I had a hard time wrapping my head around Jon Reiss's history of graffiti documentary Bomb It!, until I realized that the film -- like the graffiti artists it presents -- doesn't really give a good goddamn how I feel about graffiti. This exists, Bomb It!says, and here it is, and here's where it's going; it's a brisk and bracing portrait of the state of the art. Of course, the fact that the art is often a crime comes up, starting with an opening scene captured with night-vision cameras where a group of "bombers" craft a work with swift strokes of their spray cans before fleeing into the night. ...

Director Reiss has a past in unconventional art (art so unconventional, in fact, the question of it's really art comes into play) -- he spent years filming the merry roboticists of San Francisco's Survival Research Laboratories, and captured the rave scene in his doc Better Living Through Circuitry -- and his movie travels the globe, looking at what's on walls and who put it there and why. We get a history of the form -- starting with Daryl "Cornbread" McCray, the graffiti artist who first plastered his name all over Philly in 1967: "The more they talked, the more I wrote, the more they talked the more I wrote ..." Like graffiti, the movie leaps from Philly to New York, and then it goes everywhere -- Amsterdam, London, Capetown, Barcelona, Hamburg, Paris and more.
categories Reviews, Cinematical