Banksy

Banksy-in-Exit-Through-the-Gift-Shop

Documentary cinema has a lot of stories about the art world. It’s not surprising, really. Readings or lectures about art can be tedious to the average viewer, and fiction film often has trouble jazzing up the subject, but the standard model of doc filmmaking is ideal for conveying facts and concepts while keeping the audience engaged. Still, such films usually struggle to attract an audience, and it’s not hard to figure out why — art is usually seen as a stodgy field, fit only for snobs. And given how deep the ties run between fine art and the whims of the upper class, this is not an entirely unreasonable stereotype. This makes it particularly funny when someone comes along to upset the fruit cart. Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman‘s new film, Art and Craft, demonstrates what happened when museums discovered one forger who only donated and never sold his fakes. In that spirit of rabble-rousing, here are a few more that come in a similar vein. These are films that refuse to play by the art world’s rules. In one way or another (and sometimes unintentionally!), they lay bare the eccentricities and hypocrisies that fuel this sheltered sphere of rich collectors and stodgy institutions. F for Fake (1974) One of Orson Welles‘s last projects, this freewheeling cinematic essay starts as an interrogation of famed forger Elmyr de Hory‘s career before spiraling off into various explorations of the nature of art and authenticity. Welles is keeping company with a host of other “fakers,” mainly his fellow actors […]

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Missing in the Mansion Hatbox Ghost

Films have been shot at Disney theme parks since before Disneyland even opened in 1955. The year before, Walt Disney personally offered a sneak peek of what was to come in the pilot episode of Disneyland. And specials made for TV and souvenir videos continued from there, whether it was to show the attraction on its opening day or offer virtual tours of the park or introduce new additions or to celebrate some anniversary or another. The same goes for Walt Disney World following its opening 16 years later. Once in a while, though, something makes its way out of the parks that’s not made by Disney. Even then, it might be with permission, as in the 1962 Universal release 40 Pounds of Trouble, which features an extensive chase sequence through Disneyland (watch Tony Curtis and some Keystone-esque cops run around Main Street here). And the Matterhorn scene in That Thing You Do (directed by the guy who would later portray Disney). But there’s also Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, a movie that shocked audiences at Sundance this year with its unauthorized guerrilla shoot at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Escape is hardly the first movie to get away with secretly capturing material on location at Disneyland, however. And now that it’s out in theaters and on VOD, this is a good time to highlight three such clandestine pieces of cinema.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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It’s just a matter of time before enigmatic artist Banksy becomes so enmeshed into popular culture that his name becomes shorthand for a sexual maneuver where you film your partner on CCTV while wearing a monkey mask and decrying the police state. Seriously, folks. Can we make that happen? Yes, we can. One day in the future when we all realize that Banksy was thirty to forty different people, we’ll look back on this as a quaint time when we were all starting to re-question art on our own terms. Like some French guy slapping a urinal on a wall and pissing on definitions, it’s another generation’s turn to figure out what art is. That can be a lot of fun, but so can making a lot of money. Check out the new trailer for How to Sell a Banksy and try to figure out why anyone would want to spend so much time scraping bits of a paper off a concrete wall:

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While we may not see a non-fiction film nominated for Best Picture anytime soon, the Best Documentary Feature has for many risen from a minor category rarely given its due attention to a battleground for some of the most important movies in a given year. 2010 was no exception, and in this year and in this category there are an impressive collection of docs addressing a variety of subjects in unique ways that truly exemplify the personalities of the filmmakers behind them. If no other year has convinced you the documentary is a great art form, this one should. But perhaps more significantly, this year exhibits such a variety of films that it throws the simplistic notion that a documentary should occupy one single mode of address out the window: here we have ambitious and stylish massive doc about a very complex subject, an intimate biographical advocacy piece, some on-the-ground investigative journalism, some trash art, and that film everyone’s been talking about all year that puts the entire notion of artistic truth into question. Only one of these films will take home the gold at the end of the night, but I’ll be damned if they’re not all impressive pieces of non-fiction filmmaking. And the nominees (with my prediction in red) are…

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There has been much hullabaloo over speculation as to what will happen if the Banksy directed doc Exit Through the Gift Shop ends up winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Banksy is a popular street artist who maintains a lot of his mystique through hiding his identity. He narrated Gift Shop shrouded in a hood and with voice modulation. Whenever pictures are shown of him, he is usually wearing a ridiculous monkey mask. Most likely, if Banksy were ever to be unmasked, we would all be faced with the stunning realization that he is… some guy. That’s why it’s very important that he maintains his secrecy. Mystery equals intrigue; intrigue equals people shelling out boatloads of cash for his work. The Academy has been around show business for quite some time. They understand what Banksy is doing here. And yet, up until this point, they have made it clear that showing up to the Oscars wearing a monkey mask would be completely unacceptable. Academy president Tom Sherak reportedly told Banksy’s representatives, “We suggested to them that it might be a good idea that if he did win, one of them would accept in his place – that it would not be dignified for the Academy to have somebody come up wearing a monkey’s head.”

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Today is Chuck Palahniuk‘s 49th birthday, which means that the writer and member of the Lost Generation gets to blow out some candle, eat some cake, and mail a few plastic lobsters to people. It also means that we get to take a look at the novels he’s written that still need to be made into movies. For those that don’t read our site on the weekends at all (because kites don’t fly themselves), we normally run this column every Saturday, but seeing how it’s a special occasion and seeing as how we don’t care much for rules, we figured it was a great time to comb through the Fight Club and Choke author’s stuff to celebrate it a bit. To that end, here are 9 Chuck Palahniuk books that are ripe for the movie picking.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Earlier this evening, at the beginning of a brand new episode of The Simpsons, a fresh opening was played as directed by the artist known as Banksy. The mysterious scoundrel and street art legend’s take on the corporate overlord 20th Century Fox and its marketing machine around the 20+ year success of The Simpsons is both interesting and quite funny. Especially the part with the Unicorn. The opening has popped up online and can be viewed above. Though beware of its grim nature… that said, it’s god-damn brilliant. As an aside, the brilliant Bansky directed doc Exit Through the Gift Shop is still playing theatrically in the United States, and is on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK. More on that over at BanksyFilm.com.

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There is the belief that art can elude, confuse, and manipulate meaning just as readily as it can reveal truth and reality to us. There is the alternate belief, however, that the illusion of reality and truth manifested through art is its most deceptive function. There’s a lot to be said about this subject with respect to Banksy’s street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, and here are what amount to, for what its worth, my two cents.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, tears are shed, feeling are shared, and you the listener will be very, very moved.

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

One of the most irreverent and fun films that I caught at this year’s Sundance film festival was the Banksy-centric documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, a film about a filmmaker who fails to make a film about one of the world’s most famous street artists. Now you can watch it, too. At least the first five minutes, that is.

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I feel as if I should be upfront about something: this movie, while it has a lot to do with street artist Banksy (its director), is not about Banksy. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic.

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It isn’t a secret if everyone knows it’s coming. It is interesting though, if world-renowned and reclusive street artist Banksy is involved.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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