• Germany's news in English

Artist Banksy keeps Berlin guessing

AFP · 14 Feb 2010, 12:09

Published: 14 Feb 2010 12:09 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The globe-trotting Banksy, whose true identity is a mystery but whose work can be seen on city walls around the world, will be screening "Exit Through the Gift Shop" out of competition at the 60th Berlin Film Festival.

"He'll be there but no one will see him. No one has ever seen him," Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick told reporters ahead of the event.

A festival spokeswoman confirmed Banksy was due in Berlin – regarded as Europe's graffiti capital – but would not attend the press conference for the film and would only present a short video statement before its screening.

The renegade painter remains a mere apparition in the documentary too, appearing only with his face and voice distorted.

Dubbed "the world's first street art disaster movie," the picture diverts its focus from him, concentrating instead on French videographer Thierry Guetta and his insider look at underground artist's at work.

Banksy, whose work has surfaced in the West Bank and post-Katrina New Orleans and now sells for tens of thousands of euros at auction, calls the picture "a film about a man who tried to make a film about me.''

It is also a biting commentary on the commercialisation of the art world, showing how the either mad or genius Guetta – the jury is still out – becomes an overnight media-driven sensation in Los Angeles.

The movie had small screenings at last month's Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Berlin will mark its introduction to a big international audience and the early buzz was glowing.

Industry bible Variety said it was a "raucously entertaining post-modern survey of guerilla street art that appears to be one thing – a chronicle of the scene centred on its most enigmatic figure: Banksy.''

The Hollywood Reporter called it "a hybrid documentary so implausible it needs to be seen to be appreciated."

Story continues below…

Banksy's hide-and-seek act comes after director Roman Polanski was forced to miss the premier of his new thriller "The Ghost Writer" at the Berlinale, where it is in competition.

The crew and cast, including Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor, presented the film Friday without Polanski, who is under house arrest in Switzerland on a US warrant for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The Berlin Film Festival runs until February 21.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd