GAVIN HAYNES' GUIDE TO BANKSY'S NEW FILM
Banksy. He's 'outsider art', isn't he? That means that he doesn't obey the traditional conventions of art: exhibiting in galleries, being good, etc. Nope. He's a renegade-master, a man for whom life itself is not only the inspiration for what he does, but the canvas on which he does it. He's all about the subtle metaphorical juxtaposition. Viz:
Tesco bag flag + schoolkids = TESCO BAD.
Ronald McDonald + My Lai massacre = MCDONALDS BAD.
Adolf Hitler + white bread = WHITE BREAD IS BAD FOR YOU.
Jeff Bridges + A Box Of Cornflakes = JEFF BRIDGES LOVES CORNFLAKES.
Of course, the last two are mere extrapolations of the general trend, the broader picture being that, thanks to his clever use of symbolism and walls, Banksy has made an awful lot of money. Now, he's ready to spray his happy brand of happy jazz onto a wider, less discerning audience than people who look at walls, via his forthcoming megaplex feature film: Exit Through The Gift Shop.
So, what could be in his forthcoming feature?
Those who have seen it suggest that it's a mockumentary which starts out attempting to 'document' outsider-art culture, before morphing into something altogether stranger, darker. But who wants to believe them when it's more entertaining to make up plausibly implausible scenarios about it?
A Day In The Life Of Uncle Sam. Extended to a full two hours, this is like a small-time political cartoonist's daydreams: lurid, hectoring, dumb-as-muck. A sure-fire crowd-pleaser, in other words.
Uncle Sam, wakes up, GORGES on A CAN OF PETROL (symbolising US dependence on oil, for which they need to keep on perpetrating deplorable foreign policy in the Middle East). He goes to the bathroom. His toilet is a group of Palestinian children, on whom he PISSES, symbolising US pissing in the face of Palestinian children.
Uncle Sam leaves the house and meets up with his friend, JOHN BULL. The pair go around warning people of the threat of the sky falling in (SYMBOLISM: THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MYTH). They start an illegal war on false evidence and sing an extraordinary rendition of Cheryl Cole's “Fight 4 This Love” (SYMBOLISM: EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY).
Later on, they meet up with GEOFF ISRAEL, who has the fatty gristle of the Palestinian kids he's eaten still smeared around his mouth. (SYMBOLISM: NONE). They play poker with a bunch of massively corpulent bankers for the fate of the world's starving people. Then, having lost, they get in a car and drive it off a cliff, ala Thelma and Louise. SYMBOLISM: GIVE US AN OSCAR.
Banksy and Michael Moore star in: Laughing All The Way To The Banksy
Banksy and Moore present completely unbiased documentary insights into capitalism. They go looking for answers about the state of the modern market economy, and uncover some startling truths: that capitalism is actually the most efficient way for a society to produce goods and services; that most 'conspiracies' are just flimsy piles of circumstantial evidence; that the only real way to keep the world safe is for the Western powers to have strong expensive armies and thereby act as global policemen to deter rogue states; and that while going to see a bit of licensed-radicalism at the cinema might make people feel they've 'broadened their horizons', it's not going to change their basic beliefs in free enterprise and the importance of a good T-Mobile contract.
Who Is Banksy?
Banksy is a mysterious renegade. This is a feature film with an ENIGMA at its CENTRE. Who is Banksy? What is Banksy? Why is Banksy? How is Banksy? What is Banksy worth, for tax purposes? The filmmakers go in search of an enigma, but never actually find the man behind the myth. Each clue reveals a dead end. Each moment of insight gives way to emptiness. Nonetheless, at the end of it all, the filmmaker turns to the camera and has a moment of realisation. "IT WAS THEN I KNEW THAT BANKSY WAS ACTUALLY WITHIN ALL OF US".
Banksy and Sandra Bullock are united on screen at last. She plays a journalist attempting to track down the mysterious renegade art genius Bankelstein. He plays Bankelstein - a tortured wild-boy prone to acting impulsively but with a heart of solid gold. Most plot points are cribbed from 1991 Vanilla Ice vehicle Cool As Ice (now recognised by cinema-lovers as the proto-8 Mile). Those that aren't, are cribbed from Notting Hill. She slowly melts his icy renegade heart, and it ends with a Say Anything-style declaration of undying affection when Banksy paints her face in a heart on the side of her tenement block in downtown Belfast. Uncle Sam pisses on a child. Jeff Bridges slowly munches a bowl of Crunchy Nut.