Bomb It [Documentary]

Posted on May 1, 2008


Bomb It!

The program said this is the most comprehensive documentary on graffiti art. It’s probably true. Bomb It covers graffiti around the world, from LA to New York, San Paolo to Japan. And each place has their own uniqueness and style. The fast paced style of the film definitely matches the subject it’s covering.

The film is going to get released theatrically. There’s also so much footage that they’re going to release different chapters for each location. It took 2 years to make, 200 people were interviewed (though only 65 made the cut), and they recorded over 400 hours of footage.

I thought it was interesting that they were only in each location for 4 days. Most of the work was done in prep.

The director, Jon Reiss, is not a graffiti artist. This proved to be an advantage because he’s going in knowing only what most people know about graffiti, so he can ask the right questions and not make ‘graffiti porn,’ – videos of artists tagging a wall and recording it.

The film brought up a few really interesting arguments. Graffiti is art (well, to some) in public spaces. Why does art only have to be restricted to certain rooms in a rectangular frame?

Also, billboards are everywhere and huge, and we have no say over that. Of course, those people payed for the space, and to counter that, you could say graffiti artists can just buy a billboard spot and tag it up.

My favorite, though, is that there are no straight lines in nature, while all our buildings and city planning is based on lines. Graffiti mixes it up.

The film was one of my favorites at the festival, and is definitely worth checking out to get a better understanding of the scribble we see everywhere (though, it probably won’t help you read it any better).

Part of an ongoing series of what I saw at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

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