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Friday, August 12, 2011

Filmmakers and AntiGraffiti Vigilantes Butt Heads Over Illegal Posters

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:30 PM

click to enlarge vigilantevigilante.jpg
The Department of Public Works put out a call today asking the public to report sightings of illegally posted movie posters. But these are not just any movie posters -- they're posters for Vigilante Vigilante: The Freedom of Expression a documentary about antigraffiti vigilantes which will premiere tonight at Roxie Theater.

"I think it's very ironic," says director Max Good. "We're being singled out because [the movie] is about the kind of people involved in this very work."

"No, we're not specifically seeking out anyone. We're just doing our job!" responds Gloria Chan, DPW spokes person. "It's the law, this is part of making San Francisco clean!" DPW reports having to clean up more than 40 posters and stickers in the Mission, and notes that the cleanup will come at the cost of taxpayers.

The DPW has also issued a cease-and-desist order to the movie makers, but Good says that they aren't responsible for putting the posters up.

"We've given out a lot of promotional materials -- posters and stickers," says Good, "Whenever we do, we asked people not to post these these things illegally, but it's happened."

The filmmakers have already received angry messages from local antigraffiti vigilante Rick Thurber, whose moaning over "the end of civility" was featured in an SF Weekly article in 1999. Thurber e-mailed Good two weeks ago, saying "Fuck you for violating our neighborhood!"

Good says that another local vigilante, Gideon Kramer, has also threatened Roxie Theater for showing the film and not helping to halt the illegal postering. Roxie Theater declined to comment.

"We're definitely critical [of anti-graffiti vigilantes] but the documentary is all about tolerance and having a conversation," says Good. "I think a lot of people on [Kramer and Thurber's] side think they're beyond the law and they're not interested in having a conversation."

Good has invited both Kramer and Thurber to tonight's premier. He says, "I hope they show up, but I doubt they will."

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Caroline Chen


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