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If Banksy's EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP Wins An Oscar, Banksy Won't Be On-Stage...

Merrick here...

If you haven't had a chance to see EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, it's currently available via Netflix streaming and can be had on Blu-Ray and DVD HERE.  It's a documentary about street art - but this characterization is oversimplified and does not do the picture justice.  It's compelling,  thought provoking, and is up for Documentary (Feature) at this year's Oscars.  

Which means "Banksy", EXIT's enigmatic, controversial, and anonymous director is encompassed within the nomination.  Leaving the Academy in something of a quandary:  what to do if Banksy actually receives an Oscar?  Very, very, very few people are privy to his true identity.  His real name has been conjectured but never confirmed, photos of a man purported to be Banksy have been published but were not verified, and he kept himself skillfully anonimized (yes, I know that's not a real word) and obscured in his own movie. 

TheWrap has a piece on behind-the-scenes maneuverings regarding the film's potential win.  

"The fun but disquieting scenario," said the Academy's executive director, Bruce Davis, on Monday, "is if that film wins and five guys in monkey masks come to the stage all saying, 'I'm Banksy!' Who the hell do we give it to?"


Davis and Academy president Tom Sherak huddled at a table with Jaimie D'Cruz, the producer of "Exit Through the Gift Shop," who is also nominated for the award, and with an executive producer. And on Tuesday afternoon, Sherak told TheWrap that he thought they'd come to an agreement on what might happen if "Exit" wins – a scenario, he hopes, that involves neither Banksy nor anybody claiming to be him.

"The reason we had that conversation," Sherak said, "was that we had to make sure we were all comfortable with what would happen if he was to win, knowing that he doesn't want anybody to know who he is."

If Banksy isn't comfortable showing his face on the Kodak stage, Sherak said, then the Academy isn't comfortable having him on that stage.

In the article, Sherak mentions that Banksy showing up in a monkey mask to collect his Oscar - a rumored MO for the artist/director - would not be "dignified."  I certainly understand that knee-jerk assessment, but would also argue that such unpredictable and edginess might do wonders for the stayed and grey perception many people have of the Academy (not that the Academy cares what people think - nor should it).  

I do, however, completely understand concerns about possibly awarding an Oscar to an imposter on live television, although I can envision a number of measures that could ensure the alleged "Banksy"  receiving the trophy is the guy for whom it was intended.  I suspect  that, in the end, this all comes down to the "dignity" issue. 

As is, it seems that Jaimie D'Cruz, EXIT's producer (mentioned) above, will accept on Banksy's behalf should EXIT actually garner the Documentary (Feature) Oscar.  A completely practical solution, although a potentially imposter Banksy in a monkey mask would make for far more interesting and memorable television I should think.

Check out TheWrap's insightful assessment of the conundrum HERE.

Find samples of Banksy's art HERE - his site can be accessed HERE.


— follow Merrick on Twitter ! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST


    by carlinesque_thinktank

    I think so

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Thierry Guetta

    by sjfatty

    Let him collecy

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Bullshit, hundreds of people know who he is.

    by cookylamoo

    They're just keeping their mouth shut because there's money is mystique.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    I love Banksy primarily for his "Simpsons" opener.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Fucking brilliant.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Theirry Guetta

    by sjfatty

    Collect, that is...

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST


    by Timahh

    Did anyone actually think he would show up in any capacity to begin with? Best outcome is he throws up a piece in the area while the show is going on. also this documentary is not politcal or about the it doesnt have a shot.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I'm voting for the Monkey Masks

    by D.Vader

    Let's make the Oscars interesting here, people.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Raymond Pettibon>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Banksy

    by PleaseWipeMyAss

    fuck banksy

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    The Oscars and 'dignity'.

    by blackwood

    That's cute that they think that. I think Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech was one of the few moments in the past several years that didn't make me itch a bit. I would love Banksy to get all performace art on this stuffy stick-butted affair.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST

    ricarleite3, what is a "cerimony?"

    by CullenisPrime

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    The Oscars and "dignity"

    by D.Vader

    Or how about when 3 Six Mafia won the Oscar for Best Original Song and they carried each other off the stage cheering. That happened, right?

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Maybe I'm thinking of the Globes

    by D.Vader

    I coulda sworn they carried each other off. Well, someone did. Somewhere. Sometime.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    who cares?

    by spidercoz

    Banksy sure fucking don't

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    True but it's easy to contact him if

    by kafka07

    you have an Oscar for him. Banksy isn't impossible to reach.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to see what Banksy does with his Oscar.

    by Yeah I Wrote That

    There is no way he's not painting that thing. Or installing it somewhere.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    3-6 Mafia acted like fools at the Oscars

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Of course what else do you expect from a rap group? I suppose we're lucky no one got shot.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Watched this documentary on Hulu a week or two ago.

    by Chewtoy

    It may still be up there for people interested who don't have Netflix. Will Mister Brainwash be in attendance?

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons opening

    by Patrick Hines

    was obnoxious. Simpsons did all those jokes almost twenty years ago when Kent Brockman visited the animation house that produced Itchy and Scratchy. And all the episode writers and animators didn't have to plaster their names/alias over everything in the shot.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Oh, Banksy directed this.

    by Cagliostro

    After watching it I was wondering why it keeps being called a Banksy documentary. He seems to be only a footnote in the entire film. I think there might be a grey line between calling him a director or an editor, as what he mainly did was edit together someone else's old footage.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST

    I'm Banksy


    I'll be there to collect my Oscar on awards night. I would like lots of wine and some high-class hookers in my hotel suite too. Oh and can you ask Eva Green to give me a blowjob whilst I'm waiting off-stage? Thanks

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    I'm also Spartacus


  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Nothing undignified about silly masks

    by quantize

    Actors wear them all the time accepting awards

  • the second half of this film was a hoax. If this wins then this seriously taints the Oscars credibility. And sets Documentaries back as real documents of life on film. Might as well nominate Jersey Shore.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST


    by rahtard

    Yeah we are lucky that never happened because we know that's what happens when black people get together, right? Funny how you are posting that on an article referencing an artist who's art form is inspired by black street culture.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    This was a real great Doc.

    by NoMotivatioN

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    wait, this was all made up?

    by NoMotivatioN

    your telling me this was fake? I dont know whats happening here, someone explain in mass detail about this Doc. I saw it, loved it.

  • he'd make a doc like Paranormal Activity release it to the masses and try to pass that off as real and get an Oscar nom for it. . Obviously, inception23code has drunk the cool aid.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Sweet Jesus this site needs a proof-reader...

    by CaptainBass

    The word is STAID, idiot! "Stayed" indeed...

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Fuck the Oscars and their rigged bullshit.

    by AzulTool

    It's so stupid. Turning art into a competition so all of these pampered pigs can play dress-up, and pat each other on the back is lame. It's just an opportunity for the drama kids to feel like jocks. And, considering that these particular drama kids are professionals at the top of their game, well then this must be their fucking Superbowl. The problem is, unlike the Superbowl, nobody gives a shit. Plus, I hate how all of these hot actresses dress up like fucking grandmas at these events. ScarJo is the perfect example. She's one of the sexiest women who ever lived, and she looks utterly sexless at these award shows. She should show up this year wearing her Black Widow outfit.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by Timahh

    the general assumption by other than taking the documentary as factual. Is that Theirry(and subsequently Mr. Brainwash) was a creation of Banksy. and that all of his art and his story around making it, was a plot by Banksy to showcase how silly and moronic the art community has become.(specifically regarding "street art") Mr. Brainwash and his success was to shine a light on the fact that art's success is rarely due to talent/skill/insight, but rather Hype and marketing. Personally, i am not in this camp, but its definitely an interesting notion. And if it turns out it is a hoax, isn't that more impressive than the truth? Simple answer, this movie deserves some kind of award....might as well be documentary(but it won't win, so all a moot point)

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    lmao sierratangofoxtrotuniform

    by happyboy

    because the Oscars are a Holy thing right. get over yourself. they won and they were happy I love the fake sanctimonious crap over some award show/

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Prankumentary does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is admittedly the only one of the noms i've seen but I can easily see it winning. It's a brilliant piece.<p> I watched it with a friend who is an art dealer and between the two of us we couldn't say for sure whether it was a genuine documentary or an elaborate prankumentary.<p> And if Banksy does win... let him do what he wants to do. Because believe me the guy is smart and funny to do 'something' up on that stage to make it a moment to remember.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    This is an article that circles around common sense

    by Francis Begbie

    until finally landing on it. I mean really, everyone knew Banksy wouldn't show, everyone knew there are two people nominated for the Doc. Therefore, if one doesn't show the other would be there to accept the award or if neither showed they would just say they were not there to accept the award and the people who gave out the award will accept it on the winners behalf. What I read was a bunch of idiots thinking about what could happen before finally getting to the logical conclusion of what will happen. Ridiculous.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    WhaAAT, timahh. my lips are red i guess.

