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Spike Lee’s BAD25 to open at Venice Film Festival

Although the King of Pop has passed away, his music lives on. On Friday 31 August during the Venice Film Festival, exactly 25 years to the day after the album Bad was initially released in 1987, director Spike Lee will premiere his new documentary BAD25. At the time the album instantly surged to a No.1 in the world charts – will the film do the same?

“I’m more than just a huge fan of Michael Jackson,” Lee said in a recent statement, “and having had the chance to actually know him and work with him, I deeply care about his legacy.”

Hearing these words, fans worldwide must have uttered a sigh of relieve. The film about their idol would be made by a true fan, not by a mere commercial enterprise.

The album, after all, was a sensation in its own right, it brought us many timeless hits which are still played today and it produced one of the most memorable videos ever for its title cut (directed by none other than Martin Scorsese). It is therefor important that during its silver anniversary this memory is honoured in style.

Luckily, Bad 25 is said to be presenting just that. The bold and creative Lee has included a lot of behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson recording the famous album plus many intimate and revealing interviews with friends, fellow musicians, choreographers and stars such as Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green and Kanye West.

Photo by Sam Emerson

Offering more than just Jackson as the professional megastar or the man who was constantly attacked by the tabloids, Lee also manages to show us an intimate side of the popstar, a side we never got to see through all the apparent excesses of glitter and glamour.

Lee said: “With BAD25, I was able to uncover just what made this such a huge, important coming of age in his career and unearth compelling stories surrounding the making of Bad, the long awaited follow-up to Thriller – the best selling album of all time – the short films and the tour that may have never seen the light of day.”

Ahead of the first screening at the festival, the director will also be awarded the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory Filmmaker 2012 award for what the jury called “films that challenge us to rethink our prejudices and our preconceptions”.

We will find out on Friday if Lee has managed to do the same for audiences viewing BAD25.


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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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