“Osaka Show” shows off the surprisingly progressive (and fun) side of state television under Francisco Franco.

“Progress and Harmony” was the official theme of the 1970 World Expo in Osaka. Spain insisted on bringing the latter.

TVE, Spain’s state-owned television network, created a one-off program, ”Osaka Show” to celebrate the international festival 6,500 miles away, using its strikingly futuristic architecture as a backdrop as famous singers belted out their own hits.

Despite living under Francisco Franco, a military dictator, Spaniards could often find an escape through pop culture on television. In the late ‘60s, TVE hired the producer and director Valeriu Lazarov away from his native Romania, where he was regarded as a television pioneer. “Oaska Show” was just one of many programs he developed for Franco’s network while becoming an integral part of Spain’s television history.

Lazarov arrived in Spain “as an international star” according to Peter Goddard in his book, Popular Television in Authoritarian Europe, and brought an internationalist perspective and psychedelic techniques to a mostly provincial media culture. His dizzying back-and-forth zoom earned him the nickname of—fittingly—“Mr. Zoom.” According to Goddard, Lazarov’s style was “both dreamlike and sensual, making it attractive to young people.” His work allowed Franco’s Spain an air of cultural progressiveness.

With “Osaka Show,” Spain could attach its own stars to one of the world’s most talked-about architectural events. Julio Iglesias, Miguel Rios, Karina, and Massiel charmed fairgoers while singing and strolling around the pavilions. Back in Spain, viewers got a glimpse of a fantastical landscape far away.

H/t Dangerous Minds

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.
    Life

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  2. Design

    How We Map Epidemics

    Cartographers are mapping the coronavirus in more sophisticated ways than past epidemics. But visualizing outbreaks dates back to cholera and yellow fever.

  3. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  4. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
    Environment

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

  5. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

×