So the listing in the header is the order in which I saw these movies.
I’m going to talk about them out of order, though because I have some exciting developments re: ROCKWELL FEST and I don’t want to get swept up in discussion of that and end up not giving Strait-Jacket its due.
So Exit Through the Gift Shop is a street art documentary, most easily described as “the Banksy movie” although it’s not really ABOUT Banksy so much as it is involving him.
If you’re not familiar with street art or Banksy, my super-short crash course:
Street art has its roots in graffiti and as a result is really controversial given that it is technically illegal. It’s typically produced under cover of night. And obviously on public property.
Some of the more famous pieces of street art:
Shepard Fairey, the guy responsible for this work, also did the famous Obama “HOPE” image.
Because I am an Austinite I must include Daniel Johnston’s work:
Banksy is a primarily London-based street artist (arguably the most famous street artist in the world). He’s the guy that put his graffiti-ed over version of famous paintings in galleries next to the originals. Banksy’s identity has been kept a secret and this movie is no exception. I mean…basically we can gather from it that he is male and white and possibly from the North in England but I have a pretty bad ear for accents (especially when they have been altered) so I might be off.
Anyway, Exit Through the Gift Shop is about this guy Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash who starts as a weirdo with a beautiful beard who obsessively films everything constantly, becomes interested in street art, begins filming that, and then decides he wants to be a street artist himself–except he’s a ridiculous parody of a street artist who basically renders everything he creates completely meaningless.
The interesting thing here is the very real possibility that the Mr. Brainwash persona presented by Thierry Guetta is actually itself a carefully constructed sort of piece of performance art (a lot of internet people are crediting the creation of this persona to Banksy but it seems just as probable to me that Guetta created the persona on his own and happens to know Banksy).
Mostly, though, I feel like if I was a Londoner my life would be consumed with trying to guess whether or not people I knew in my everyday life were Banksy. It would certainly make things more interesting in a day-to-day sense.
I loved MacGruber and I don’t care what anyone else says. It was really dumb but it was fun. I laughed a lot.
I love Will Forte.
Strait-Jacket is officially the first movie I saw in New York. It was introduced by moderately famous drag queen Hedda Lettuce who was very charming and funny and did a sort of MST3K thing throughout the movie.
What an absurd and wonderful movie. I’m consumed with ideas for a remake. Something that would be a) actually frightening while still being b) aware of and paying tribute to its hokey roots (Sam Raimi excels at this sort of thing). I can’t exactly place who could take on the Joan Crawford role, though. Big shoes to fill.
I watched Matchstick Men before I left and it was okay.
Guys I watched a movie in when Sam Rockwell, an alcoholic deadbeat dad, murder/suicides his own wife who he’s been trying to win back through the whole movie because he blames her for their daughter’s death.
And I was STILL less devastated by that character turn–for a character I really loved and cared about–than I was by Frank’s turn in Matchstick Men. I honestly didn’t know how to feel about it. Sad. Very, very sad. I’ve had friends lie to me about incredibly minor things that don’t involve…my being a mother or large amounts of money or anything and that devastated me. So maybe it’s the friend thing.
Anyway, the important note and the reason that I switched the order in these is when I came up to New York I saw this play A Behanding in Spokane which featured an impressive ensemble cast with Anthony Mackie, Zoe Kazan, Christopher Walken, and none other than the star of ROCKWELL FEST himself, Mr. Sam Rockwell.
It was a real treat. I can’t wait to see another Rockwell movie, if only so that I have a more immediate comparison of his film acting with his stage acting–there are key differences here that, especially when talking about the same actor, are very interesting to me.
By the way, in a weird turn of events I ran into some friends from Texas at the play and didn’t get to stay after to hound the fantastic actors/claim the hug that I feel I so richly deserve from Mr. Rockwell. I have more than considered stalking the stage door after a different show. But really, what do you say in that situation? You have to talk about the play, anything else is asshole-y to mention (“I know I just saw you in this play but I thought Lawn Dogs was a top-notch movie” does not fly at all). The only acceptable circumstance would be something insane…like having a fake festival in your head to put a name on “I am trying to watch my way through every movie you have a substantial role in”–and THAT is incredibly creepy.
On a vaguely related note: some actors get popular catchphrases or really quotable lines from characters they played shouted at them on the street. I tried to think of what the Sam Rockwell version of this would be and I decided that this moment from Moon is the ideal thing:
“Hey, GERTY says you’re Sam Bell. I’m Sam Bell too. So…we’ve got that going for us.”
Anyway, Sam Rockwell, king of actor, actor of kings, shared a really big room and the same recycle air with me recently and I don’t think I’ve ever been more surprised to find myself in that situation.