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The Graffiti Artist (2004)

Adrift in a lush, nocturnal urban landscape, Nick is a post-modern urban hero asserting his anarchistic agenda on the endless maze of virgin exterior walls that comprise downtown Seattle ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruben Bansie ...
Nick (as Ruben Bansie-Snellman)
Pledgure Duoshun ...
Hardware Stock Clerk
Zachary S. Smalls ...
Police Officer #1
Robert D. Heath Jr. ...
Police Officer #2
Rich Clemets ...
Booking Officer
Rich Carlton ...
Skate Shop Clerk
Pepper Fajans ...
Jesse
Daniel Parker ...
Boy at Burnside Skate Park
...
Boy at Burnside Skate Park
Dan Stegner ...
Boy at Burnside Skate Park
Justin Lawrence ...
Undercover Cop #1
John Paulson ...
Undercover Cop #2
Megan Johnston ...
Smoothie Shop Girl
Don Connell ...
Hardware Store Clerk
Angie Golds ...
End Police Officer #2
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Storyline

Adrift in a lush, nocturnal urban landscape, Nick is a post-modern urban hero asserting his anarchistic agenda on the endless maze of virgin exterior walls that comprise downtown Seattle and Portland. For writer/director Bolton's lonely "tagger" protagonist, the vast wall surfaces of deserted alleys and trainyards are at once a daunting symbol of capitalist oppression and a texturally rich, seamless tableau ripe for exploitation to amplify his artistic dialectic of anger and rebellion. His own virtually anonymous existence seemingly only secondary to the painted surfaces and "rupture the system" manifesto which more poignantly evidence his presence, Nick's prodigious solo graffiti output is interrupted by friendship with another young tagger. Their communication begins as less verbal than a kind of shared graphic tour de force; their enormous collaborative graffiti murals appear to emerge as the unmistakable offspring of their kindred spirit. But eventually their assumptions about one... Written by Bill Dose

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 January 2006 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

This Kid Bolton Levy  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Nick was apparently busted twice in Portland, the second time being remanded to juvenile detention. But we see him leaving detention in Seattle, not Portland. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The freedom of a lonely spirit
16 April 2004 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"The Graffiti Artist" is a brilliant experiment and an amazing film. With a moving narration the director manages to tell the story not through action or dialogues, but rather through the discrete observation of the emotional intimacy of the protagonist, Nick, a young graffiti artist living in a silent, soft solitude, skating around the empty streets and nocturnal landscapes of Portland and Seattle, where his artistic immaginario comes to life. Through extremely brief dialogues and long silences the film investigates the loneliness of an adolescent in search of warmth and significance, describing his first sentimental education. That's why "The Graffiti Artist" can be seen as a romantic film, telling the intimate confusion inside Nick's heart which, unexpressed by words, finds its ultimate expression in the boy's artistic action. The cold camera photography, the wild character of digital shooting and the minimal soundtrack analyse an intimate world made of silent mornings with corn cobs-breakfasts and silent nights of grass joint smoking. Nick is impersonated by the talented Ruben Bansie-Snellman, through whose "wide shut eyes" the yearning melancholy of a lonely young boy comes out. Nicks meets Jesse (Pepper Fajans) for the first time in a skate park in Portland; as Nick and Jesse accidentally meet again in Seattle, Nick's face shows for the very first time a brief, pure smile. The joy of the direct self-expression above virgin walls and the will of leaving signs, evidences of their own existence is the bound between the two boys. This bound will be the motor of new creations, and the two of them will create a huge graffiti around the railway rest areas of Seattle. Though, Nick's lonely artistic actions through the streets of Portland and Seattle represent the most lyrical moments in the film. In the intense final Nick will survive a non-returned affection for Jesse and the experience of jail; as a survivor though, he will keep on skating through the abandoned industrial areas of Portland, sleeping in the streets, leaving through graffiti his message of free art, a sign of his own existence and of the freedom of his lonely spirit.


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