Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop

In one of my earlier posts, i talked about a UK street artist who goes by the name of Banksy, and i once again have noticed his name in the news. This time, the latest outburst of Banksy fever is over the artists debut movie, 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' which had its world premier at the Sundance film festival this weekend. In the week preceding the festival, Park City Utah experienced a somewhat unusual 'guerilla marketing' campaign, with 'Banksy art' appearing on walls around the town which would host the 2010 festival.

Although Banksy didn't attend the premier personally, (to be fair, he may well have done as noon knows his true identity) his new movie was greeted with cheers and applause, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the festival.

The film follows the UK artist in a humorous, documentory style format, as a french filmmaker attempts to record the secret world of street art, featuring a voice modified narratives from the artist himself. While his identity is not revealed during the movie, it is promised that the audience will gain much more of an insight into the artists world than ever before.

Although there are no promises as of yet, all the major film buyers were at the premier, and i would not be surprised (fingers crossed) if the film made its way onto a screen near you sometime soon.

I for one would definitely like to see this, and will be looking out for its release in the UK....check out the trailer below.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Street Art - Slinkachu's Little People

Whilst looking around the net for my favourite Banksy pictures for my earlier topic, i stumbled upon another street artist who caught my attention. The oddly named 'slinkachu' is another UK-based artist, who has become famous for leaving handmade miniature pieces around the streets of London.

With most of his figurines being less than one inch in hight, it is easy to see how passers by would easily walk straight past Slinkachu's micro-creations without even noticing them; a contributing factor in the inspiration behind his pieces.

"I like the idea that almost nobody sees my work. For all of us intentionally or unintentionally ignore much of what surrounds us in a city"

I really like the idea (albeit a little sad) that thousands of people would have walked past, and even trampled these 'little people' without even being aware of their existence. This to my mind illustrates the idea of how small each of us really are, and that in the end, we will have met and spoken to thousands of people, but it will only be a select few who really notice us and know us for who we really are.

if youre interested in finding out more, check out Slinkachu's blog profile at

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Iron Man 2

Ok, so how did i manage to miss the fact that the new Iron Man trailer has been out since before Christmas? If you loved the first instalment (and who didn't), then you're bound to be excited for May 7th, when the sequel hits the big screen.

Iron Man 2 is the second film in a planned trilogy, and will feature more of the same components that made the first film so popular. If it aint broke, don't fix it, right? With the world now aware of Tony Starks dual identity, and under pressure from the press and public to share his technology with the military, Iron Man launches back into action against the classic super-powered baddies. Although we don't know too much about the actual plot yet, we can see that Iron Man and his new 'sidekick' War Machine (his military friend Rhodes) will be taking on similarly powerful Robot suits resulting in a plethora of pleasing explosions and on screen graphics. (we all know more explosions=more fun.... right?)

I don't know about you, but i really am a fan of Robert Downey Jr. Although i havent seen many of his movies, i reckon that he is one of my favourites at the moment. Having fought through drug addiction, and been in and out of jail throughout the late 90s and early 00's, in my opinion, Downey is hitting the peak of his career at the moment, and can seemingly do no wrong. Its nice to see from the trailer that his dark yet light hearted character portrayal has continued into the second instalment, with no doubt that there will be comedy moments to break up what are bound to be explosive action sequences.

The only thing i notice that has really changed is a change in cast for Col. Rhodes. Terrence Howard has been replaced by Don Cheadle for the second movie, after disagreements between Howard and Director Jon Favreau. I kinda liked Howard in the first film, and ill have to hold off judgement as to whether Cheadle will be able to re-create the chemistry between his and Downey jr's characters on screen. Scarlett Johansson and good old Samuel L Jackson will also both be appearing alongside Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow, adding to the growing list of Hollywood stars involved in the Iron Man franchise.

All in all, im very much looking forward to May 7th, Iron Man is definately one of my favourite comic book/movie creations, (youve gotta love batman right?) i just hope that the trilogy improves with each release.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Age of Stupid - Human ignorance

I watched a movie called 'The Age of Stupid' this afternoon, and although it was a low budget, independent film, it indeed put across a powerful message. The film itself is set in 2055, where global warming has resulted in a flooded, war-torn world. Wow, you might say....original! But wait, were not talking a 'Day After Tomorrow' style action Hollywood bonanza (a flop if you ask me), but instead a drama/documentary style production, which really appeals to the watcher to take the issue of climate change seriously.

