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Bomb It

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    BOMB IT is the explosive new documentary from award-winning director Jon Reiss. It investigates the most subversive and controversial art form currently shaping international youth culture: graffiti. While some believe the roots of graffiti can be traced back to pre-linguistic cave markings and the innate human need for self-expression, graffiti remains a highly controversial issue. Graffiti raises important questions that delve deep into our contemporary social structure such as: 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? Using a myriad of original interviews from around the world as well as guerilla footage of graffiti writers in action, BOMB IT tells the story of contemporary graffiti from its roots in ancient rock paintings through Picasso to Latino placas through its notorious emergence as a visual adjunct to the rise of hip hop culture in 1970's New York City culminating in its current, vaied and highly complex form. BOMB IT is the most comprehensive documentary about graffiti and street art to date and for years to come. In 2006 we are as likely to encounter graffiti-influenced art in the Smithsonian as we are on an urban bus ride. How did this radical street art evolve into the ultimate signifier of urban cool? BOMB IT explores how graffiti has developed worldwide to encompass stenciling, postering, and any unsanctioned graphic "interference in public space. The controversy surrounding graffiti is an integral part of the story: from anti-tagging groups, to the impact of New York City's infamous "Quality of Life" laws which directly targeted illicit writing, to the proliferation of these laws throughout the world. BOMB IT also shows how graffiti writers vary in their attitudes to gallery pieces, commissioned work and the effect "sanctioned' writing has on the roots of the art in guerilla tactics and its essentially subversive nature. BOMB IT is the first film to update the story of graffiti with a truly global perspective. The film features original footage with artists around the world who have taken the form and applied it to their particular cultural and social conditions, from Latin America, where graffiti has been adapted into the mural tradition, to Japan where anime inspired rakugaki juxtaposes with formal calligraphy and conformist societal norms, to Europe where a dadaist/surrealist tradition produces deliberately confrontational prankstering. Graffiti's inherently kinetic visual style will be brought to life via state of the art animation by young, up-and-coming motion graphic artists. The synergistic relationship between graffiti and hip hop and punk rock provides BOMB IT an unprecedented opportunity for creative collaboration between the filmmakers, the graffiti writers and cutting-edge musicians and poets. BOMB IT pushes the envelope of traditional documentaries into a truly multi-media non-fiction experience. Graffiti, postering, stenciling and stickering form a fascinating and radical movement that defies definition except as a voice demanding to be heard. Literally born out of urban blight, graffiti's tough mimetic code consistently defies the forces that try to stop it and thrives today in varied and artistically evolved forms. BOMB IT explores how graffiti writers are expanding into the highest levels of technology including the web, cell phones, and laser projections.

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