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Banksy scores Oscar nomination for 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'

January 25, 2011 | 10:20 am


As Culture Monster reported earlier this month, the British street artist known as Banksy was looking like a probable Academy Award nominee for his work on the documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." On Tuesday morning, our prognostication proved correct when Banksy, along with producer Jaimie D'Cruz, received a nomination in the documentary feature category.  This means that the anonymous artist will be invited to attend the Feb. 27 ceremony at the Kodak Theatre. Whether or not he will show up is another matter altogether.

"Exit Through the Gift Shop" is one of five nominees this year in the documentary feature category. The others are: "Restrepo," "Gasland," "Inside Job" and "Waste Land." Banksy is widely accepted to be the director of "Exit Through the Gift Shop," though he is not formally credited as such in the movie.

A street artist whose work is widely prized by museums, collectors and galleries, Banksy has kept his exact identity a secret from the media, preferring to operate under the radar in cities around the world. "Exit Through the Gift Shop" tells the story of a Los Angeles-based French artist named Thierry Guetta who attempts to make a documentary on street artists featuring Banksy. But part way through the movie, Banksy decides to use Guetta's footage to fashion his own documentary.

Speculation is rampant that "Exit Through the Gift Shop" may in fact be a hoax -- that is to say, a faux-documentary in which all is not as it appears. But apparently, this has not bothered the nominating voters of the academy's documentary branch. The movie is also nominated for a BAFTA award in the category of outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer.

Earlier this month, a seller on EBay claimed to have discovered the identity of Banksy using tax records and was offering to sell the information to the highest bidder. But the auction was pulled before it concluded. In an e-mail, a person claiming to be the seller said he had been paid off but could not reveal any further information.

In any case, congratulations to Banksy -- whoever, whatever and wherever you are -- on your Oscar nomination.


Simpsons Banksy's Oscar chances looking strong for 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'

Banksy leaves his mark on 'The Simpsons'

Banksy identity auction removed from EBay -- was it a hoax?


-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from "Exit Through the Gift Shop." Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (8)

Claims in the film Gasland have been widely documented to be untrue. See the investigative documents for yourself here: http://anga.us/learn-the-facts/the-truth-about-gasland

This is fantastic. I've seen most of the documentary's listed and of ALL the films I saw this year, from Black Swan to True Grit to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Exit Through The Gift Shop was easily my favorite. I found this site actually using my Logitech Revue with Google TV (I'm a DISH Network customer/employee) when searching out information on "Exit", as I'm looking to ad the DVD to my collection, and came across this. I doubt Banksy would show up but it would be funny to see him in a tux and the gorilla mask from the film.

This is great news. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a brilliant insight into our culture at large. I'm not sure if anybody else would have been able to pull this off. Hopefully we can tag this as further evidence for the revival of art.

I thought you might be interested in the OTHER Banksy Doc



"Exit Through The Gift Shop" IS an elaborate hoax, albeit a well-made one...but it's no more "real" than, say, "Spinal Tap". If it wins, it will be the ultimate joke on Hollywood.

there is NO way banksy's documentary is fake.
it would completely defeat the purpose of the documentary... It's the story of an entire movement, and how it defied itself (manifesting eventually in its destruction)
Street art was about Art for everyone... Banksy is big on the fact that the medium he works in (gallery art , to a degree) is the only art not controlled by the masses, but by the few who can cough up a few grand for a pretty picture; a picture that lasted forever.
Street art isn't in an expensive gallery, or private collection. Anyone can see it, for free. nobody owns it--and it's not necessarily endorsed by the big shots.
It doesn't last very long.
when street art went mainstream--when it began to sell at auction for hundreds of thousands, go up in galleries and museums, and private collections (even the Louvre) it lost what it had as its definition-it was no longer for the masses.
So it ran with that-it became a mockery of itself. If it wasn't going to be rare, it was going to be everywhere. repeated until it lost it's meaning, instead of having a clear definition of political commentary on the wall of abandoned warehouse 5.
then MBW came along. he stole other peoples work (without doing so out of irony, or spite) and made it so their art had no meaning--not even a lesson or meaning out of the fact that it had no meaning ( just look up Andy Warhol--it's essentially that, except his lack of meaning had meaning.... I know, confusing)
This Documentary was a last ditch attempt of restoring Street art's meaning--by telling the truth, the story.
without that, and the recognition that deserves, Street art will have no meaning...

I must say, in the end, I believe it's between this and Restrepo...
I'm rooting for this...
if The Academy chooses ETTGS, it would really save street art

Serious LOL on everyone who argues that the film is 100% "real" - get a clue.

The mystique surrounding "Banksy's" identity is but one irritating aspect of his oeuvre, but I'm particularly fed up with it. So for those of you who don't know - he's Robin Gunningham.


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