Circus Road Films
Banksy’s Coming for Dinner is a mockumentary depicting a dinner party hosted by Joan Collins (an actress?) and her husband, on their aristocratic estate, where they entertain a small group of guests including the trendy and mysterious street artist, Banksy. The film is a play on celebrity and art, and particularly the notion that an individual can become a celebrity while remaining withdrawn from the public.
Banksy is an enigma, not simply because he’s anonymous - most street artists do what they can to conceal their identities - but because through some unknown alchemical process, he gets to be the graffiti artist who ascends to superstar. His work means more than other graffiti works and he has people who generally have no interest in graffiti and street art defending it as art rather than vandalism, and great art rather than good art. Banksy thus becomes a brand name for quality graffiti for people who wouldn’t know the difference, and this brand is produced through media, the circulation of reputations, and an art market rooted in contemporary consumerist practices based on shock, novelty, appropriation, and the exploitation of subcultures.
Massow’s film is a documentary featuring a dinner party with Banksy in attendance. The mockumentary is a prank upon the people who’ve caught the Banksy fever and are hoping to learn a little or just see the face of the artist in this film, as Massow leads his audience to believe that the film is an authentic dinner party, rather than a staged farce. Banksy appears as a pathetic man-child who attends the dinner with his mother, who drives him and makes sure that the ride is well-stocked with plenty of treats. Banksy is largely a source of pointless statements through the dinner, which is pretty much the extent of his presense in thhis film. This is obviously a fictionalized Banksy, and Massow is exploiting the artist’s anonymous status as a way of making fun of him and his admirers. Art is not really a topic in the film, but rather the magnetic draw of the celebrity - of celebrities towards one another, and of an audience so enraptured with an anonymous, heavily hyped artist, that they would watch a film where he eats dinner, just to catch a glimpse.
|defaced piece by Banksy|
defaced Banksy - Toronto