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Hits of the week: Viral v vintage

(Frank Wunderlich/YouTube)

(Frank Wunderlich/YouTube)

‘Leaked’ Star Wars footage, Ridley Scott’s Exodus – and John Kerry strumming a classical guitar – how do they fare against vintage classics?

The battle of the hoaxes

‘Leaked’ Star Wars footage supposedly showing behind-the-scenes footage from the set of Episode VII has clocked up more than 5m views since it was posted on YouTube. But in fact, it’s the work of a prankster called Frank Wunderlich, who claimed to have filmed Stormtroopers and the Death Star at Frankfurt airport.

The creator of the Star Wars footage has a long way to go before they can compete with this screen hoax: the BBC fooled an entire nation with its ‘Spaghetti Tree’ spoof segment of the current affairs programme Panorama in 1957. Still considered one of the greatest April Fools’ jokes ever, the report was narrated by Richard Dimbleby and showed a Swiss family harvesting pasta – then considered an exotic delicacy in the UK.

Back to the future

The first trailer for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings was released this week and was an immediate hit online. The Biblical epic has been touted as the director’s biggest movie yet. It stars Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley alongside a cast of thousands. If the trailer is anything to go by, there will be plenty of chariots and a very large wave.

From a high-tech version of ancient history to a retro vision of the future: shake off all the CGI with the official trailer for Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Bladerunner. See moody, smoking, sinister characters in chairs and an acrobatic assailant – all in a murky half-light.

Duelling banjos

Following his hit with the Vietnamese monochord guitar in December 2013, John Kerry strummed a classical guitar on a visit to Beijing on Thursday. The US secretary of state created the rippling, soothing sounds during annual talks between the US and China.

Compare and contrast with footage of one of the greatest classical guitarists of all time, Andres Segovia, playing Leyenda by Isaac Albeniz. The Spanish virtuoso was known for his expressive performances and phrasing; it is unknown whether he ever played in China.

Down the rabbithole

Nicki Minaj goes through the looking glass with a trippy video for her song Pills n Potions, in which a black-and-white photo of a rabbit waves at the camera, tablets are fired from a Pez dispenser with a bunny head, and another long-eared creature blows silvery liquid from a cigarette.

Or here’s the original journey down the rabbithole, courtesy of the British Film Institute. The 1903 silent version of Alice in Wonderland was made just eight years after the birth of cinema and was the longest film produced in England at the time.

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