October 21, 2008
Just finished watching Infamy, the 2005 graffiti doc by acclaimed filmmaker Doug Pray. I was a big fan of his 2001 film Scratch, which documented the evolution of turntablism, and decided to check this one out as well.
Infamy focuses on the lives of six preeminent graf writers in various cities across the country. The doc was fairly well-balanced, emphasizing in equal measure the subjects’ birth into the medium, their utter devotion to the artform (often to the detriment of their relationships with family and friends), the dangers they face and of course, their run-ins with the law. Pray did make the point to call attention to the fact that these particular writers were products of turbulent upbringings, an implied explanation as to why they turned to what is by and large perceived as a destructive and illegal form of expression.
I’d recommend checking out the film if you have any interest in graffiti as an artform or subculture. The figures involved are all pretty captivating (especially Earsnot of NYC’s IRAK crew) and the doc highlights some pretty amazing work.
Here’s the first 10 minutes or so if you wanna check it out: