Cinematic Rebellion

Some know him by his stencil of a little girl letting a heart balloon go away… Some saw his graffiti on Israel’s West Bank barrier showing how life looks on the other side… Others might have seen his rat stencils around… Or his pop art Warhol-style retro Kate Moss screenprint. Some probably heard about his replacing 500 copies of Paris Hilton’s album with a sticker which said “Paris Hilton, Debut Album. Featuring Why Am I Famous?, What Have I Done?, and What Am I For?” In short, many have seen his strikingly satirical and humorous street art pieces – often in shape of rats, monkeys, policemen, soldiers, children and the elderly – containing slogans on politics, culture, celebrity satire, consumerism, capitalism, war and unethics.

Last Sunday, the Sundance Film Festival had a surprise: a movie that didn’t appear in the catalogue; neither the director identity or its whereabout was known. It was a 98-minute movie/documentary about the British infamous street artist Banksy, in which he speaks on camera for the first time. According to the trailers, viewers don’t get to see him this time either – all we get is him photographed in the dark, wearing a hoodie with his voice digitally disguised.

Structured as a film-within-a-film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, [according to L.A. Times’ review ] looks at guerilla art and its main creators. “Trying to make a movie which truly conveys the raw thrill and expressive power of art is very difficult. So I haven’t bothered.”, Banksy said in a statement, “Instead this is a simple everyday tale of life, longing and mindless vandalism.”

Not sure when it’ll open in theatres but no doubt it’ll be an interesting slice of graffiti cinema. Stay tuned.

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