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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Mr. Brainwash: Banksy could come to the Oscars [Video]

February 27, 2011 | 11:49 am

There were few people more colorful on the award season circuit than Mr. Brainwash, a.k.a. Thierry Guetta, the star of Banksy street-art exploration "Exit Through the Gift Shop."

A very hirsute-looking Guetta continued his surrealist tour with a series of comments from the podium at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, when "Exit" won best documentary and he used the opportunity to indulge in some free-associative exuberance.

Among the gems:

"Where I come from and where I am now, even the plane cannot take you."

"It's like a comic strip and it's not real but it is real, I'm real and my movie is real" (a reference to the allegations that some of "Exit," and Guetta himself, is manufactured).

"I had a speech but I left it at the hotel" (despite the fact that, um, doesn't he live in Los Angeles?).

Guetta also spoke on the red carpet before the event (see below), marveling at the fact that some still don't believe his movie is real. (The Times last week cross-referenced his story against public records and found that it mostly checks out.)

"No, there is some people who still doesn't believe it. Even they get the fact left and right, they still like, 'Is it real? You make it up?' So I guess some people keep going, keep don't understand that it's real. We said the fact that it's real. "

As for why there was so much skepticism about th emovie, he had a concise -- or is it utterly head-spinning -- explanation. "It's so real that it looks fake," he said.

The big question as of Sunday morning remained whether Banksy himself would show up to the Oscars. On the red carpet before the event, Guetta engaged in some playfulness. "We'll see. This is like the movie: Can we explain the movie? No. Can we know that the movie is real or not? No. Can we know if he's going to show up? I don't know."

But then he also said that, indeed, he and the reclusive street artist could have a plan. "Maybe, maybe not. I don't know," he said, offering a coy smile.

When we caught up with him inside the Spirits after he won and asked him about the Oscars, the artist gave a characteristically Zen, did-that-just-happen response. "Tomorrow is tomorrow," he said. "Let's worry about today."

--Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman



Photo: Mr. Brainwash at the Independent Spirit Awards. Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images


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