Video Review: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson “Scream”

In black-and-white, a spaceship flies over Earth. With his arms crossed his chest, Michael Jackson stands in the Distress Capsule with headphones on his ears. The television screen in the lobby flickers. Janet Jackson closes her eyes in the Distress Capsule, her arms also crossed on her chest. Loud feedback reverberates through their headphones and they scream in pain.

An anime cartoon plays on the screen. Michael’s scream breaks the glass of his capsule.

Michael and Janet stand next to each other in the hallway. She places her head on his shoulder. He dances by himself and then watches some anime in the lobby. Michael smashes a guitar.

A screen reads “Gravity.” Michael swirls in the tunnel.

Michael, while standing with Janet in the hallway, makes the sign of the cross. Janet shakes her head. She kicks the screen and walks in the hallway alone. She sits on a chair while Michael walks on the wall.

The screen reads “Habitation.” Janet stares at her nails and the walks away. In the hallway, she punches and slides on the floor. Michael’s capsule rotates. Janet looks to the ceiling and sees Michael glued flat on his back as he moves his arms. Janet leaps from the couch to the wall and starts to dance.

“Gallery” is next. Michael swivels in his chair and flips through the channels on the remote. He views an Andy Warhol self-portrait and a Jackson Pollock painting. Janet swivels during in her turn and looks at some sculptures.

In “Media,” Michael and Janet play a video game. Michael pushes Janet in her seat as he tries to capture the ball on screen. Michael wears headphones in a room and listens to Janet speak as she stands at a podium. Michael covers Janet’s controller with his hand. Janet touches her breasts at the podium.

Michael spins with some spiky balls on the floor. He walks on a runway. During “Mediation,” he sits cross-legged, his eyes closed. He dances on the runway.

Janet and Michael sit in the control room once their “Observation” starts. Janet is watched as she urinates standing up in the bathroom. She jumps off the toilet and gives the finger.Michael screams during mediation and breaks the glass in the ceiling. She and Michael stretch on the barre in the middle of the urinals.

With his back to the television, Michael dances while a journalists gives a live report. She and Michael dance by the urinals. On the television, Michael sings from his capsule as Janet dances. Janet appears on the screen next while he dances.

Michael grabs a paddle during “Recreation” and hits the vases with the ball. They both dance on the ceiling.

Janet hugs Michael. Michael screams in his capsule.

Rating: 4/5

Michael Jackson flipped through the television stations in the United States and listened as the reporters speculated  his fate. While walking in Europe, the paparazzi flanked him as he walked to his hotel and followed him wherever he went. In Asia, he waves to some fans and views his picture on a the newspaper with a bold headline of “Michael Speaks Out.” He retreats to his hotel room and instructs his assistant to not let anyone else near his room. On the phone, he talks to his sister, Janet.

Upon his return home from Asia, Janet tells him to meet her at the space station in Florida. The general greets him at the door and leads him down a secret hallway. Michael’s jaw drops as he views the cylinder spaceship. Janet squeals once she sees him and asks him if he likes it. He says yes and asks if they could take a ride. The general says they can.

During their space ride, they are given activities to do, which allow them to unwind from their hectic lives. Their bodies become fluid and leaner, stretching their limbs past their physical capacity.  In the limited space, Michael shouts at the top of lungs and Janet stomps around, taunting the crew watching them back home. Eyes were always everywhere. There was no true escape from the judgement. However, they could act without consequences. Any threats or rants they expressed were only for themselves. The crew had been muted and could only speak to them unless it was an emergency.

Director: Mark Romanek Year: 1995

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.