Why Watch? By 1990, Shepard Fairey had already been littering the streets with stickers of Andre the Giant’s face and the phrase “Andre the Giant has a Posse,” but the image was about to get a lot bigger. Acting on an ambiguous school project at Rhode Island School of Design, Fairey defaced a campaign billboard for former mayor/convicted felon Buddy Cianci.
Julian Marshall’s brash short film tells that story with a middle finger and a smile. There’s a one-man Animal House aspect to it with more punk rock thrown into the mix, and while that might normally mean quick cuts and aggressive shots, Marshall keeps things glossy and polished all the way around. It features a tight script that wastes no time in dropping us into the world and giving us exactly what we need before hopping to the next sequence. Plus, it’s filled with some sharp dialogue that makes Fairey sound a lot wiser than he probably was at the time, and Josh Wills (the actor playing Fairey) enhances that feeling with a shit-eating grin that keeps his tongue in his cheek.
In fact, most of the scenario’s feel tailor-made to build to a stand-off with authority simply so that Wills can offer a kind of Alfred E. Neuman shoulder shrug before getting back to scamming the computer lab. There’s little consequence to this tale beyond the fascination of how far its young subject has come, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun right down to the last winking shot.
What Will It Cost? Around 18 minutes.