Flashback: Bart Simpson Does ‘The Bartman’ With Help From Michael Jackson

As you gear up to watch all 522 “Simpsons” in a row, check out the video for “Do The Bartman”

By the fall of 1990 Simpsons mania had swept the country, even though the show had been on the air for less than a year. Bart was the breakout star and merchandise featuring the slingshot-wielding delinquent flooded stores, though schools across the country banned his “Underachiever and Proud of It” shirt. Needless to say, that did little but elevate Bart to near God-like status among schoolchildren. This was such a cool cartoon character that you literally couldn’t walk into school with him on your shirt.

Bravely forging ahead with no apparent fear of overexposure, the people behind The Simpsons decided it was time for the cartoon family to starting churning out pop hits. This may sound a little crazy these days, but this was just after Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” featuring a duet with MC Skat Kat, exploded onto MTV. If an animated cat could have a hit, why not Bart Simpson?

The Simpsons Sing The Blues was rushed into production at the end of the first season of the show. It hit shelves just in time for Christmas, and almost immediately, “Do The Bartman” began receiving airplay. Rumors swirled that the track was ghost-written by Michael Jackson, a huge Simpsons fan, but the show’s producers denied it. It wasn’t until many years later that Matt Groening fessed up that Jackson did indeed co-write the song. He just had to keep his mouth shut because he was contractually forbidden from writing for an outside label.

The video features Bart hijacking a school recital with a New Jack Swing song about his own hijinks. The kid was such a rebel he put mothballs into his mother’s beef stew. The song was followed up with “Deep, Deep Trouble.” It was another Bart-centered tune, though this time it focused on the consequences for his behavior. The album was a huge smash, peaking at number 3 on the Hot 100. It was in a lot of Christmas stockings that year.

Somehow, the show survived this early onslaught of merchandise, and it quickly moved its focus from Bart to Homer. FXX is airing all 522 episodes in a row over the next 12 days. They probably won’t show the “Do The Bartman” video, so check it out right here.

Janet Jackson — Still Blacklisted from Super Bowl Halftime Show

Apparently, the NFL is still upset with Janet Jackson for that whole nipplegate thing back in 2004 — because league reps tell us she’s still on the blacklist when it comes to the Super Bowl Halftime show. 

TMZ Sports reached out to the NFL to discuss possible acts at Super Bowl XLIX (49) in Arizona next year — and while the league wouldn’t say who’s in the running, they did issue the following statement:

“As for potential acts — we have only ruled out Janet Jackson.”

No word on how Justin Timberlake escaped the ire of the NFL — considering he played a key role in the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” that day — but if he’s NOT banned, BOOK HIS ASS!!!


Film review: ‘Monument to Michael Jackson’

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – A mild-mannered dreamer’s absurd plan to spur tourism in his dying village goes spectacularly awry in Darko Lungulov’s “Monument to Michael Jackson,” an endearing tragicomedy that mixes caustic Eastern European humor with sharp social commentary. In telling the story of one man who makes a sacrifice for his community, the Serbian writer-helmer stylizes his second feature (after 2009’s “Here and There”) as a Balkan Western of sorts, satirizing the moral malaise clouding postwar Serbia while also illustrating the country’s problems with yet another generation of fanatical nationalists. Following the pic’s Karlovy Vary premiere, additional fests will venerate this “Monument.”

The action begins in a dusty, decrepit village in rural Serbia, circa 2009, where the local council finally gets around to removing a communist-era statue from the central square, leaving only an empty plinth. Although it is not stated outright, this is Lungulov’s neat visual shorthand to indicate that while the WWII heroes of socialist Yugoslavia may no longer be politically correct, the not-so-distant civil wars that created a separate Serbia failed to supply new warriors to celebrate.

Across from the square works the protagonist, slightly pudgy local barber Marko (Boris Milivojevic), a poetic dreamer, whose flights of fancy once earned him the love of his life, Ljubinka (Natasa Tapuskovic, spunky). But Marko’s perpetual optimism, seemingly ungrounded in their grim reality, led Ljubinka to leave him. More than anything, Marko longs to win her back.

When Marko hears the news that pop idol Michael Jackson is preparing a farewell tour, he hits upon a harebrained scheme that could bring his hometown and business back to life, and elevate his stature in his wife’s eyes. At a local council meeting, he proposes erecting a statue of the singer in the village square, something that he believes will attract bus and plane loads of foreign tourists.

