Viral Video

All the President’s Men vs The Beastie Boys

What do you get when you mix Alan Pakula’s classic political drama with Sabotage from the Beastie Boys?

It turns out you get this mashup courtesy of Jeff Yorkes:

For others check out his Vimeo page.

[via Devour]

> All the President’s Men at Wikipedia
> RSS feed of mashups by Jeff Yorkes

music Viral Video

The Great Dictator meets Inception

Hans Zimmer’s Inception score makes for a stirring backdrop to Charlie Chaplin‘s climactic speech from The Great Dictator (1940).

Chaplin’s first talking picture was ahead of its time: a stirring condemnation of Hitler and facism, it was initially banned by the UK government due to the appeasement policy with Nazi Germany, although later became a hit, partly due to its wartime propaganda value.

There were many odd parallels between Chaplin and Hitler: both were born in April 1889, Chaplin’s Tramp character and Hitler had a similar moustache and both struggled in poverty before reaching global fame.

Chaplin’s son later described how his father was haunted by the similarities:

“Their destinies were poles apart. One was to make millions weep, while the other was to set the whole world laughing. Dad could never think of Hitler without a shudder, half of horror, half of fascination.”

The film was bold in its ridicule of Nazism and its depiction of an anti-Semitic authoritarian regime.

Watch this appreciation by The New Yorker’s Richard Brody from earlier this year:

In addition to writing, directing and producing, Chaplin played the titular dictator ‘Adenoid Hynkel’ (a thinly-veiled substitute for Adolf Hitler) and a look-alike Jewish barber persecuted by the regime.

At the climax of the film, the two have swapped positions and Chaplin directly addresses the audience in a speech which denounces facism, greed and intolerance in favour of liberty and human brotherhood.

A YouTube user DerPestmann had the idea of combining it with Hans Zimmer‘s epic track Time from the Inception score.

See what you think:

> Find out more about The Great Dictator at the IMDb, Wikipedia and Criterion
> Buy The Great Dictator on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
> Buy the Inception score from Amazon UK or iTunes

Amusing Viral Video

Star Wars meets Drive

A YouTube user has cut a rather brilliant trailer mashup of Star Wars (1977) and Drive (2011), with Hans Solo in the role of Ryan Gosling’s Driver.

For reference, here is the official trailer for Drive:

Now, here is the Star Wars remix:

The film opens in the US on September 16th and in the UK a week later on the 23rd.

> IMDb
> The real Drive trailer

News Viral Video

Murdoch Downfall

If someone told me seven days ago that the best-selling newspaper in the world was about to be shut down, I’d have dismissed the notion as a bizarre fantasy.

But this week, the long-running phone hacking scandal surrounding the News of the World exploded, forcing owner Rupert Murdoch to close his long-running Sunday tabloid.

Revelations that the newspaper targeted the mobile phones of teenage murder victims, relatives of dead soldiers and victims of the 7/7 bombings triggered widespread public and political outrage.

Apparently, even worse revelations are reportedly to come.

Bizarrely actor Hugh Grant had been ahead of much of the UK press, when he uncovered the sordid details with an investigative piece for the New Statesman.

His recent appearence on the BBC News channel challenging former tabloid hack Paul McMullan went viral.

But you know a scandal has truly taken hold when someone makes a Downfall parody about it.

YouTube mashups involving the 2004 film about Hitler’s final days have become an internet meme used to parody prominent figures or organisations brought low by topical events.

One scene in particular, in which Hitler (played by Bruno Ganz) realises that the war is essentially lost, has been re-subtitled countless times to fit a bewildering number of topics.

But now someone has ingeniousy re-cut other sequences from the film so that they fit with the News of the World phone hacking affair.

If you are unfamiliar with what’s been going on, just read the Wikipedia entry handily titled “News of the World phone hacking affair” to familiarise yourself with the details.

Then watch how Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are weaved into this video:

Incidentally, Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel said last year that he not only finds all these parodies funny but that they actually serve to make a wider point:

“The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality. I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.”

> The News of the World phone hacking affair at Wikipedia
> The Hugh Grant Tapes and his recent BBC appearences
> Recent stories by Nick Davies at The Guardian (the journalist who has led the way on this story)

Interesting Viral Video

A History of the World in 100 Seconds

Data from Wikipedia has been used in a video to visualise global historical events over 2,500 years.

It begins in 499 BC, when people in Europe started to record events, then goes to Asia and after 1492 the Americas light up as the image of the modern world begins to form.

Gareth Lloyd and Tom Martin used geotagged articles from Wikipedia with references to 14,238 historical events and this is the video:

On his Vimeo page Gareth writes:

Many wikipedia articles have coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Me (@godawful) and Tom Martin (@heychinaski) cross referenced the two to create a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia’s view of world history. Watch as empires fall, wars break out and continents are discovered.

This won “Best Visualization” at Matt Patterson’s History Hackday in January, 2011. To make it, we parsed an xml dump of all wikipedia articles (30Gb) and pulled out 424,000 articles with coordinates and 35,000 references to events. Cross referencing these produced 15,500 events with locations. Then we mapped them over time.

> Gareth Lloyd at Vimeo
> More information on the data
> The History of the World at Wikipedia