#BLOGTOBER Day 29- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”- A Film Muse

As a huge Michael Jackson fan, I know that all of his videos are very detailed and tell a story. But the true leader of the pact has to be the iconic, nearly 14 minute long, short film- Thriller.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller- A Film Muse

Although I was not born until the 90’s, this video was always a big deal around Halloween, I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. And I try to make sure to watch and listen to Thriller every Halloween season. It just puts you in the spirit. 

MJ’s message at the beginning-

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I read that Michael had said this video offended people, which he never intended to, and that he would never want to do something like it again. But even so, the legacy of it lives on and on!

Color theme is pretty instant upon the reveal of the title- black and red- just like his iconic leather jacket. 

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a music video for the Michael Jackson song “Thriller” released on December 2, 1983. It was directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Jackson. It was MTV’s first world premiere video. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over nine million copies. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The track was also listed at number one on “The Top 10 Halloween Songs” by Billboard. 

Co-starring with Jackson was former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters (who had worked with the singer on his prior hit “Beat It”), and Jackson. Jackson contacted Landis after seeing his film An American Werewolf in London; make-up artist Rick Baker and composer Elmer Bernstein (who composed incidental music for the video) were also brought from the film to work on the video. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. “Thriller” was the third and final video for the Thriller album. The red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by Landis’ wife Deborah Landis to make him appear more “virile”. – All info Via Wikipedia.

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Summary [If you live under a rock and have never seen this masterpiece…Watch Before Reading the spoilers below!]

In the 1950s, Michael Jackson and a young woman (Ola Ray) run out of gas while driving in a wooded area. They walk into the forest and Michael asks her to be his girlfriend. She accepts. Jackson warns her that he is “not like other guys”, transforms into a werewolf, and attacks her.  In a modern-day movie theater, Michael and his girlfriend are watching the previous scene as part of horror film, Thriller. She leaves early, disturbed by the violence. As they walk in the street, Michael teases her by performing the verses of “Thriller”. In a graveyard, undead rise from their graves as Vincent Price narrates. The couple are surrounded and Michael becomes a zombie. He and the zombies dance to “Thriller”. Michael and the zombies chase his girlfriend into an abandoned house. She screams and wakes up, realizing it was a nightmare. Michael embraces her, but turns to the camera and grins, revealing his werewolf eyes. – Via Wikipedia

This video has everything. It has great music (that chorus! how can you NOT sing along), a killer dance break, a cool concept with a movie within a movie, dancing zombies, a werewolf transformation, young love, and that Vincent Price epic cackle at the end that will always give me chills…I mean what more can you ask for?

I love how they got the 50’s charcters to dress the part- the poodle skirt/letterman jacket/ and him asking her to go steady by giving her his ring. Then we see the 80’s inspired fashion in the current timeline. I love the red and blue hues in Jackson and Ray’s wardrobe. Blue hues are often used in horror. They match the spooky night sky and rolling fog, as they walk through the dewy streets while he serenades her. That whole sequence is probably my favorite because it’s cute and playful like something you’d see in a romantic comedy, and then shit gets real in a minute. Excuse the language. 😉 Jackson’s character is funny and a jokester, but when he turns, he turns! And instantly you feel like your worst nightmares are coming true…like your starring in a horror movie yourself. 

It has all the markings of a horror film, the carefully placed “scary movie” suspense music/sound effects, creatures closing in creating that claustrophobic feeling (those closeup shots are so good- they make you feel like you are right there in the film). And let’s not forget the overly dramatic actress, screaming. Ah- a true ode to horror. It is mentioned in the wiki research that they had specific horror films they used as inspiration through the creation of the short film- naming films like Phantom of the Opera, Night of the Living Night, and I Was A Teenage Werewolf. 

That toe touch!

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I love how you have to suspend reality and just trust the storyline. There is a bit of a confusion, because we are basically watching a movie within a movie. The way that this is set up is brilliant. You get a mini intro, a fake out, then cue the song’s intro as we pan onto the theatre sign, as the story continues. That shot of the movie theatre was done with a crane, I saw in the behind the scenes. Epic!

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#INCEPTION

So in the beginning we see a young couple walking through the woods and then the guy turns into a werewolf, but it ends up being a movie Michael and his girl are watching. Are we to believe that the whole rest of the short film is the real deal? When Michael turns into a zombie and busts a move, only to later chase his girlfriend into an old house and be revealed as his regular self again, telling her, “What’s the problem? Come on, I’ll take you home,” like everything is fine. Did you see that lighting change/setting change though? #MovieMagic Making us think that the movie scared the wits out of her and is making her think all of these creepy creatures are real and chasing her. But then we get that turn back of Michael revealing his werewolf eyes accompanied by Vincent Price’s Laugh and you see that suspending reality is a beautiful thing and you just watched a masterpiece. 

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I love that ending, even if it confuses me. Haha. I guess it wasn’t all in her head. 

