Wednesday, September 8, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Bansky
Cast: Bansky, Shepard Fairy, Thierry Guetta, Rhys Ifans, Space Invader and Joshua Levine
Producers: Holly Cushing, Jaime D'Cruz and James Gay-Rees
Executive Producers: Holly Cushing and Jaames Gay-Rees
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States and United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: Documentary, Comedy

Is graffiti art? Are graffiti practitioners true artists?
These are the questions that Bansky's comedic documentary asks. It's an entertaining quirky film but the question is never really answered.

The film is essentially about how a Los Angeles shop keeper named Thierry Guetta approached Bansky about making a serious documentary about Bansky and other graffiti artists.

Guetta used to buy second hand clothes by the pound and sell them individual at inflated prices to trendy customers. He became very wealthy doing that. However, he must have been bored because when he came into possession of a video camera he became obsessed with making video tapes of everything including himself making video tapes.

Although Bansky guards his privacy and his facial image closely, he agreed to let Guetta follow him around and make the documentary. That was the beginning of eight years (that's right, eight years) of Guetta following Bansky around, being introduced by Bansky to other graffiti artists, and making video tapes.

Unfortunately, Guetta never actually made a viable film. He does try to produce something but his tapes are uncatalogued and the resulting film looks like a disjointed avant garde film.

Bansky, located in the UK, decides he'll try to put a film together a film himself. He sends Guetta back to the U.S. advising him to become a street artist, advice that Guetta takes seriously.

The film is just too interesting to give the rest away. It's entertaining and well worth watching.

Is Bansky putting us on or is he making a critique about the art world? He's definitely making a statement about who makes it as an artist and how they do it.

While, according to Bansky, Guetta wanted to make a documentary about Bansky, in the end Bansky made a film about Guetta, whom he claims is more interesting.

Everyone seeing this film will have their own perception. Is it a real documentary or a satirical look at the world Bansky in which Bansky lives and works.