Saturday, March 26

Special Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2016

Chasing Banksy

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Director Frank Henenlotter and Actor Anthony Sneed in Person!

2015 | USA | 93 minutes
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Screenwriter: Frank Henenlotter
Cast: Anthony Sneed, Will Cooper, Brian Faas, Drew Freed

Life as an artist in New York is tough. Life as a street artist is damn near impossible. Unless you’re Banksy. Or unless you have a Banksy.

Anthony lives paycheck to paycheck, working in a record store to finance his guerilla street pieces. He’s never cared about the money, it’s for love of the art. But when he realizes that some street art could potentially be worth money in the ridiculously priced New York art world, it’s like a lightbulb going off in his head: you can steal street art! Why break into a museum when you can just walk up and take an extremely valuable piece that no one really has a claim to ownership of anyway? Anthony adds the further justification that the proceeds from an original Banksy would finance his own art, so it must be okay, right?

When he gets wind of a Banksy located in New Orleans called “Trumpet Boy,” Anthony and his crew, who all own an increasing share of the piece, head down south to retrieve it. Stealing a Banksy turns out to be easier said than done. Not only to they have to find it — mapping out and physically searching Katrina-ravaged neighborhoods — they have to keep their intentions under wraps, lest anyone be onto them and have the profits further spread out among new claimants.

Director Frank Henenlotter’s first narrative feature since Bad Biology (BUFF 2009’s opening film & also starring Sneed) is a bit of a departure for the veteran exploitation auteur. While Chasing Banksy keeps the playful tone of his previous features intact, it plays out more like a heist movie; a caper comedy where Murphy’s Law deploys at almost every turn. And since co-writer/star Anthony Sneed based the screenplay on a real expedition, Chasing Banksy offers up a farce stranger than fiction.

– Kevin Monahan