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Don’t get me wrong, there are some cheesy moments here and there. But like I teach my kids in my film class, these graphics were groundbreaking for that time in film and video. We grow and we get better. And effects improve through the years, but you have to start somewhere. And this was an EPIC start! Paved the way.

This video is iconic and still to this day inspires other artists to push the boundaries of music television and storytelling. 

 

Behind the Scenes of Michael’s Werewolf & Zombie transformations, etc.

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Cue the shot of the moon…so good!

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For more BTS information watch the hour long Documentary-

The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

THRILLER LYRICS

READ MORE INFO ABOUT THE THRILLER VIDEO 

FYI Jackson did venture into horror again, in his 1996 musical short film- GHOSTS (running 39 minutes). This too was granted a documentary- The Making Of. Although I can’t find concrete info as to how it was released in the US, I remember watching this on tv with my family when I was a kid. I feel like it was a big Halloween special. It is so creepy, but so damn good. I can’t find the full version on YouTube but I linked a shorter version. This is a whole other Film Muse in the making, maybe next Halloween. 😀 

I’ll never understand how he could make a dance break scary?

Hats off, Michael. May you rest in peace. 

 

*I do not take credit for any images/gifs/music/lyrics/videos/BTS footage used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake Feb. 2018 Fangirl Report

Justin Timberlake’s new album “Man Of The Woods” is out THIS FRIDAY- February 2nd-TOMORROW! Just in time for him to take the stage this Sunday at this year’s Super bowl for the Half time show. And yes I plan on going to Target after work to buy my copy. Need that tangible stuff! Still no digital for me, not when it comes to this man! 

Expect a full album review fairly soon! 

album artwork

In the weeks leading up to this special day, Justin has released 3 out of 4 songs all accompanied by music videos. I imagine the 4th song will be released sometime this week. Yesterday Justin celebrated his 37th Birthday by rehearsing for the Super bowl and sharing some video clips of new songs. He hinted about “Man of the woods” being a “New song alert” but then he played a clip of another song entitled, “Montana.” I’m excited it sounds good!!! He also said that “Man of the Woods” the album title is named after his son, Silas- which means- of the woods; “So stop telling me I’m making a country album.” Hahaha ah Justin you might have wanted to lead with that little tid bit. Cuz you got people confused over here! 😉 Happy Birthday, to the man! Can’t wait for the new album! Now onto the 3 of the 4 songs already released.

You can read my feels about his first single- FILTHY HERE

The second song and video released was for SUPPLIES

Read the lyrics HERE

This song was more of a instant like than Filthy. And I think the video is pretty cool. Riddled with not so hidden messages and politics I’m sure there is a reason for each. But at first watch it’s just all very confusing. I do see Justin’s inner thug trying to come out here. Haha. That white hoodie tho. #ROCKYOURBODYVIBES

-The video starts with Justin sitting in front of a wall of televisions displaying a bunch of images- like eyes starring back you and weapons. Followed by news reports of racism and riots. 

As the song begins. 

-The next scene is filled with the colors, white, black and gold. As we see a woman in a black hoodie approach a man and some regal dressed women painted in white. As dozens of white umbrellas float above their heads and white painted alligators walk the streets. A man with a neck made of guns walks by too. To be honest I’m not getting this metaphor. Maybe it has something to do with racism or social class or the pouring rain of issues our world is currently facing. 

-Next we have a crew of people holding flashlights in front of what appears to be a Library. As Justin is joined by Pharrell for the chorus. Flashlights. Supplies. He’ll be the light in the darkness. 

-Justin also has a partner in these antics, a leading lady- who sets fire to the symbol of illuminati and we see dozens bow before it, praising it. Guess he’s stating his opinion of that one. 

-There’s the political jab at President Trump- as the girl rocks a “P***Y Grabs Back” shirt while lifting a car above her head. 

-Then there is a scene of floating people with light rings around their heads, Justin and his lady release two people as they fall free. My take is that society can brainwash you, but you have to think for yourself.

-2:42 is my favorite part of the song, and in the video it is basically the “romantic love scene” I guess you could call it. Justin and his love interest are circled in flashing beams of light while they have a make out session. He sings about being a generous lover. 

-If you ask me that part is a little misplaced. The sound of it, makes it feel like it could be in a song on it’s own. I do get that the song is about living in a world that’s falling apart, and how he will be the light, he will be everything she needs to survive. He’s got supplies. Sounds to me like someone’s been doomsday prepping. Haha. No but honestly if you look into the deeper meaning of this Rap infused song, you can really say it’s kind of a love song, he’s basically just saying that in a world of scary scary things, they still have each other and they will make it through. It’s beautiful when you put it that way. Not sure if people are picking up on that though. 

-The last few shots come to us from a dessert as Justin emerges from the ground of rubble, accompanied by his lady love and a few disheveled kids. Seriously though how is this chick still rocking perfect hair and lipstick in the apocalypse?

