“I’m bored. I want to be entertained.”
Pharaohs tremble when their queens speak thusly … or so it would seem from this classic video, which many people deem to be Michael Jackson’s best. “(Do You) Remember The Time” set a new standard for music videos that I don’t believe has been surpassed. Having Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Michael Jordan in the cast certainly didn’t hurt the video’s quality.
I especially liked the group dance sequence, where the line dancers (and Michael) use asymmetrical, disjointed, or cross-directional moves. These kinds of body movements create an illusion of rigid fluidity (a visual contradiction in terms). Michael was especially good at performing such moves, but to watch a room full of dancers follow the same basic pattern was (to me) simply amazing.
Of course, more people probably remember Michael Jackson for “Thriller”, which was the video to which Jennifer Garner’s movie “13 Going On 30” paid tribute. I was never very fond of the beginning part of this video where they mimic a 1950s-era monster movie. I’m not sure why. I remember watching a documentary about the video on TV. They made a whole event out of the thing.
Among many of the details you can notice in the movie are the one sheets from real monster movies in the background when Michael and his date leave the theater (and Vincent Price’s name is on the marquee, of course). And I hope people aren’t offended if I say that Michael Jackson is probably the only man who can get away with wearing white socks in black shoes, but they look a little goofy even on his lanky form.
The choreography in “Thriller” differs from that in “Remember the Time” in several ways. It’s more relaxed and I think that is due in large part to the fact that it’s symmetrical choreography. The visual impact is not as (intentionally) jarring. There is one quick shot, though, of five ghoul gangsters doing asymmetrical moves.
I wish I could have included the full video here but I guess it’s not available on YouTube.