Directed by: #RichardBruhn
Right, wrack your brain around this one: the year is 2023, Michael Jackson is alive and well in Switzerland; he wears a solid gold mask and a wig to cover his severe facial burns, he’s retired from the music scene but has big plans to make films and wants to adopt two children from every continent on the planet. He’s giving his first interview in fifteen years with a woman named Eve; he’s not been avoiding interviews for the past fifteen years, but simply nobody but Eve has bothered to ask. Sound wacky enough for ya? Now imagine this concept played straighter than plaid shirts and cargos. Michael Jackson’s Magical Moon Tour takes this beautifully bizarre concept and portrays it like the polite conversation you have with your dentist before he sticks his hands in your mouth; which just serves to make it even more bizarre – the film that is, not the dentist, although I do also find this rather absurd.
If you’re confused, then good: you’re a human being. Essentially what this film is doing is taking real interviews and speeches from Michael Jackson’s life mixed in with some made up bits and bobs to create the mega-Michael-Jackson-interview, reflecting on his life and projecting the future he never had. It’s a nice idea, particularly if you like Michael Jackson. Of course, the film doesn’t really match the general cultural perception of the King of Pop at present, but it does address the allegations with the same arguments that Jackson himself used when he was alive, and it’s a discussion that is perhaps beyond the scope of an hour long film, and certainly beyond that of a 500 word review from an unpaid writer. But complicated convictable controversies aside, it’s a cute idea for a film. The issue with this concept is that the interview often doesn’t have a very natural flow, jumping from questions about drug abuse to the Jackson 5, from sleeping with children to the inspiration behind the Thriller video. This clunkiness isn’t helped much by Sitara Hewitt’s awkward performance as the interviewer, the jarring editing, which lingers on each shot for a good second longer than necessary, and the slapped together sound mixing (Knight’s voice performance as Jackson was obviously recorded separately to Hewitt’s and you can hear the sound cut between every question).
Yet, it’s this awkwardness and flatness that makes the film so fascinating. As I said, it’s a pretty wild concept portrayed in such a banal fashion that one can’t help but laugh. It’s funny. It’s also pretty creepy. Above all, it’s intriguing and I can’t really say I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. The flatness does make the hour runtime drag on quite a bit, and don’t ever expect a punchline, and every critical instinct in my body is telling me it’s a bad film. But there’s something there, and God help me, I actually sort of liked it? Maybe?