A single archivist, entrusted with the safekeeping of humanity's surviving store of art and knowledge looks back at news reports and interviews from 2008, asking the question 'why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?'. As he himself notes, it is not the first time that a species has wiped itself out, but perhaps we are the first to knowingly destroy our own future.

The documentary follows ordinary people in places like Iraq, France, England, Africa and America, as the characters come into contact with the issue of climate change. An entrepreneur in India struggles to create a new Indian airline, whilst an environmentalist in England fights to push through the building of renewable wind farms, fighting against fierce opposition from local residents who Want to protect their scenic views. Fact is, there wont be a planet to look at soon if we don't do something to save our home.

Yes, it may just be another guilt-inducing documentary, and the fact is, that having watched it, im unlikely to do anything to help the situation. i mean yes, i will recycle, i don't own a car, and i would support the need for renewable energy sources, but its unlikely to stop me using aeroplanes, or make me sit in the dark twiddling my thumbs. And this brings me onto my point....i am amazed at our own ignorance when it comes to the issue of climate change.

We know that oil will run out, and we are all witnessing the changing climate (take the record breaking low temperatures this winter in the UK, the floods and droughts affecting Australia, or the Hurricanes that have devastated America in the past few years for example), but we still continue our way of life as if it will go on forever. The question is: would you not do anything you could right now to save the lives of your future grandchildren?

The films UK premier was shown in a solar powered cinema tent in March 2009, and linked by satellite to over 60 cinemas all over the UK. "An independent audit conducted by Carbon Accounting Systems found the event's carbon emissions to be 1% of those produced by a normal blockbuster premiere", leading to it being branded the 'worlds greenest premiere'.

I really enjoyed the movie, and appreciated its thought provoking and meaningful approach on the subject of climate change. I just hope that we can reverse the cycle of human ignorance (including my own), and finally get our governments taking the issue seriously. Check the movie out if you get a chance either online ( or if you prefer, it is available on DVD right now!

Street Art - Banksy

So, surfing the internet today, i rediscovered my love of 'Street Art'. A while back i was a little bit obsessed with artists who began using the streets of urban centres as their canvas. In my mind, there is a very fine line between simple Graffiti, and what i would call 'art'.

Talking to my girlfriend over Skype today, i was surprised to hear that she had never heard of a UK street artist called "Banksy". (she lives in Canada though, so i let her off) I developed a bit of a fascination with his works after learning about him from a friend who was studying him for her Dissertation. Now, im not the biggest fan of art per se (being dragged around boring art galleries as a child certainly didn't exactly inspire me!) but just a quick look at a few of his creations, and im sure you'll be able to appreciate how i found an art form that i, an uncultured, working class, student bum could both enjoy, and relate to.

Although many of his works have been dismissed as 'worthless graffiti' and destroyed by London Council, his messages still find their way into the public eye, and as long as a few people see his art, and enjoy it, he is happy. Although the 'guerilla artist's' identity has never been revealed, his artwork has been sold at auction for over £300,000! not bad for a guy who many people would describe simply as a vandal.

Growing beyond simple street art, Banksy has been involved in a number of stunts to push his creations into the public eye. These include among many, the painting of an elephant in LA, placing an inflatable 'Guantanamo Bay detainee' doll on a Disneyland attraction, and my personal favourite, walking into the Louvre and placing a mock Mona Lisa portrait (with a yellow smiley face!) upon the wall next to the original!

As Banksy himself has been quoted saying:

"To actually [have to] go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It's a lot more fun to go and put your own one up"

.....I don't know about you, but i totally agree with him!!! ha!!

I'd urge anyone who hadn't already heard of Banksy to do a quick Google image search, and have a look at some of his pieces....they really do illustrate the downfalls of our consumerist society, and address many of it's problems and negative theyre pretty to look at!!

Good stuff!