I had no idea Spike Lee was working on another Michael Jackson film. Or maybe I did, but I just don’t recall. I searched the S&A archives but didn’t immediately find anything, so it doesn’t appear we mentioned it. There was the Michael Jackson documentary Spike made in 2012, in collaboration with Jackson’s estate and Sony Music, titled “Bad 25.” But this one is an entirely new project, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month.
Titled “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off The Wall'”, the documentary’s synopsis reads: Catapulted by the success of his first major solo project, “Off The Wall,” Michael Jackson went from child star to King of Pop. This film explores the seminal album, with rare archival footage and interviews from those who were there and those whose lives its success and legacy impacted.
My research tells me that Spike first shared that he was working on this earlier this year, while doing press for his last film, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” ahead of its USA release. Although he didn’t share any details – just that he was working on it, with potential plans to make similar documentaries on other seminal MJ albums, like “Thriller.”
No trailer or much media available yet for “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off the Wall'” except for the above still from Sundance.
Unlocking the Truth, a heavy metal band comprised of three 8th-graders from Brooklyn, has been signed to a two-album recording contract with Sony. The deal comes with a $60,000 up-front advance and an option for four additional LPs.
The band, made up of guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, was founded in 2007 and has been riding the lightning to metal fame thanks to a steady run of heavy-beyond-their-years busking in Times Square and Washington Square Park. Now the Daily News reports that the boys have finalized a deal with Sony that could net them as much as $1.7 million over a possible six albums.
“What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this. It’s been one great thing after another,” Dawkins’s mother, Tabatha, told the News. The boys competed in the Apollo Theater’s amateur night (under the name Tears of Blood, no less) and have unleashed their middle-school riffage at venues like Webster Hall and the Coachella music festival. Unlocking the Truth is currently touring the country as a part of the Vans Warped Tour and recently took time off from pre-algebra class to open for Gun N Roses in Las Vegas.
Having scored the deal as minors, the 8th graders’ Sony contract had to be approved and filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. The deal is remarkable on account of more than just the band’s age, band manager Alan Sacks affirmed. “Sacks says the boys have a chance of becoming the new face of rock because they are unique — black artists excelling in heavy metal, a genre typically dominated by white musicians,” the Post writes.
Watch Brickhouse, Atkins, and Dawkins shred Times Square below: