Scorsese Day - SotD: Michael Jackson


When the king of pop wants to do a gangland video, who does he call...

No, not Ghostbusters. He calls Martin Scorsese, even though Michael Jackson didn’t actually know the director’s work! It was all arranged at the suggestion of Quincy Jones. The result was an 18-minute short film that starred Jackson as an honours student, Darryl, at a posh private school, heading home for the holidays and taking time to catch up with his old gang pals in a run-down area of Brooklyn. However, Darryl has changed more than either he or they thought and he doesn't fit into the old crime-filled gang ways quite as well as he used to. Mostly filmed in the mezzanine of a car-park in Brooklyn, Scorsese makes good use of black and white with the flip to colour for the actual video playing out like a dream sequence. The screenplay was written by Richard Price, who also did the screenplay for Colour of Money for Scorsese, and the cinematography was handled by long-time Scorsese collaborator Mark Chapman, who could also list Raging Bull and Taxi Driver in his Scorsese portfolio of work. The casting wasn’t too shabby either, as the short film made a star of one Wesley Snipes as Darryl’s gang-mate/nemesis and had superstar Roberta Flack providing the voice of Darryl’s mother.

Scorsese himself even makes an appearance in the video, well, kind of. He’s the face on the Wanted poster on the wall about 10 minutes in. Wanted for Sacrilege! So now who’s bad…



Image - Amazon