Director John Landis said Monday that he is still upset by Michael Jackson's death, but a Venice Film Festival screening dedicated to Thriller is a chance to celebrate the musician's life.
An enhanced version of the landmark Landis-directed music video, Michael Jackson's Thriller 3-D, is screening alongside a behind-the-scenes documentary that has never been shown in cinemas before.
Landis told reporters in Venice on Monday that Jackson's death aged 50 in 2009 was a tragedy for his family, his friends and the world.
"Truly great performers are rare, and he was brilliant â€” and a tragic figure, I think," Landis said. "I was horrified, and I'm still upset about it.
The 14-minute Thriller video, released in 1983, stemmed from Jackson's love of Landis' film An American Werewolf in London and the King of Pop's desire to turn into a monster on screen.
Landis says modern technology has let him remix the sound and improve the visuals while converting the film to 3D, so audiences can now "experience it the way Michael wanted you to."
"My only disappointment is that Michael is not here to see it and hear it, because I think he would love it," Landis said.
Landis says the accompanying backstage documentary shows Jackson "happy and joyous" and at his creative peak.
"It's a celebration of Michael I didn't expect, and very emotional for me," he said.