October 22, 2009 |
In late July, a month after Michael Jackson died from the effects of a powerful anesthetic plus other medications, Sony Pictures bid $60 million for a movie after seeing just 97 seconds of footage. That brief clip was a glimpse of more than 100 hours that concert promoter AEG Live shot of the late singer during rehearsals for a planned London concert series called "This Is It." "We had a very strong gut feeling that this could be a cultural event despite the fact that none of us really saw any of the footage before we concluded the deal," said Sony's production president, Doug Belgrad.
November 2, 2009 |
The last time one of Michael Jackson's tours played the continental United States was 1988. So perhaps it's no surprise that "This Is It," Sony Pictures' film made from rehearsal footage for Jackson's planned London concert series, did more than twice as much business internationally in its first five days as it did domestically. "This Is It" opened to a studio-estimated $68.5 million in 108 foreign territories from Wednesday through Sunday and $32.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, where it started late Tuesday.
October 28, 2009 |
There's a sweet personal exchange near the end of "Michael Jackson's This Is It," the new concert film assembled from footage of the rehearsals for the London performances nullified by his death in June. Jackson is working out a dance sequence with Kenny Ortega, the director of the ill-fated concerts and of this documentary. Ortega lovingly mimics Jackson, overplaying his signature big hand gestures, and the superstar laughs. "I love how the stewardesses do it," he says. "I love it!"
November 3, 2009 |
On June 25, just hours after Michael Jackson died, Tim Patterson drove from his home in the Santa Clarita Valley to downtown Los Angeles with $60-million worth of film footage in his trunk. As he sped down Interstate 5 in his green Lexus convertible, Patterson carried virtually all of the 140 hours of rehearsal footage from the late singer's planned "This Is It" concert series that would eventually be whittled down to the 112-minute movie that opened last week to a decent $34.4 million domestically and a much stronger $69.5 million overseas through Sunday.
November 1, 2009 |
In "Michael Jackson's This Is It," moviegoers will not see the elaborate costumes created for the tour that never was, bedazzled with 4 million Swarovski crystals and lighted up using LED technology. Those are on display at the O2 Arena in London, where the engagement had been scheduled to begin in July, and will go on to New York and Tokyo. But what they will see, in addition to tough and tender moments that humanize the pop singer, and one hell of a music and dance show, is an amazing array of designer outfits Jackson wore to rehearsals.
October 26, 2010
Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard will not be coming to Hollywood to accept his honorary Academy Award. Academy President Tom Sherak said Monday that he had gotten word from Godard that the 79-year-old director would not attend the Governors Awards on Nov. 13, when honorary Oscars are presented. The decision followed what the academy called a cordial, two-month exchange with the iconoclastic filmmaker, a pioneer of the French New Wave who has taken potshots at Hollywood over the years.