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vikiwalden | Wednesday May 13, 2009

Categories: Other Topics, Documentaries, Mockumentary

The Spin Off: Mockumentary

As every form of art took a sense of post-modernism upon itself so parodies appeared. The Mockumentary is a clever fictional genre which shows the audience how easy it is to make people believe something that is not true really is.

The first and most famous Mockumentary, that wasn’t intended to be a Mockumentary at all in the first place, but had the effect of one, was Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast (1938).

Halloween, October 30th, 1938 Orson Welles directed a version of H.G Wells War of the Worlds science fiction novel, to heighten dramatic effect in his radio play, Welles decided to perform the story as a series of news broadcasts, often interrupting music to bring the latest update on the “huge flaming object” had dropped on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey. The authenticity of the actors and the fact that many people had only tuned into the play after it had started, so where not aware it was War of the Worlds lead to the biggest case of mass hysteria ever, Americas everywhere thought they were under attack by aliens.

Next, a “parody” of Pennebaker’s rockumentaries came Spinal Tap: A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi (1984), synopsised on the internet as:

“In 1982 legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap’s attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a film-maker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap’s pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop.”

Spinal Tap in fact never existed as a band except for the film and the soundtrack of the film. The film was a spoof not only of the Rockumentary but also of the rock and roll scene of the time.

It used aspects of drama in the pre-production and organisation of the film, scripting action, using actors, rehearsing, etc. However it display to the...

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