‘Michael Jackson’s This Is It’ gets box set after 10 years

Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ film, which had the highest global box office gross of any concert documentary, was released in theaters that October. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2019

‘Michael Jackson’s This Is It’ gets box set after 10 years

  • Only 1,000 numbered copies will be made of the set that is available for presale at the Jackson online store
  • The film, which had the highest global box office gross of any concert documentary, was released in theaters that October 2009

LOS ANGELES: A small-batch box set of film, music and memorabilia will be released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” the movie that captured Jackson’s final concert rehearsals before his death.
Only 1,000 numbered copies will be made of the set that is available for presale at the Jackson online store and will be released on Dec. 11, Sony Music and the Jackson estate announced Friday.
Each will include four LPs on translucent-blue vinyl, a 3-D Blu-Ray disc of the film, a 60-page coffee table book and a ticket for a July 24, 2009 concert at O2 Arena in London that was never held because Jackson died 18 days before the shows was scheduled to begin.
The film, which had the highest global box office gross of any concert documentary, was released in theaters that October, the first of several posthumous projects the Jackson estate would produce.
It was culled from the rehearsal footage for what was to have been a comeback tour before Jackson’s doctor after his doctor gave him a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
It’s among the first Jackson projects announced since renewed allegations of child sexual abuse against the singer made in the Emmy-winning documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which Jackson’s estate has repeatedly attacked and challenged in court.


‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging. (Supplied)
Updated 23 October 2019

‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

MUMBAI: Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven,” which was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival, is pure cinema. Like his earlier works, here too the Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, this time to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging.

He says people worldwide now live in fear amid global geopolitical tensions. Today, checkpoints are just about everywhere: In airports, shopping malls, cinemas, highways — the list is endless.

“It Must Be Heaven” was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival. (Supplied) 

Suleiman’s earlier features, such as “Chronicle of a Disappearance” and “Divine Intervention,” showed us everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories. This time, it is Paris and New York. 

The first scene is hilarious, with a bishop trying to enter a church with his followers. The gatekeeper on the other side of the heavy wooden door is probably too intoxicated and refuses to let the priest in, leading to a comical situation. Suleiman’s life in Nazareth is filled with such incidents — snippets that have been strung together to tell us of tension in society. Neighbors turn out to be selfish, and only generous when they know they are being watched. 

The Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. (Supplied)

In Paris, the cafes along the grand boulevards, and the young women who pass by, are typical of France’s capital. But a cut to Bastille Day, with tanks rolling by in a show of strength, jolts us back to harsh reality. In New York, Suleiman’s cab driver is excited at driving a Palestinian. 

The film has an interesting way of storytelling. The scenes begin as observational shots, but the camera quickly changes positions to show Suleiman watching from the other side of the room or a street. The camera then returns to where it first stood, and this back-and-forth movement is delightfully engaging.

The framing is so perfect, and the colors so bright and beautiful, that each scene looks magical. And as the director looks on at all this with his usual deadpan expression, a sardonic twitch at the corner of his mouth, we know all this is but illusion. There is bitter truth ahead!