and the winner is…

In the spirit of Academy Awards season, in conjunction with my own personal goal to see every movie nominated this year before February 27- Oscars night- (excluding Harry Potter, simply because I’m not one of those.  Nor do I plan to watch anything animated OR the Best Makeup nominees, just because I don’t want to spend my precious hours sucked into a SNOOZEFEST. I already watched a pirated copy of The Kids Are All Right on my laptop on the Chinatown bus on the way back to NC, and that combination was painful enough…uhh, Best Picture- WTF??!! So no, I’m not going to watch How to Train Your Dragon or The Wolfman  just for the love of the sport. But besides that, I “gotta catch ’em all,” as they say in Pokemon).

I’ve done my research, and as far as the nominees come, there appears to be only four out of the several dozen nominees that are available to watch on Netflix Instant:  Dogtooth, I Am Love, Restrepo and Exit Through the Gift Shop. Dogtooth and I Am Love are both nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Dogtooth (Kynodontas) is a Greek film which appears to be a little creepy but is classified by Netflix as “cerebral” and “romantic” and  I Am Love (Io Sono L’Amore)  is an Italian “romantic” and “steamy” drama, which I guess may be implied in the title.  Restrepo and Exit Through the Gift Shop are nominated for Best Feature Documentary. I plan to watch (and write posts about) each of these four instantly watch-able nominees, but so far I have only seen one: Banksy’s clever, intriguing and generally humorous inside look at the world of contemporary street art, Exit Through the Gift Shop. (Pssst…Click that link on Banksy if you don’t know who he is!)

The film is narrated by a sort of inherently charming male British voice, spending a lean 87 minutes exploring the identities and creative works of potentially idiotic street artists (the exception being Banksy himself) who have risen to fame in the Western world. The film totes the viewer along on a trip to acclaimed street artists’ brick and concrete canvases, including some of Banksy’s sacred spots. Exit exposes the egocentric musings of one artist in particular and expectedly preserves Banksy’s elusiveness- in a good way. This film is a delightful way to get a better peek at a whole bunch of street art,  as it simultaneously provides biting and witty commentary on the relationship between art, consumerism and the idea of celebrity. I don’t know if you are trying to watch every Oscar nominated movie this season, which I’m not so sure I will do myself, but Exit Through the Gift Shop is undoubtedly worth checking out.

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