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What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 10:22
by D.A. Ridgely
Current movie recommendations.

I really enjoyed Exit Through the Gift Shop (http://www.banksyfilm.com/), an indie movie by street artist Banksy about, well, about street art and its serious practitioners and poseurs. It's in one of the art houses here in Dallas and, as the saying goes, showing in selected cities. As Letterman says, I can only hope to gawd your city has been selected.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 15:20
by Number 6
What, again, is the difference between street art and graffiti?

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 15:32
by Warren
Number 6 wrote:What, again, is the difference between street art and graffiti?
Ten thousand dollars

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 15:33
by D.A. Ridgely
Number 6 wrote:What, again, is the difference between street art and graffiti?
Funny you should ask. I'm in the midst of an e-mail discussion of that very point with a professional artist friend of mine. I called Banksy a street artist because, IIRC, that's how he describes himself in the movie. My friend said he considers the term more or less the equivalent of graffiti artist and, by implication, that Banksy is a 'real' artist. (I'm somewhat putting words in my friend's mouth, but that's the gist as I understand him.)

Anyway, the movie is, in a sense, about that very question and, more specifically, about street artists / graffiti artists whom it makes sense to say they are artists in the same way (for better or worse) that contemporary artists whose works hang in galleries are. Is Shepard Fairey a 'fine' artist? A 'mere' graphic artist? A guy who has been propagating a long running joke with an image of Andre the Giant and the word "Obey"? What about Banksy, himself? Or Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, whom Banksy basically calls a fraud in the movie?

Beats me.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 17:27
by J sub D
Almost all graffitti can be safely classified as vandalism. That some of it is interesting and shows actual artistic merit or humor does no alter the fact that the "artist" is defacing property he does not own and lacks permission to do so.

Fuck Banksy and his pretensions.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 17:37
by Number 6
J sub D wrote:Almost all graffitti can be safely classified as vandalism. That some of it is interesting and shows actual artistic merit or humor does no alter the fact that the "artist" is defacing property he does not own and lacks permission to do so.

Fuck Banksy and his pretensions.
That about sums it up for me. Oh, and those street murals that are supposed to brighten up urban squalor? They suck, and just make it worse.


edit, to moderate tone: Some of Banksy's stuff is clever. None of it strikes me as great art, but it is occasionally amusing. But painting on someone else's property is vandalism, even if it is clever vandalism.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 17:43
by Jennifer
I pissed off a lot of people a couple weeks ago, when I had to write a story about a hippie-dip professor at a local university who was sponsoring a "mural slam" where he'd invited local graffiti artists to practice their "art" atop a campus parking garage. I TRIED to write objectively but failed utterly; I quoted all the poor-me "artists" talking about how unfair it was that they had no place to paint, but I'm guessing the reporter's disdain for graffiti "artists" came through when I asked the question, "It’s true that few building owners will invite people to paint graffiti on their property, but if graffiti artists can afford to buy spray paint, can’t they also afford to buy boards to paint on?"

Oooh, yeah, a LOT of locals got magnificently pissed off at me. But fuck' em.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 17:48
by Jennifer
And for the original topic: the 3-d IMAX documentary about the Hubble Space Telescope was very cool. If it's playing in your area, in 3-d, it's definitely worth checking out.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 18:04
by D.A. Ridgely
No argument on the private property issue. I'm unpersuaded, however, that goes to the question whether the creation is art or not. Which is just to say there are separate issues involved; one set aesthetic and another set moral.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 18:09
by Jennifer
D.A. Ridgely wrote:No argument on the private property issue. I'm unpersuaded, however, that goes to the question whether the creation is art or not. Which is just to say there are separate issues involved; one set aesthetic and another set moral.
Some graffiti I've seen is certainly artistic and requires some talent to create, but I have zero sympathy for hippie-dip professors who say in all seriousness that poor oppressed artists wouldn't need to vandalize other people's property if only the city would provide free places for them to paint.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 19:16
by Eric the .5b
I say it's art. Making art with someone else's property is dickish, though.

You can paint this millenium's Mona Lisa on my door; just don't cry when I sell your art to a museum and not give you a cent.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 12 May 2010, 23:06
by lunchstealer
Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:No argument on the private property issue. I'm unpersuaded, however, that goes to the question whether the creation is art or not. Which is just to say there are separate issues involved; one set aesthetic and another set moral.
Some graffiti I've seen is certainly artistic and requires some talent to create, but I have zero sympathy for hippie-dip professors who say in all seriousness that poor oppressed artists wouldn't need to vandalize other people's property if only the city would provide free places for them to paint.
Yeah, it's art in the strictest sense. But tagging isn't fine art, it's low art (NTTAWWT, other than the property-rights concerns). Some of the more elaborate stuff rises a bit higher. But seriously, those guys should all go down to the place that just opened up that's a wine-bar cum painters' studio. So far that place is solely populated by 25-40-something white chicks. The urban ethnodemographic needs to take back the streets on that one.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 13 May 2010, 14:38
by Taktix®
Is it still a property rights issue if they tag a publicly-owned building, such as a courthouse or public parking garage?

