Tag Archives: Exit Through the Gift Shop

My Banksy tattoo

So, it’s been a while. I’m working on a film, which tends to keep me very busy. The holidays kinda swept me up as well (still haven’t taken down the decorations, let’s add that to the to-do list) and then there was my birthday.

As I’ve said before, I selfishly consider my birthday to be the true New Year’s day since it’s a week into each new year. For the past few years, I’ve been working on a project that I was both incredibly aware of and a bit unconscious to: birthday tattoos. I established rules for myself because I realized from the get-go that I would get addicted to body art.

Rule #1: Don’t get a tattoo you haven’t considered for at least a year. For me, this meant designing all of my tattoos with the artists who tattooed me. Nothing from the wall.

Rule #2: Only get tattoos on odd-numbered birthdays until your 30th, when all bets are off.

So, starting with my 25th birthday, I’ve gotten a tattoo every other year on my birthday. I broke both my rules only once by getting a tattoo of a fleur-dis-lis on my foot. It wasn’t my birthday, and I hadn’t really thought about the tattoo much before I got it.

The only other time the rules were broken was last year, on my 29th birthday when I got my Ganesh tattoo. After work, I rushed to Hell or High Water to get my tattoo and shortly after I arrived, the power went off because there was a devastating fire at a church nearby. I ended up getting it the next day, January 8th, right before the Saints lost their playoff game.

It’s ironic that there were so many obstacles to getting that tattoo of Ganesh last year: since he is known as the remover of obstacles. But he is also the Lord of Beginnings and a patron god of artists and writers and so he is very special to me.

As many of you may know from reading this blog, Banksy is also pretty special to me, including my favorite Banksy graffiti/art. While I like a lot of Banksy’s work and he intrigues me, there’s really only one image of his that I like enough to tattoo it – forever – on my body.

This image invokes hope and childhood, but also poignant nostalgia and unfulfilled desire. It is immediately evocative for most people who see it, yet it is a complete contradiction, both delicate and stark. Of course it would become part of my birthday tattoo project.

Hence, my Banksy tattoo:

I went to Hell or High Water again and while Tony was tattooing me, he surprised me completely by asking me why I’ve gotten all my tattoos. I don’t strike most people as the type, I know.  How did I become a girl who has five tattoos? And why? My brother is covered in tattoos and I don’t think anyone’s questioned why he’s gotten them. It just seems like a natural extension of his personality. Well, actually, I know our family has questioned WHY he’s gotten so many tattoos and while they disapprove, his tattoos probably do make more sense to them than mine make.

But that’s okay, because they make sense to me. My tattoos are each important reminders to me that I am always seeking balance in my life between extreme contradictions in the world and in myself. Which is why, except for my first, most of my tattoos are visible to me. When Tony and I were discussing the placement of my Banksy tattoo, I stressed how important it was that my tattoo be facing me, something I could look at whenever I wanted or see accidentally. He came up with a brilliant placement for it that accomodated the necessary size.

I told Tony this was my only tattoo that I hadn’t designed in some way, the closet to an “off the wall” tattoo, one that any number of other people are also carrying around on their bodies. He told me how much he enjoyed Exit Through the Gift Shop and  we started joking about how Banksy sort of stole the documentary that started out about him. Ultimately, we decided that Banksy should make another documentary, this one about the people who tattoo his work on their bodies. I would watch that documentary and it really seems like something he would do.

I’ll be your first subject, Banksy. ;”)

Shortly after getting my Banksy tattoo, I realized that it may very well be my last tattoo. It might not be. Who knows? But the birthday tattoo project is over. I got 5 tattoos between the ages of 25 and 30. They were done by 5 different tattoo artists at 4 shops on 3 of my important birthdays and in 2 different cities. All of these tattoos have a central theme of balance and they remind me daily of  things and people I love. They also remind me of who I have been and who I want to be. I’m happy with the results.


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This is what happens when Banksy’s nominated for an Oscar…

Apparently, Banksy has arrived just a bit early in Los Angeles and has taken the opportunity to paint the town. TMZ has images and The Week suggests this may be Banksy’s own Oscar campaign, since Exit Through the Gift Shop is up for Best Documentary. One of the pieces thought to be Banksy’s work is an enormous Mickey and Minnie inserted into a billboard. Huffington Post has video of the billboard and it’s removal.

As usual, Banksy shows that it’s not just the what of his art, but also the where and the when.




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Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.


1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush


1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!


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What I’ve been thinking about lately…

Everyday, I read dozens of little news items about the whole gamut of human experience. Literary and movie news, scientific discoveries, music, random celebrity-ness (yes, I admit) and current events. My co-workers do as well, and from time to time, one of them will announce some odd or interesting factoid or this-just-in and the rest of us will listen.

My first week at my new job, one of my co-workers said into the large, silent office we all share: “So, what’s going on in the world?” One of my other co-workers said, “A woman says Steven Seagal made her his sex slave and Treme got picked up for a second season.”

Random. But then, we’re news and information junkies.

Throughout each day, I have an ocean of factoids and images in my head, each swimming around in there like strange aquatic life. One day, I read the Wikipedia page on the Donner party and had those horrific deets bouncing around, and then read a review of Exit Through the Gift Shop and did my budget. That’s just modern life.

So, here are some links to randomness that I’ve been thinking about the last few weeks.

-A man rescued a woman being attacked, got stabbed and died on a NYC sidewalk as bystanders avoided and ignored him. So horrified by this one, I read a second article later the same day.

-Lane Bryant plus-sized lingerie commercial censored. This pieces mentions a Victoria Secret ad that I saw about 20 minutes before (and an hour after) reading this.

Women make less money when they get married and take their husband’s last name?

-Even though I worked on The Final Destination, apparently there will be a 5th in the franchise. Not so final, after all. Are any of us surprised? I remember reading the script and thinking, “Last one, huh? Yeah, right…”

-A book of Marilyn Monroe writings! I’ll certainly read that book. Feel free to send me an advance copy for review, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Seriously.

-An utterly hypnotic YouTube video of 500 years of female art subjects morphing into each other. Check it out!

-Kelly Osbourne gets flak for claiming that she looked healthier and skinnier after she started wearing self-tanner on Dancing with the Stars.

-Author Kathryn Stockett has a Google Maps application on her site with her readers’ names and locations. This kinda just scares me. Especially since my mom’s book club is reading The Help next month.

New Mark Twain manuscript has surfaced, in memory of his favorite daughter, who died.

-Cadillac driver stops a purse snatching! With the car!

-Molly Ringwald’s therapist told her to stop dating writers and be a writer.

Darth Vader-narrated GPS! Hysterical video. 🙂

Daughter of serial killer writes book.

How the pill liberated women – the author’s mother counts it as the most important invention of her lifetime.

-“Sea Waif” tragedy survivor breaks 50-year silence.

CW is resurrecting Moonlight! Well, just reairing episodes along with The Vampire Diaries. But still cool. Alex O’Loughlin is wonderful. See The Back-Up Plan for evidence. I did, last week, in a double feature with Date Night.

-The breeder of the labradoodle regrets the designer dog trend.

-The story behind the Carrie Underwood song “Play On.” And her fellow AI alum, Kelly Clarkson, has a new song I can’t wait to hear (it’s been pulled anywhere you might be able to hear it online) – “Wash, Rinse, Repeat,” apparently lambasting the music industry in general and “Already Gone”/”Halo” co-writer Ryan Tedder in particular.  And while we’re on AI, 5 potential replacements for Simon Cowell – I’d love any of them.

The Art of ConfessionCurtis Sittenfeld interviews Meghan Daum and Emily Gould! Wonderful piece – I wish it were five times longer. You might remember that in my very first blog post (almost 2 years ago!), I described my attraction/repulsion to blogging thusly:

So that’s my way of saying I’m ambivalent about blogging. Primarily because of delicious little trainwrecks like this: Emily Gould Blogs All

-This lovely photo project, Dear New Orleans, came to my attention because of the wonderful Scene Magazine‘s most recent issue.

-Somebody recently told me that Mr. Rogers was formerly a sniper in the army and I repeated this to a co-worker, who got me hooked on Snopes.com by using it to REFUTE THIS RUMOR!

-And now, we come full-circle to my horror at the NYC left-for-dead-on-the-sidewalk circle with a much more positive story about a group of individual female students rushing a man who was attacking another woman. They pinned him to the ground till the authorities arrived – and probably, as all parties acknowledge, saved her life. A round of applause to those woman, and my admiration.

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