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9 Jun, 2008 20:06

Jolie’s link to video of crazed office clerk

It became an internet sensation with 11 million people watching an office clerk going berserk. But now an acclaimed Russian director says he was behind the cult video as a means of promoting his new movie, starring Angelina Jolie. The video showed a man l

The speeded-up footage, which purported to be CCTV, recorded the man destroying computers, throwing chairs and desks, and threatening workmates.

For most viewers, it seemed to be an extreme reaction to the strains of office life. Internet bloggers assumed it was the monotony of his work that must have made him flip in such spectacular style.

But now it appears that the video was a hoax.

Russian director Timur Bekmambetov says he created it and used it as a viral email to publicise his latest movie, ‘Wanted’.

Writing in his online blog, he said: “The story with this video was an attempt to put the movie’s plot into the real life of people working in offices. This is where the idea of the documentary film came from.”

He added: “Its success doesn’t suggest that the audience is easy to fool. It only proves that people recognise themselves in this story and see the truth about themselves hidden deep inside – their suppressed desires, their wish for freedom.”

With such a notable cast, it might come as a surprise that ‘Wanted’ has any need for more publicity. As well as Jolie, it features Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy, who shot to fame in the Last King of Scotland. It is on general release later this month.  

The video stunt is in the top 10 discussion list of Russia’s internet blogs and will undoubtedly help promote the film.

But many bloggers are now venting their fury at being duped, while others are claiming to have doubted the video’s authenticity all along.

Whatever they think, it has certainly got people talking – and marks a new ploy in the business of promoting big-budget movies.