Although Ljubinka is not impressed, Marko finds support from the Orthodox priest (Ljubomir Bandovic) whose wheelchair-bound teen daughter, Jelena (Emilija Terzic), is the singer’s No. 1 fan, as well as his bemused, ex-military pilot pal, Dusan (noted thesp-helmer-producer Dragan Bjelogrlic), who is keen for the airport to reopen. Ever optimistic, Marko commissions a statue of Jackson from his gypsy friend Doki (Toni Mihajlovski) and through Jelena, he invites the Gloved One to attend the unveiling.

Unfortunately, Marko’s plans also draw a number of opponents, including the corrupt local mayor (Branislav Trifunovic), whose backers have alternate plans for the airport land. When Jackson appears to accept the village’s invitation, the Mayor helps to plan the festivities, but secretly invites members of “Pure Serbia” (repping the type of violent nationalist group that wants a larger, ethnically pure Serbia) to disrupt the ceremony. 

In a British or American indie pic, this sort of quirky, slightly bizarre setup would likely lead to the community pulling together to help the underdog, a la “The Full Monty” or “Local Hero;” here, instead, it serves as a platform for Lungulov to deal with difficult contemporary issues (ugly nationalism, political corruption, a moral vacuum and absence of real heroes, dying rural villages) in a subtle, humorous yet still emotional way.

Working again with German lenser Mathias Schoeningh, Lungulov shoots in widescreen, using locations full of earthy colors that support the Balkan Western feel. Marking a major step up from the small-scale, freewheeling “Here and There,” they orchestrate an extremely complex penultimate scene involving 300 extras, a military helicopter in flight and a stuntman hanging from a ladder, while a special anti-riot police brigade fights with a bunch of wild hooligans below. And it is in this crucial scene that Lungulov masterfully changes the pic’s tone from comedy to tragedy. 

Lungulov’s crack cast of local names supplies comic verve as well touching melancholy. Leads Milivojevic and Tapuskovic, mostly unfamiliar to international audiences, prove sweetly sympathetic; “Here and There” star Mirjana Karanovic makes a cameo. The fine craft package fully supports the pic’s sardonic tone, from the colorful credits that crumble to dust to the jaunty score.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/movies/Film-review-Monument-to-Michael-Jackson.html#jxBazozsTshfQdcv.99

Starring Boris Milivojevic, Natasa Tapuskovic, Dragan Bjelogrlic, Mirjana Karanovic, Branislav Trifunovic, Toni Mihajlovski, Ljuba Bandovic, Srdjan Miletic, Marko Janketic, Ema Terizc, Petar Mircevski
Genre Black comedy
Directed By Darko Lungulov

The Story Behind Michael Jackson’s New Video

Michael Jackson's 'A Place with No Name' Video Debuts on Twitter

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson‘s latest music video is already making history as the first to debut on Twitter.

Late Wednesday, the video for “A Place with No Name” – the new release from Jackson’s posthumous Xscape album – was Tweeted out to his 1.66 million followers with the message: “It’s time! The first ever premiere of ‘A Place With No Name’ right now on Twitter.”

Here are three things to know about the late singer’s new video:

1. It features a mix of old and new footage.
The video begins with a black-and-white scene featuring a male driving through a desert in his Jeep, as is described in the song’s lyrics. He discovers a female dancer and she transports him to a “place without no name.” These newly filmed scenes are interspersed with archival footage of Jackson dancing and smiling by the Salton Sea on the set of his music video (which was shot by Herb Ritts) for 1991’s “In the Closet.” The Ritts footage had previously been kept in a vault since 1992, according to MTV.

2. It was directed by the same video director as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” 

Jackson’s “A Place with No Name” was directed by Samuel Bayer, who also directed Justin Timberlake‘s video for “What Goes Around … Comes Around,” Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” and numerous videos for Green Day, Lenny Kravitz, The Rolling Stones and others.

3. The song was originally recorded by Jackson in 1998.
Jackson recorded “A Place with No Name” 16 years ago while creating his Invincible album, according to Billboard. The Dr. Freeze-produced track is actually somewhat of a remake of America’s 1972 hit “A Horse with No Name.”