Director Jon Reiss releases New Graffiti Documentary, “BOMB iT”
More than ever, graffiti is a point of contention in most cities. And not just here in the U.S.; in cities across the world. It’s also a form of art built on tenacity. Like water, if it is displaced in one area, it just flows to another place, and there’s not stopping it. Ask anyone with a clue.
In dedication to the art and the people who make it, “Bomb It” is a global documentary that continues the efforts of graffiti feature films and documentaries that came before it (some factual and fantastic, others more parody than feature film). Featuring interviews and history lessons from graffiti elders to current day bombers, “Bomb It” delves into the minds and works of Cornbread, Lady Pink, KRS One, Shepard Fairey, Brazilian bombing twin brothers Os Gemeos, Mear One, Terrible T-KID 170, Taki 183, Zephyr, Tribe, Tats Cru, Chaz Bojorquez, Robbie Conal, Ron English, Cope 2, Daim, Revs, Blek Le Rat, Very One, Stay High 149, Tracy 168, KET, Chino, Revok, Pez, Sixe, Zezao, Faith 47 and many, many more (see http://bombit-themovie.com/artists/default.html for full list of artists interviewed).
Director Jon Reiss also included outspoken graffiti critic, NYC Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., in the mix (I’m anticipating some “boo” reactions from the audience), combining footage of graffiti hot spots in cities across five continents, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town, São Paulo, Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles.
The film also addresses the social and political issues involved in graffiti, asking: Who has the right to express themselves? What is a canvas? Where should art take place? If public space is a forum for discussion, which voices will be heard?
Tapping into his musical connections, which started “back in the day” with his San Francisco performance group Survival Research Laboratories, the film’s soundtrack features Immortal Technique, Big Syphe, Disco D, Donald Byrd, Spank Rock, Virgin Tears vs Dave The Hustler, and Mathematics.
Some may know Reiss from his debut feature-length documentary, “Better Living Through Circuitry,” which focused on San Francisco’s rave culture, but his resume also includes a number of music videos, including the 1992 Nine Inch Nail video for “Happiness in Slavery,” plus a feature film, “Cleopatra’s Second Husband.”
With U.S. theatrical release dates starting in the spring of 2008 and the worldwide premier at this year’s 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, “Bomb It” continues its film festival journey in cities around the globe, from Helsinki, Calgary, Berlin and Ireland, to Sao Paulo, Lisbon, Leeds, London, Oslo and the Olympia Film Festival earlier this month.
Stay tuned for more information on the Denver screening of “Bomb It,” which comes into town in April of 2008.