    by NoMotivatioN

    Dude thanks for the expo but if in fact as you explained it, is right, isnt that even more genius,damn is that gonna make me like the doc even more? lol i think so ,jesus im lame.. Now i have to watch it again, its stupid genius not traveling to outer space genius more of a mind fuck thats enjoyable genius. LoL no way,thats crazy great. oh annd Whats taking that XmenFirstClass Trailer sooo long on facebook

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Anyone who thinks that this doc is fake --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- has clearly not spent enough time in Los Angeles. You can find someone like Thierry Guetta on every corner and in every coffee shop (and some of them are quite succesful).

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST


    by Inglorious Bastard

    You just outed how much of a stupid knee-jerk reactionary you are.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by Inglorious Bastard

    You're right to an extent, but really Banksy is making a statement about the ridiculousness of pop-art and that hype matters more than the actual product. The fact that the movie may or may not be somewhat staged is beside the point.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by Stainboy136

    I think if it is real, which I believe it is, then Banksy does an even better job of displaying how "silly and moronic the art community has become" because he is actually showing it for real.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    PC-fueled whiner fucks

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Who said anything about black people? I surely didn't. Actually, it was that other loser who commented on my post. So you're saying that rap is black only? RACICIST!

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by sjfatty

    an idiot. Why don't you watch something before you make a stupid comment

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't it be cool if Banksy shows up, wins the award

    by elgato73

    and collects it. And then instead of doing a speech, he rips off all his clothes to reveal a monkey suit and puts on the monkey mask and begins fondling himself while his producer pours gasoline on the Oscar and sets it on fire! Now that would be memorable.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 5:03 p.m. CST

    He's a hack so I don't give a shit.

    by alienindisguise

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 5:23 p.m. CST

    It won't win anyway...

    by PorkChopXpress much ado about nothing.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Robin Gunningham

    by ihatetalkbacks

    People should stencil his face all over his work to remove his "anonimity." His ability to state the obviouse through his art is startling. He really is the emperors new clothes, the press just present his anonimity as a fact even though it is a not very well guarded secret. Hes an urban legend sticking one to the man and will never sell out... even though he did a sports wear promotion and in their published bio it stated he would never do a commercial venture!!!??? As he is private school educated you would have thought he could develop beyond the 5th form work he does...

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Anyone who calls Banksy a hack is a F moron

    by quantize

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by Timahh

    also, just to clear something up. The arguement can no be made that any of the events in the doc are staged, as they all most certainly happened. The only question is whether or not Mr. Brainwash(theirry) operated independently from banksy. Brainwash most certainly did have a show in LA. It most certainly was a massive success, and he did make a shit ton of doe from it. The question is whether Banksy put him up to it or not.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 6:04 p.m. CST

    by Timahh

    and i typed doe when i obviously meant dough. God damn it i want the talk backs improved around here harry.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Quantize - how?

    by ihatetalkbacks

    I am genuinely interested. To me he is a Situationist a best, ultra boring at worst. He sees some thing and portrays it in the exact opposite. Police men - bit homophobic, lets make them kiss. Soldiers - not very childlike, lets make a child search them. Nothing that Banksy says gives any insight into any thing. He never removes the blinkers from your eyes to see society how it is. None ofhis work even looks very nice either. Why should he have a priveledged possition as an artist if h does not say anything? It is odd that in Britain it takes a middle class white man to take Graffitti from the street to be something concidered art.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    IF it wins..

    by maxjohnson1971

    and IF it really is fake, then the dude REALLY proved his point didn't he? How ironic.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST

    No one is truly anonymous

    by j_difool

    I know at least 2 people who know who Banksy is. And I know one who knows who Daft Punk are. People cannot be 100 percent anonymous. Impossible. But a stunt would be great for that boring ass show.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Tony Clifton.

    by Felix Buckman

    Mister Brainwash : Banksy :: Tony Clifton : Andy Kaufman. The notion that this film is a documentary is absurd. Utterly frelling absurd.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Banksy should do what Brando did

    by Rev. Slappy

    and send a native American woman to the podium.