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 13 May 2010, 14:47
by lunchstealer
Taktix® wrote:Is it still a property rights issue if they tag a publicly-owned building, such as a courthouse or public parking garage?
Well, it's probably a property rights issue if you steal a bus, so I'd say so. The government, if it is to exist, has to have a corporate right to own and manage property. We can argue about what kinds of property and what kinds of management is a proper role for government, but fundamentally, government has property rights, just like normals.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 13 May 2010, 17:54
by Number 6
Oddly enough, the government's view of it's own property rights seems to be that it has the right to all of our property.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 14 May 2010, 00:19
by Aresen
Although I object to the defacement of the property of others, I have to say that one of the charms of Pompeii was the graffitti.

Much of it was of the "Lucius Julia amat" and Marcus Verius feces est varieties, there were some witty commentaries on local politics as well.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 14 May 2010, 06:01
by Jadagul
Aresen: Didn't they find some graffiti in the schoolhouse complaining that Cicero was too hard to read?

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 17 May 2010, 16:35
by Mo
Jadagul wrote:Aresen: Didn't they find some graffiti in the schoolhouse complaining that Cicero was too hard to read?
I think it said, "ROMANI ITE DOMUM".

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 06 Jun 2010, 22:54
by D.A. Ridgely
I saw Get Him to the Greek yesterday with my 15 year old son. Rude, crude, uneven and occasionally very funny. The movie, not my son.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 06 Jun 2010, 23:28
by Number 6
D.A. Ridgely wrote:I saw Get Him to the Greek yesterday with my 15 year old son. Rude, crude, uneven and occasionally very funny. The movie, not my son.
Your son isn't funny?

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 22 Jun 2010, 20:37
by Hugh Akston
I saw Toy Story 3 today. Once again Pixar struck a perfect balance between breathtaking spectacle, obsessive detail, and dramatic/comedic/emotional storytelling.

Toward the end of the movie, Barbie informs the antagonist that authority derives from the consent of the governed, not the threat of violence, and that's still not the best part of the movie.

It's also worth seeing for the animated short before the feature (which I am really glad that Disney is doing these days, BTW). It takes a while to notice that what you;re watching is a combination of digital and cell animation. Once again Pixar swings for the fences.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 22 Jun 2010, 22:09
by Warren
Hugh Akston wrote:I saw Toy Story 3 today. Once again Pixar struck a perfect balance between breathtaking spectacle, obsessive detail, and dramatic/comedic/emotional storytelling.

Toward the end of the movie, Barbie informs the antagonist that authority derives from the consent of the governed, not the threat of violence, and that's still not the best part of the movie.

It's also worth seeing for the animated short before the feature (which I am really glad that Disney is doing these days, BTW). It takes a while to notice that what you;re watching is a combination of digital and cell animation. Once again Pixar swings for the fences.
Hmmm. What did you think of TS2? I'm one of the few that felt it shouldn't have been made. Plus The Incredibles and Ratatouille set the bar really high for me.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 22 Jun 2010, 22:24
by Hugh Akston
As wary as I was of a sequel, I'm firmly in the majority of people who believe that TS2 was as good as, if not better than, the original. I think that TS3 was on that same level. What did you find objectionable about it?

Haven't seen Ratatouille yet, but the Incredibles is still my favorite Pixar feature.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 22 Jun 2010, 22:50
by Warren
What this guy said. Of course he's mostly talking about TS3, but the take on TS2 has me nodding my head.

Re: What's New at the Bijou?

Posted: 23 Jun 2010, 00:32
by Hugh Akston
Warren wrote:What this guy said. Of course he's mostly talking about TS3, but the take on TS2 has me nodding my head.
I think all three TS movies are more thematically (and emotionally) complex than that guy gives them credit for. His comparison to Miyazaki movies is both irrelevant and pretentious. His account of the series-referential jokes is overblown. His interpretation of the characters' motives is wrong, as is his interpretation of the villains as characters. Subject matter aside, I thought the humor in all three movies was well-crafted, well-timed and well-executed. His interpretation of the ending couldn't be more off-track.

Also, the condescending tone in which he writes is a fitting reminder of why film critics are so roundly ignored.

But other than that, yeah I see what you're getting at.