Maintaining his mystique, Banksy did not appear at the 2011 Cinema Eye Honors ceremony on January 18, 2011, to accept the award for Outstanding Achievement In Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking for his directorial debut, Exit Through The Gift Shop. But, the most undercover agent in art and cinema did have the presence of mind to deliver some comments from afar. Read by his producer, Jaimie D'Cruz, here they are:
"Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I'm going to keep this brief. Now is not the time for a long, rambling, self-indulgent speech. I'll leave that to the director of Waiting For "Superman." I'd like to thank the Cinema Eye Awards. It's great to be recognized by people who are so obsessive about the documentary genre. In other works, people who are even more socially retarded than myself. I guess some of you may be getting a bit suspicious about now. How can you be sure this award is real? But I'd like to categorically assure you that this evening's awards are not being staged by actors for a parody I'm making about the film awards circuit. I'd like to dedicate this award to anyone out there who has ever looked at the state of the world and thought I can't just stand idly by and watch this happen...I should get it on tape."
Banksy's speech is on tape, and you can watch it -- minus mysterious Banksy, of course -- when the Cinema Eye Honors ceremonies are broadcast on the Documentary Channel on January 30,. 2011.
By the way, Waiting For Superman was nominated for the Cinema Eye's Audience Award, as was Exit Through The Gift Shop. Neither of them won. The audience preferred Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg.
But note that Exit Through The Gift Shop and Waiting For "Superman" are both on the Oscars shortlist, while Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is not. Hmmmm....
PHOTO: Cinema Eye Statuette. Courtesy Cinema Eye Honors.)