Flashback Fridays: Michael Jackson, Remember the Time
"Flashback Fridays" is a new weekly column that revisits movies, music and other pop culture memories that might have faded away but are always worth remembering. This week, let's flash back to the music video that continued announcing Michael Jackson's status as the cultural symbol of the 1980's: 1992's "Remember the Time."
Off of MJ's 1991 album "Dangerous," "Remember the Time" is a pop extravaganza starring 80's icons Eddie Murphy, Iman, Magic Johnson and of course Jackson.
The video was directed by John Singleton, who had left his mark on contemporary American filmmaking with his Oscar-nominated debut "Boyz N The Hood." Singleton's eye for well-defined compositions is evident throughout.
The nine minute video, set in ancient Egypt, shows a mysterious wizard (Jackson) wooing the Pharaoh's (Murphy) queen (Iman) and escaping certain death when cornered because of, what else? Magic.
Though slightly overshadowed in terms of popularity by the equality-preaching jam, "Black or White" off the same album, the video shows Jackson still near the top of his pop prowess.
The video, originally billed as a short film, was promoted to have ground breaking visual effects for the time, though it appears they might have been stolen from the previous year's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," which featured a shape-shifting villain similar to Jackson's morphing crooner.
Are said effects dated? Yes. Is Johnson as stiff as a board in his brief role as court jester? Yes. Is there the requisite group dance number, over which Jackson improvises? Yes.
Is it still impressive? Yes.
It's pop music at its finest: full of itself, reliant on celebrity, and yet incessantly likeable. It's also a great way to start the weekend.
Click the link above to watch the music video.