Culture

I Don't Want to See Your Quarantine 'Art' Unless It's This

Many in isolation fancy themselves as artists. However, none are remaking 'The Shawshank Redemption' via Instagram Stories, like Fat White Family.
30 March 2020, 3:10pm
Fat White Family shawshank redemption
Screenshots via Instagram

Just like in the real world (the world before the coronavirus), there are different types of character in quarantine. Sourdough shaggers bake bread. TikTok families try to go viral. Netflix yoga-fiends are live streaming with Adrienne. Skinny stoners are trying to get tonk with Joe Wicks.

But what of the artisté? These creative-minded individuals have taken up new skills to pass the time. Drawing, perhaps; watercolours or writing poems. Most of their output will be undeniably crap – half-baked attempts by amateurs who believe their first attempt at oil painting is worth an exhibition. But some – the stuff done by the professionals – is worth a look.

Fat White Family have nearly a decade in the game of creative adroitness, where work is as self-important as it is skilled. The south London band's stuff is both adored and abhorred. Every time I’ve seen them live, I've thought them to be The Truth (meaning the saviour of live music or some other clichéd music journo compliment). They sing about drugs, sex and politics, and perform either in the nude or on mushrooms, or both – like a Lester Bangs coke dream.

Anyway, they’ve gone and recorded The Shawshank Redemption on Instagram Stories.

Like Be Kind Rewind (the 3/5 Jack Black film where him and Yasiin Bey film their own home video takes of every movie in their video rental store), this is an amateur take on a cult classic. I remember watching the original Shawshank in secondary school every time we had a wet day. Never did I think I'd end up in quarantine, watching two musicians reenact a budget version of the film’s opening scene on my phone. Life, eh.

I'm not going to critique the remake – I'm no Roger Ebert, I've never had a byline in Little White Lies. To unleash my pen would be disrespectful to their art. But as far as it goes, this is the quarantine hobby done right. You’ve got to dive in head first with a truly outlandish idea on a shoestring budget for a laugh. Be the artisté that this period deserves – upload gold or go home.

Stay tuned for more from them here.

@ryanbassil

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