-The video ends with a very loud message as one of the young children screams into the camera, “Just Leave, die already. Your still asleep, wake up. Just leave, please. We’re good.” As Justin takes his girl’s hand and walks off, kids following. I think this has to do with needing to wake up to the world around us and accept that change has to come. Good change. I also definitely think it’s about Trump and our government and possibly how it is failing us. I know a lot of celebrities are not supporters of Trump. And neither am I. But I don’t like talking politics. 

I also think you can really interpret this video is a million different ways, there are some bizarre images. It’s very Taylor Swift. 😉

But I think it’s a really cool video, and he has some strong messages in there. I’ve never seen him do something like this before. Go Justin!

The next song released was SAY SOMETHING

Read the lyrics HERE

Ok so this song may be my favorite so far (I play it a lot!), and this video is EPIC. It was a one shot, one take, live performance. And it gave me serious Lumineers “Ho Hey” vibes. There is an incredible in depth article about this video, and you can read that HERE

It’s incredibly cinematic and beautifully shot. And that choir that joins in later on in the Chorus, COME ON NOW! This song is going to be incredible in concert, I hope he sings it at the super bowl!

This was a new style song and video for Justin and I’m noticing that he’s really pushing the boundaries with this album. It may be different, it may not be what we’re used to, but artists are meant to evolve and transform their styles. And I’m excited to see what the rest of Man of the Woods has got for us! Fangirl mode…ON!

track list

Tracklist

*Watch Justin’s socials for Behind the Scenes looks into his creative process.**

 

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

Taylor Swift- “Look What You Made Me Do” Video Premiere

Taylor Swift made tongues start talking once again, after premiering her Music Video for her latest single Look What You Made Me Do at the 2017 Video Music Awards this past Sunday.

Although Swift was not there to present it, (definitely a strategic move on her part #LetTheMusicDoTheTalking) her presence was largely felt in the strong images on the screen.

The video opens up in a cemetery with a zombified Taylor clawing her way out of her grave which reads “Here Lies Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” And the dark levels of imagery do not stop there, as Zombie Taylor proceeds to shovel dirt on top of her more “nice girl” self, lying there peaceful, arms crossed.

There’s a massive car crash scene, a scene where Taylor swings on a swing literally inside of a gold cage, robs a bank, lifts motorcycles with her bare hands, builds a squad of robots, and then dominates a dance routine in a sexy black number. Seriously though, my fav look of hers from the video. When I heard this song, this is the look I pictured her in.

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Needless to say, Taylor GOES ALL IN for this video. She calls out EVERYONE! Even herself.

At the 2:21 mark in the video, where Taylor begins singing the Bridge-

I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams

and then hitting us with the infamous line-

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Why?”
“Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” (ohh!)

the hair on my arms stood up as I got the chills as we see current Taylor standing on a pyramid of past versions of herself- the fallen Taylors if you will, all clawing to stay alive as they battle it out for the top spot- eventually losing their grip.

As if that visual wasn’t enough to convince us that Taylor has completely transformed into a “Give No Fucks” kinda girl, we then get a real treat at the end of the video as we see all the different versions of Taylor cat fighting, so to speak. We see sweet country singer Taylor calling everybody ya’ll and trying to keep the peace, we see circus ring leader Taylor bully her and call her fake, biker Taylor call her out for “playing the victim,” “snake lover Taylor” hissing, and many others who some may say call out the disses made about her by other famous celebs. It’s as if a tell all and a satire had a baby and this was the result. It is dynamite and ballsy as all hell. Hats off girl, speak your truth. #WEWILLLISTEN  

And yes there are tons of countless little references and hidden/not so hidden Easter eggs that point directly to the many people who have contributed to the down fall of the old, nice girl Taylor Swift. I won’t go into speculations, because let’s face it the internet is already going into overdrive with theories. Watch that video a ton of times and you won’t be able to unseen them! But girl damn. I am so intrigued by the route she is taking. I feel like she is pretty much a genius strategist. I don’t think she has really spoken out about anything publically regarding her new material and quite frankly I don’t see her doing so for this record. She’s lost all faith in the media to tell her story and do it justice.

In one of her latest social media posts, Taylor announced that her new album Reputation will be sold in partnership with Target. And with the album, fans will be able to purchase two collector magazines, which give them an insight into her creative process. Kind of like the personal voicemails she released on 1989 regarding how she wrote some of her lyrics, but more visual. The caption of the cover art for the magazine reading… There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.

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All of her posts have been quiet formal, very commercial. Almost a disconnect there. I think she is done with sharing her personal life, because somehow the media always spins it and she ends up adding fuel to the fire that others have taken and burned her with. I look forward to seeing more of THIS Taylor’s journey. It may be scaring the living daylights out of me, but I am in it and ready to see what you got for us TS.

Until we meet her next move.

xo

 

-<3-