Will Enigmatic Oscar Nominee Banksy Attend the Ceremony?
Although the jury is still out on whether Oscar-nominated graffiti artist Banksy will appear at the Academy Awards ceremony next week, one thing's for certain: the rumors that Oscar reps told him to stay away are false."We like to have the nominees with us," the Academy's executive director Bruce Davis told the Associated Press. "We kind of like to know who we're giving an Oscar to, but I think we can handle that if his film should win -- and remember, there are four other contenders here." Banksy's directing debut, Exit Through the Gift Shop, is nominated for best documentary along with Restrepo, Gasland, Inside Job and Waste Land. The film chronicles the history of street art and the rise of the artist known as Mr. Brainwash. Banksy, according to Gift Shop, was actually one of the subjects of the film but took over as director as the project progressed. Although Banksy primarily displays his artwork on public surfaces, celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have spent thousands of dollars to purchase prints of his work. Banksy made waves when he debuted new graffiti drawings around Los Angeles last week. One piece, a billboard that Banksy covered with a drunken Mickey and Minnie Mouse, was quickly taken down by CBS Outdoor. Other creations include Charlie Brown smoking a cigarette on Sunset Boulevard and a small child shooting crayons from a machine gun in Westwood. Banksy's visit to Los Angeles may suggest that he's considering attending the Academy Awards despite his cheeky disdain for award ceremonies. He said in a statement after his nomination, "I don't agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for." Banksy has never shown his face in public. In Exit Through the Gift Shop, he conceals his features and digitally alters his voice. "Banksy and his folks are keeping things very mysterious," Davis said. "We certainly are expecting the producer of the film to be with us, Jaimie D'Cruz, but I would not be surprised if Banksy were in the audience as well — but I don't think he's going to be wearing a name tag, so it may not be clear."
What Hollywood Earns
Covering The Race
Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.