On a pitch black stage, Michael Jackson sits on a stool, wearing a blue sweater, his hands folded in his lap as a spotlight resembling a shining star hangs over him. The camera walks closer to him. He scratches his head as the camera gets a close-up.

Downcast, he sings to the floor, licking his lips every so often and shaking his head. He puts his hand over his eyes.

To the left, he sits on the stool. The right of the screen is his close-up, his expression dour as he stares off to the other side.

Both screens slide out of frame as a close-up of him moves to the center. Then, switches again. The close-up of him is on the left while on the right, he sits on the stool. He gulps and puts his head down. He presses his hand to his forehead.

Jackson returns to a close-up.

The backs off, giving him space as he licks his lips and puts his head down again. The spotlight shines like a star.

Rating: 5/5

Michael Jackson, in the private setting, lets the emotion drain him as he sings. On his face, it’s as though a person can see the wounds brutalizing¬†him from inside, each word a poke to his pride and souring his once optimistic view towards life.

He closes his eyes most of the time, concentrating on the lyrics and blocking the camera from his mind. There are no theatrics, affected vocal tics or a hypermasculine storyline to push the song. The emotional destruction, creating a bitterness in words and sharpening his tongue is the story. The regret has caused irrevocable changes to him that will take decades to reverse.

Director: Bruce Gowers Year: 1980

 

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