Jorge Luis Marzo

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“This is Spinal Tap” Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Filed under: Parody

Submitted by Jorge Luis Marzo, speaking of fake documentaries:

spinal_tap_wideweb-200From Wikipedia: Spinal Tap is a parody heavy metal band that first appeared on a failed 1979 ABC TV sketch comedy pilot called “The T.V. Show”, starring Rob Reiner. The sketch, actually a mock promotional video for the song “Rock and Roll Nightmare”, was written by Reiner and the band, and included songwriter/performer Loudon Wainwright on keyboards. Later the band became the fictional subject of the 1984 rockumentary / “mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap. The band members are portrayed by Michael McKean (as David St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (as Nigel Tufnel) and Harry Shearer (as Derek Smalls). The same trio of actors subsequently reunited as the American folk music revival band The Folksmen in the 2003 mockumentary A Mighty Wind.

On March 2, 2009, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer held a press conference at the House of Blues in Los Angeles to announce their forthcoming album of new and old Spinal Tap songs, plus a 2009 “Unwigged & Unplugged” tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film, This Is Spinal Tap. According to an L.A. Weekly report, when MTV News’ Kurt Loder asked the trio “if they had plans beyond an album and tour, Shearer answered, ‘We’re gonna bomb Iran.'” (more…)

Dark Side of the Moon

Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Media Pranks, The History of Pranks

Update, July 16, 2009 — An interesting twist for conspiracy theorists — NASA lost moon footage, but Hollywood restores it

Submitted by Jorge Luis Marzo:

From Wikipedia:

“Dark Side of the Moon” is a French mockumentary by director William Karel which originally aired on Arte in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. The basic premise for the film is the theory that the television footage from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was faked and actually recorded in a studio by the CIA with help from director Stanley Kubrick. It features some surprising guest appearances, most notably by Donald Rumsfeld, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Buzz Aldrin and Stanley Kubrick’s widow, Christiane Kubrick…

Here, as a tease, are three clips about 25 minutes long, cut from the hour and a half documentary.


Rogelio Là³pez Cuenca Infiltrates [English & Spanish]

Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Rogelio Là³pez Cuenca infiltrates
by Jorge Luis Marzo

At the World Expo 92 in Sevilla, Spanish artist Rogelio Là³pez Cuenca placed several signposts inside as if they were the official ones. What they were indicating had nothing to do with the real pavilions and itineraries. It took a while for real managers to realize. Some serious legal matters arouse.

In another “camouflage” project, Là³pez Cuenca surreptitiously placed another signpost in Porto (Portugal). What car drivers could see on it was something not very “welcoming” though. It took a while for traffic agents to realize.

Durante la Expo”™92 de Sevilla, el artista Rogelio Là³pez Cuenca colocà³ entre la seà±alética oficial del recinto, la que indica los recorridos o el emplazamiento de los pabellones y servicios, toda una baterà­a de pivotes y postes informativos, prà¡cticamente idénticos a los oficiales. En ellos, no se leà­a la informacià³n al uso, sino iconos y flechas asociadas a palabras como “echargede”, “esouslabanal”, “geles” o “enzameta”.

Mexico 17 vs Brazil 0 [English & Spanish]

Filed under: Art Pranks

Mexico 17 vs Brazil 0
by Jorge Luis Marzo

In September 2004, Mexican artist Miguel Calderà³n secretly placed a TV set in a bar in Sao Paulo (Brazil). At a certain moment, an unannounced soccer match showed up in the screen. Mexico was playing against Brazil. Bar customers, who had no idea about the match, thought that somehow they missed the news. People started watching the match. Brazil lost 170.


It was all staged. Calderà³n had carefully re-edited various past games between both teams in order to create something completely impossible. The piece was shown as part of the Sao Paulo Art Biennal.

Septiembre de 2004. Un bar de Sao Paulo por la tarde. La gente, repartida entre las sillas y taburetes del local, hace lo que se hace en los bares: tomar algo, charlar, leer el perià³dico. Se enciende la tele y aparece la retransmisià³n de un partido de fàºtbol en el canal internacional de Televisa, un encuentro entre las selecciones de Brasil y México. (more…)

Joan Fontcuberta and the Sputnik [English & Spanish]

Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Fact or Fiction?, Political Pranks

Joan Fontcuberta and the Sputnik
by Jorge Luis Marzo

02For this Project (1997), Fontcuberta fabricated a story about an evidence for a “Soyuz 2” mission involving cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov. Soyuz 1, an actual Soviet space mission in 1967, had ended with the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov when the spacecraft crashed on landing. In 1968, according to the fabricated story, “Istochnikov and his canine companion Kloka mysteriously vanished after leaving the [Soyuz 2] capsule for a routine space walk. When the Soyuz 3 arrived for a docking maneuver, it found only a vodka bottle containing a note, floating in orbit outside the empty, meteorite damaged ship.” To avoid embarrassment, Soviet officials deleted Istochnikov from official Soviet history; however, the “Sputnik Foundation” discovered Istochnikov’s “voice transcriptions, videos, original annotations, some of his personal effects, and photographs taken throughout his lifetime.” The exhibition of artifacts (e.g., photographs) related to “Soyuz 2” was shown in many countries, including Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Japan, and the United States. Among other reactions to the exhibition, a Russian ambassador “got extremely angry because [Fontcuberta] was insulting the glorious Russian past and threatened to present a diplomatic complaint.”

Several lines of evidence available since the first exhibition of “Sputnik” in 1997 in Madrid suggest that the story and artifacts form an elaborate hoax. Read more at Wikipedia.

Cuando algo parece natural, como el suelo, se tiende a no interpretarlo, a no prestarle atencià³n. Pero, un detalle extraà±o, una mirada mà¡s atenta de lo normal, una leve dislocacià³n pueden hacer que el suelo devenga una realidad central, no una simple sombra por debajo de las cosas. (more…)

Mind Control with Derren Brown [English & Spanish]

Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, You Decide

Mind Control with Derren Brown
by Jorge Luis Marzo:

Derren Brown, British illusionist, invited two advertising executives from Saatchi & Saatchi to participate in an experiment. The outcome is mindboggling: To what extent am I exercising free will when I make things up?

Watch this video clip from the SciFi Network on YouTube.


Recientemente, el psicà³logo educativo brità¡nico Stuart Nolan presentaba, en el marco de un simposio sobre ilusionismo y percepcià³n en el MediaLab de Madrid, un caso verdaderamente sorprendente que hizo a todos los presentes preguntarse sobre la libertad de los actos que creemos “objetivamente nuestros”. (more…)

Hoax Film Made by Nazis

Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation

Hoax Film Made by Nazis
by Jorge Luis Marzo:

These three clips are part of an SS film shot at Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration camp for Jews in Prague, in 1944. Entitled “The Fuhrer gives a city to the Jews,” it was a hoax film made by Nazis intended to demonstrate that widespread news about the extermination of Jews in the East was false. The most unbelievable thing is that, in order to create a credible plot, the entire film was directed by Jewish filmmaker Kurt Gerron, himself a prisoner, and shot and performed by the very inmates, under the threat of being sent to Auschwitz. The camp was painted, remodelled and inmates received extra rations of food, etc..

The Fuhrer gives a city to the Jews, Part 1

A copy of the film was sent to the Red Cross in Geneve (Switzerland). A few days later, the whole camp’s population was sent to Auschwitz and murdered in the gas chambers.

I got this footage from the Jewish International Council in NYC. The film has been used by some negationist pro-Nazi groups to deny the Holocaust. So, for any use of these film clips, it is very important to explain the full context.

For Film Parts 2 and 3 (more…)