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST


    by ihatetalkbacks

    So was the name above correct? I always thought that Banksy used it to protect himself from prosecution, seeing as every council now trys to keep his "art" it seems a bit strange. He now uses it as a Fantomas style man of mystery disguise, even though he is a podgy middle aged man. Daft Punk have been pictured loads and did a lot of interviews in their normal every day wear. It is no secret who they are and there are pictures of them in Orange the band before Daft Punk. They do hide behind the masks now but these were only used when the second album was made - I am sure they just used it for press then and actually DJed in Tshirts when I saw them (long ago). They use their real names still. There is always the rumour when they DJ that it is a recording and actors behind the decks though. Seems they are just sensitive and a little shy. Hope this doesnt bring peole out to discuss the Tron soundtrack!!!

  • Feb. 10, 2011, 9:42 p.m. CST

    The woman sent by Brando

    by Shan

    Was actually an actress.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Banksy's name is Robin Gunningham

    by TheApostle

    Banksy's "super secret identity" was revealed years ago in the Daily Mail and was known to many people before that. How long do we have to keep up this silly little ruse that someone can be be doing business, making millions, and be fucking anonymous in 2011? The idea that there's some controversy over what they'll do with the Oscar if he wins is stupid. First, he's not going to win. And anyway he has a representative that he does business through. Besides, the movie is mostly fake BS and shouldn't even be in the doc category.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 3:51 a.m. CST

    You Must Understand...

    by tailhook

    If black people spray paint something its vandalism. If white people spray paint something its 'art'. Notice that almost every person detailed in the doc as being an'artist' with spray paint is a white person.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Watched "exit" recently

    by Movietool

    Yes, it's "fake" in the same way professional wrestling is fake. As in, everything is staged - but those guys really do launch themselves twenty feet in the air and fall down on each other. "Mister Brainwash" is OBVIOUSLY a total Banksy creation, as well as the event that was held, but that hardly matters. The art was still real, even if the pretense under which it was presented was a total fabrication. In fact, it was all "fabricated," wasn't it? Both "Mister Brainwash," and the art he sold. It doesn't matter. A bunch of people bought some art they thought was cool (and many of them likely bought ACTUAL Banksy art), "Mister Brainwash" made a mint, Banksy made a great comment about art, consumerism, and hype, and I watched a compelling mockumentary. Everyone wins.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 7:51 a.m. CST

    whew..almost thought I saw Blansky's Beauties - the Movie

    by TRON

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    If you think about it, Bansky is kind of dissing fans of street art


    and anyone who wanted to see a straight up documentary about street art. Who are probably the majority of the people watching this movie. And instead they get punked by their hero. I think that is his greatest offense. Look I don't have a problem with him conning rich Hollywood types who collect art out of their money or punking the Academy. But, the joke is mainly on the small audience who wanted to see a genuine documentary about Bansky and street art.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Theirry Guetta should pick up the Oscar... for Best Actor


  • Feb. 11, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Timahh's question. or " Conspiracy"

    by NoMotivatioN

    I dont understand what was so hard to get when timahh said what he had to say, yeah there are guys like that stealing other peoples work and yea his points when he said that happen did infact happen but the pose question is, was the weirdo just a product of B-mans mind fuck to show case a new form of tellin it how it is and feels like out there in the art world. It was just a question which is a good question and where did this question come from? Rumors? People in the know who are laughin about people takin the Doc sooooo seriously aka Oscars, cause Im now gonna go buy the damn thing and enjoy it even more like watching "FullMetalJacket" trying to figure it out when in all,its just fun to get conspiracies and then seeing it with different eyes. Brings more to the whole myth of so called film. lol, im acturally gonna buy it instead of watchin it for free just cause some dude on a site sparked my imagination, the doc is really really great as of its self and as is.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST

    im goin with timahh & movietool, makes it more fun

    by NoMotivatioN

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    If he drew on canvas...

    by Jae

    you wouldn't care who he was. He is the sort of twat that Nathan Barley idolises. All he is is a coffee table book generator for middle class people to place in plain sight, so that they look either "edgy" or knowledgeable about art. The government are rubbish! So are the Police!What a genius...

  • And I'm not really familiar with his artwork other than this film which is a good work of art in itself. I just don't think it should be considered a documentary.