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Saturday, 8 January 2011

New Banksy Interview – Documentary Tipped For Oscar

As the Oscars approach the bickering begins. Joachim Levy a 34-year-old Swiss filmmaker is contesting the omission of his name on the Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop in what he sees as an unjust oversight. Levy worked as a producer and editor with Thierry Guetta the driving force behind the doc" Life Remote Control," a rambling homage to street art which first screened in 2006. When Banksy's saw the chaotic footage from the Guetta /Levy's movie the idea of  "Exit Through the Gift Shop was born". 

Banksy Interview

 ATWT: One thing I've heard repeatedly from members of your team was that, early on, you were alone in your conviction that Thierry could and should be the narrative focus of the film - long before his show in LA that concludes the movie.  What drew you to Thierry as a film character and, aside from the fact that he had a lot of archival material about street art at his fingertips, why did you think that he could sustain the film's narrative arc?

Banksy: Thierry’s entertainment potential wasn’t difficult to spot - he actually walks into doors and falls down stairs. It was like hanging out with Groucho Marx but with funnier facial hair. Thierry arrived at a point when my world was becoming infested with hipsters and heavy irony, so his exuberant man-child innocence was fun to be around. Maybe I convinced myself Thierry was a good subject just because I liked him. I’d be lying if I told you the first time I met him I thought ‘this man’s life will deliver a good narrative arc’.

From the outset there are problems with any movie about graffiti because all the good artists refuse to show their face on camera. I needed the film to be fronted by a personality the audience could engage with. The producer Robert Evans said that ‘vulnerability’ is the most important quality in a movie star and that’s a hard thing to portray if all your interviewees have masks over their faces.

ATWT: It's clear in the film that you rely on a team of people to create your artwork.  What, if anything, was different about the filmmaking process, and the work you did with that team - Jaimie and Chris and others?  And how did you know when you'd found the right collaborators?

B: I paint my own pictures but I get a lot of help building stuff and installing it. I have a great little team, but I tell you what - they all hate this fucking film. They don’t care if its effective, they feel very strongly that Mr Brainwash is undeserving of all the attention. Most street artists feel the same. This film has made me extremely unpopular in my community.  Read Full Interview Here...


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