music videos,” they were short films. Shot in Harlem and a Brooklyn subway station in New York City, it marked Wesley Snipes’ film debut and was designed to give Jackson street cred.

Lee said that he had been drawn to the project because of its focus on the music, and away from the media frenzy that surrounded him, the perceived eccentricities and misconceptions. “Let’s focus on his genius. Let’s focus on his music. Forget the other stuff,” he added.

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