Players: Max Good, director of Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression--a documentary about Bay-area vigilante "buffers" who clean up graffiti with more graffiti; The San Francisco Department of Public Works and two "buffers"
The Opening Serve: On Friday, the San Francisco's Department of Public Works put out a call asking the public to report sightings of Good's illegally posted graffiti-style movie posters. "We've given out a lot of promotional materials -- posters and stickers," said Good in SF Weekly. "Whenever we do, we asked people not to post these these things illegally, but it's happened." The city has since slapped the filmmakers with a cease and desist letter. "It's the law, this is part of making San Francisco clean," said Gloria Chan, a DPW spokesperson. In a CBS report, officials claim that they are having to clean up more than 40 posters and stickers--which, The Examiner claims, could cost as much as $500 for each documented case--all of which may come from taxpayer pockets.
The Return Volley: Life imitating art? The irony is not lost on Good, since his documentary questions the "buffers" who blot out graffiti hoping to protect their city from violence and crime. "We're being singled out because [the movie] is about the kind of people involved in this very work," said Good in his SF Weekly interview. "Thousands of other posters and stickers are posted up throughout the city, many for movies and commercial ventures," he wrote in an e-mail to The Examiner. "But we have been singled out because we are challenging the arguments of these very same people who break laws and threaten people in order to enforce a sterile city environment." On the film's Facebook and Twitter accounts, Good tabbed Rick Thruber and Gideon Kramer as two possible "buffers" or anti-graffiti vigilantes. SF Weekly reported Thruber e-mailed Good two weeks ago. "Fuck you for violating our neighborhood," Thruber wrote. Kramer threatened the Roxie Theater, where Good's film made its debut on Friday."We're definitely critical [of anti-graffiti vigilantes] but the documentary is all about tolerance and having a conversation," Good responded. "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."