The Memorial and Film
Jackson's televised memorial took place at the Staples Center (where he rehearsed much of his concert tour) on July 7, 2009. We all remember the tearful Jackson family and especially his heartbroken children. Anything else that happened that day was hopelessly overpowered by the enormity of this cultural icon. And as we all know, the film "This Is It", documenting his heartrending work, was released to the public on screens in October 2009, months after Jackson's death in June 25.
Despite any misgivings you may have over his bizarrely controversial personal life, the movie is worth a look. A consummate professional, Michael Jackson had been performing on stage almost his entire life. Granted, the intense scrutiny of the public eye and troubled family life turned him into a freak show at times, but on stage, in the true spotlight, he shone. As depicted in the film, he worked tirelessly with musicians and crew, always appreciative and humble, gently adjusting errors in order to reach the pinnacle of pop perfectionism he was accustomed to. He knew what he wanted and he got it, and you had to agree with him, because no one knew better. To dismiss him as a pop culture phenomenon is a disservice. No it's not deep intellectual pursuit, but his work was still hard - genius simply means being uniquely, impressively the best. Can't argue with that.
The DVD extras come with sincere testimonials and behind-the-scenes looks at auditions, costumes, sets, etc. The show would have had the latest 3D magic and larger-than-life puppets and pyrotechnics, but beyond all that, Jackson's mere presence, emotion and passion would have kept audiences enthralled just as he was. It would have been a great concert. I challenge you to watch the footage unmoved.
L-O-V-E. Peace, Michael.