Off-The-Wall-michael-jacksons-short-films-10646021-600-436Well, that was a double bill I don’t think my emotional infrastructure should be put through again any time soon. Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation”, about that crucial Nat Turner -led uprising, was a remarkable piece of work, made all the more powerful by the huge and engaged audience of the Eccles Theater that I saw it in. Then I had to duck out (missing the Q+A sadly) in order to get across to the Library theatre in 20 minutes to see Spike Lee’s brilliant new documentary about Michael Jackson’s transition from Motown to the spectacular “Off the Wall” album. A proper music documentary for music lovers, really digging into all the musical details, reminding me of my formative years and beyond, and touching off old chills and sobs I’d kept under the surface since that June back in 2009.

Something about the horror of the first film’s subject combined with the joy of the second -both about america and race- (perhaps coupled with the knowledge of what was to come, and the state of things today) made for a potent mix.

And I’ve still got one more film to go tonight… Better breathe deeply.


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