I think I was first really aware of Michael Jackson around the time of the release of ‘Bad‘ in 1987 and it was actually the family hairdresser who gave us copies of that album as well as Thriller and Off The Wall with the former being most impressive to me. However, by the time Dangerous was realeased in the early 90’s I had lost interest in his music and then all the trouble started following him around. Of course there were a few songs of his which I really enjoyed after that time and then when he died I, like many many others, jumped back on the Jackson bandwagon and began to appreciate him for the dancing and music without any of the other stuff getting in the way.
For Halloween I used ‘Thriller’ in my lessons with the adults which went down well and sensing the opportunity I decided to capitalise on the Japanese love for MJ by doing the new song ‘This is it’ in a few lessons, particularly with those students who mentioned that they had seen the film. The song is much slower and easier to understand than ‘Thriller’ and the words which I erased for the students to fill in all rhymed and/or had the same phonemic sounds which is something I learned on my TESOL course in the first half of this year.
I hadn’t planned to see the movie as I was fairly happy to just see the minute clip which aired in the days following his death. However, when a student strongly recommended it to me I decided to watch it later that night online as much as for research as anything as I wanted to be able to discuss the film with the students. I had low expectations to be honest but was pleasantly surprised at how interesting it was. I would even go as far as saying it was more interesting than normal live shows (which I’m not really a fan of anyway unless I was actually there) as you get to see all the detail that goes into the rehearsals and the directions which MJ gave his team. The amount of work that goes into such a show, including all the extra bits filmed for the concert big screen behind him, is quite incredible and it would have been interesting to see how MJ would have fared if he had been alive to go through the planned 50 date show. However, I can’t help feeling that the real true story of the filming of the tour lies in the hours and hours of footage not used.