Episode 4 – Michael Jackson and Monochromatic Cinematography

Abstract: In this episode Elizabeth and Karin talk about the function of black and white (monochrome/chiaroscuro) cinematography in the short films, Bad (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1987) and

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From Throne to Wilderness: Michael Jackson’s ‘Stranger in Moscow’ and the Foucauldian Outlaw

In 1993, a horde of Californian ‘police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed’.1 Their fruitless efforts were to incriminate Michael Jackson, a black artist who was the most commercially successful in the world. Jackson, who was in Russia on his Dangerous tour, wrote the song, Stranger in Moscow, in response to the severity of his accusations, the eagerness of the media to sensationalise them and the willingness of the public to believe them. This essay examines how Michael Jackson’s Stranger in Moscow, relates to philosopher, Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘power’.

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Episode 1 – Was Michael Jackson an Artist?

Abstract: In this first ever episode of Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation, Karin and Elizabeth discuss Michael Jackson’s 1991 Black or White short film, directed

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‘Bad (1987)’

Michael Jackson starred in and produced upwards of forty films in a career which showcases many of the most watched short films of all time. The four-minute sequence often perceived to be ‘Bad’ (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1987) is in fact the epicentre of a much longer narrative. Parodied in ‘Moonwalker’ (dir. Jerry Kramer, 1988) in the spirit of ‘Bugsy Malone’ (dir. Alan Parker, 1976), it is nevertheless targeted towards adults. Richard Price’s screenplay was inspired by a 1985 shooting and explores several complex themes. This essay de-constructs ‘Bad’ for its cinematic significance, discussing its cultural relevance and artistry through a shot-by-shot analysis which interprets the film through mise en scène, cinematography, performances and wider context.

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