Well from here it certainly does look like a push to get the votes to secure the Oscar for Best Documentary (apparently voting closes later today) or at the very least a free ride on the attendant publicity machine. Three new pieces assumed to be in LA have recently turned up on his website. These are close up pictures but go take a look on banksy.co.uk to see the all important ‘in context’ shots. article continues below
‘This Looks A Bit Like An Elephant’ Source: banksy.co.uk
A riff on the families crossing highways signs in LA. Source: banksy.co.uk
Personally I think it would be great if the film won the Oscar. Granted, that’s a bit of a nonsensical position as I have no idea if it deserves one to be honest. Its the only one of the five I’ve seen. I do, however, think its a pretty cleverly executed caper. Most street art / graffiti films do the film a guy on the street putting up a piece of work at night with (if you’re lucky) a cop chase scene. All very exciting for the first 10 minutes but then many tend to get a bit repetitive. Exit Through The Gift Shop’s trick is to have a documentary that actually tells the story of this movement through some interesting characters. It’s the rise and rise (and possibly fall) of a decade of street art encapsulated in 86 minutes. It asks plenty of questions about how the art world operates, how hype and a queue can lead to adoration and quite why someone would chop a British Telecom phone box in half.
It’s all very easy to be dismissive of award ceremonies as exercises in back slapping product promotion. I’ve definitely been one of those dismissers in the past but I’d be lying if I found out I was up for an Oscar and said I wouldn’t be interested ( I would, of course, need to make a film first)! Banksy, as ever, puts it more succinctly: “I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for”
The Oscars are on Sunday night. Slightly more significantly Arsenal play Birmingham in the Carling Cup final earlier in the day.